April 01, 2020
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Bill Text: HB 0839
HB 0839 2004
   
1 A bill to be entitled
2          An act relating to child care facilities; amending s.
3    402.281, F.S.; revising the development of Gold Seal
4    Quality Care program standards; allowing the Department of
5    Children and Family Services to adopt standards and
6    procedures by rule; amending s. 402.305, F.S.; excluding
7    certain child care personnel from certain training
8    requirements; adding minimum education requirements for
9    child care personnel; amending s. 402.313, F.S.; revising
10    information provided by family day care homes for
11    registration; requiring operator substitutes to complete a
12    specified course in child care prior to caring for
13    children; providing an effective date.
14         
15          Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
16         
17          Section 1. Section 402.281, Florida Statutes, is amended
18    to read:
19          402.281 Gold Seal Quality Care program.--
20          (1) Child care facilities, large family child care homes,
21    or family day care homes that are accredited by a national
22    nationally recognized accrediting association whose standards
23    and renewal requirements substantially meet or exceed those of
24    the National Association for the Education of Young Children
25    (NAEYC), the National Association of Family Child Care, and the
26    National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Commission shall
27    receive a separate "Gold Seal Quality Care" designation to
28    operate as a gold seal child care facility, large family child
29    care home, or family day care home.
30          (2) In developing the Gold Seal Quality Care program
31    standards and approving the accrediting associations, the
32    department shall:
33          (a) Provide for a selection of high-quality accrediting
34    associations that adequately reflect the diversity of the full
35    range of child care providers while maintaining the integrity
36    and manageability of the program.
37          (b) Consult with the Florida Partnership for School
38    Readiness,the Department of Education, the Florida Head Start
39    Directors Association, the Florida Association of Child Care
40    Management, the Florida Family Day Care Association, the Florida
41    Children's Forum, the State Coordinating Council for School
42    Readiness Programs, the Early Childhood Association of Florida,
43    the National Association for Child Development Education,
44    providers receiving exemptions under s. 402.316, and parents,
45    for the purpose of approving the accrediting associations.
46          (3) The department may, by rule, adopt standards and
47    procedures necessary for the implementation of the program.
48          Section 2. Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) and subsection
49    (3) of section 402.305, Florida Statutes, are amended, and
50    paragraph (g) is added to subsection (2) of said section, to
51    read:
52          402.305 Licensing standards; child care facilities.--
53          (2) PERSONNEL.--Minimum standards for child care personnel
54    shall include minimum requirements as to:
55          (d) Minimum training requirements for child care
56    personnel.
57          1. Such minimum standards for training shall ensure that
58    all child care personnel take an approved 40-clock-hour
59    introductory course in child care, which course covers at least
60    the following topic areas:
61          a. State and local rules and regulations which govern
62    child care.
63          b. Health, safety, and nutrition.
64          c. Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.
65          d. Child development, including typical and atypical
66    language, cognitive, motor, social, and self-help skills
67    development.
68          e. Observation of developmental behaviors, including using
69    a checklist or other similar observation tools and techniques to
70    determine the child's developmental age level.
71          f. Specialized areas, including computer technology for
72    professional and classroom use and early literacy and language
73    development of children from birth to 5 years of age, as
74    determined by the department, for owner-operators and child care
75    personnel of a child care facility.
76         
77          Within 90 days after employment, child care personnel shall
78    begin training to meet the training requirements. Child care
79    personnel shall successfully complete such training within 1
80    year after the date on which the training began, as evidenced by
81    passage of a competency examination. Successful completion of
82    the 40-clock-hour introductory course shall articulate into
83    community college credit in early childhood education, pursuant
84    to ss. 1007.24 and 1007.25. Exemption from all or a portion of
85    the required training shall be granted to child care personnel
86    based upon educational credentials or passage of competency
87    examinations. Child care personnel possessing a 2-year degree or
88    higher that includes 6 college credit hours in early childhood
89    development or child growth and development, or a child
90    development associate credential or an equivalent state-approved
91    child development associate credential, or a child development
92    associate waiver certificate shall be automatically exempted
93    from the training requirements in sub-subparagraphs b., d., and
94    e.
95          2. The introductory course in child care shall stress, to
96    the extent possible, an interdisciplinary approach to the study
97    of children.
98          3. On an annual basis in order to further their child care
99    skills and, if appropriate, administrative skills, child care
100    personnel who have fulfilled the requirements for the child care
101    training shall be required to take an additional 1 continuing
102    education unit of approved inservice training, or 10 clock hours
103    of equivalent training, as determined by the department.
104          4. Child care personnel, except those employed in
105    facilities that serve only children in kindergarten and above,
106    shall be required to complete 0.5 continuing education unit of
107    approved training or 5 clock hours of equivalent training, as
108    determined by the department, in early literacy and language
109    development of children from birth to 5 years of age one time.
110    The year that this training is completed, it shall fulfill the
111    0.5 continuing education unit or 5 clock hours of the annual
112    training required in subparagraph 3.
113          5. Procedures for ensuring the training of qualified child
114    care professionals to provide training of child care personnel,
115    including onsite training, shall be included in the minimum
116    standards. It is recommended that the state community child care
117    coordination agencies (central agencies) be contracted by the
118    department to coordinate such training when possible. Other
119    district educational resources, such as community colleges and
120    vocational-technical programs, can be designated in such areas
121    where central agencies may not exist or are determined not to
122    have the capability to meet the coordination requirements set
123    forth by the department.
124          6. Training requirements shall not apply to certain
125    occasional or part-time support staff, including, but not
126    limited to, swimming instructors, piano teachers, dance
127    instructors, and gymnastics instructors.
128          7. The department shall evaluate or contract for an
129    evaluation for the general purpose of determining the status of
130    and means to improve staff training requirements and testing
131    procedures. The evaluation shall be conducted every 2 years. The
132    evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, determining the
133    availability, quality, scope, and sources of current staff
134    training; determining the need for specialty training; and
135    determining ways to increase inservice training and ways to
136    increase the accessibility, quality, and cost-effectiveness of
137    current and proposed staff training. The evaluation methodology
138    shall include a reliable and valid survey of child care
139    personnel.
140          8. The child care operator shall be required to take basic
141    training in serving children with disabilities within 5 years
142    after employment, either as a part of the introductory training
143    or the annual 8 hours of inservice training.
144          (g) Minimum education requirements for child care
145    personnel. Such minimum education standards shall prohibit a
146    person who has not obtained a high school diploma or high school
147    equivalency diploma pursuant to s. 1003.435 from being employed
148    as child care personnel as defined in s. 402.302 unless:
149          1. Such person is under direct supervision and is not
150    counted for purposes of computing the child-to-staff ratio.
151          2. Such person is not serving in an instructional position
152    and is not counted for purposes of computing the child-to-staff
153    ratio.
154          3. Such person is employed in child care on July 1, 2004,
155    and has 10 or more years of documented experience working with
156    children in a child care setting or in a public school between
157    July 1, 1989, and July 1, 2004.
158         
159          Those child care personnel employed in child care on July 1,
160    2004, who do not possess the required education and who are not
161    exempted from such pursuant to subparagraphs 1.-3. shall have
162    until July 1, 2005, to obtain the required education or shall be
163    prohibited from employment as child care personnel until such
164    time as they are in compliance.
165          (3) MINIMUM STAFF CREDENTIALS.--By July 1, 1996,For every
166    20 children in a licensed child care facility, beginning with
167    the first child,if the facility operates 8 hours or more per
168    week, one of the child care personnel in the facility must have:
169          (a) A currentchild development associate credential;
170          (b) A currentchild care professional credential, unless
171    the department determines that such child care professional
172    credential is not equivalent to or greater than a child
173    development associate credential; or
174          (c) A currentcredential that is equivalent to or greater
175    than the credential required in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).
176         
177          The department shall establish by rule those hours of operation,
178    such as during rest periods and transitional periods, when this
179    subsection does not apply.
180          Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and subsection
181    (4) of section 402.313, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
182          402.313 Family day care homes.--
183          (1) Family day care homes shall be licensed under this act
184    if they are presently being licensed under an existing county
185    licensing ordinance, if they are participating in the subsidized
186    child care program, or if the board of county commissioners
187    passes a resolution that family day care homes be licensed. If
188    no county authority exists for the licensing of a family day
189    care home, the department shall have the authority to license
190    family day care homes under contract for the purchase-of-service
191    system in the subsidized child care program.
192          (a) If not subject to license, family day care homes shall
193    register annually with the department, providing the following
194    information:
195          1. The name and address of the home.
196          2. The name of the operator.
197          3. The number of children served.
198          4. Proof of a written plan to provide at least one other
199    competent adult to act as the operator in his or her absence and
200    to be available to substitute for the operator in an emergency.
201    This plan shall include the name, address, and telephone number
202    of the designated substitute.
203          5. Proof of screening and background checks for all
204    persons subject to screening requirements, including
205    substitutes, prior to caring for children.
206          6. Proof of successful completion of the 30-hour training
207    course, as evidenced by passage of a competency examination,
208    which shall include:
209          a. State and local rules and regulations that govern child
210    care.
211          b. Health, safety, and nutrition.
212          c. Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.
213          d. Child development, including typical and atypical
214    language development; and cognitive, motor, social, and self-
215    help skills development.
216          e. Observation of developmental behaviors, including using
217    a checklist or other similar observation tools and techniques to
218    determine a child's developmental level.
219          f. Specialized areas, including early literacy and
220    language development of children from birth to 5 years of age,
221    as determined by the department, for owner-operators of family
222    day care homes.
223          7. Proof that immunization records are kept current.
224          8. Proof of completion of the required continuing
225    education units or clock hours.
226          (4) Operators of family day care homes, and their
227    substitutes,must successfully complete an approved 30-clock-
228    hour introductory course in child care, as evidenced by passage
229    of a competency examination, before caring for children.
230          Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.
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