January 19, 2021
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                     SB 428
       
       
       
       By Senator Rich
       
       
       
       
       34-00210A-10                                           2010428__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to human services personnel; providing
    3         a short title; amending s. 402.305, F.S.; requiring
    4         the owner or operator of a child care facility to
    5         report background screening results to the Department
    6         of Children and Family Services before employing a
    7         person at the child care facility; prohibiting the
    8         hiring of a person with a disqualifying offense
    9         without being granted an exemption; prohibiting the
   10         department from granting an exemption from
   11         disqualification from employment to work with children
   12         or the developmentally disabled under certain
   13         circumstances; amending s. 402.40, F.S.; providing and
   14         revising definitions; requiring child welfare services
   15         staff to obtain child welfare certification; requiring
   16         the Department of Children and Family Services to
   17         designate a credentialing entity to administer the
   18         certification process; requiring the department to
   19         develop minimum trainer qualifications; amending s.
   20         429.14, F.S., relating to administrative penalties;
   21         prohibiting the Agency for Health Care Administration
   22         from granting an exemption from disqualification from
   23         employment in an assisted living facility under
   24         certain circumstances; amending s. 429.174, F.S.;
   25         requiring the owner or administrator of an assisted
   26         living facility to report background screening results
   27         to the agency before employing a person at the
   28         assisted living facility; prohibiting the hiring of a
   29         person with a disqualifying offense without being
   30         granted an exemption; prohibiting the agency from
   31         granting an exemption from disqualification from
   32         employment under certain circumstances; amending s.
   33         435.05, F.S.; revising employer reporting requirements
   34         relating to background screening for applicants for
   35         employment in a child care facility or an assisted
   36         living facility; requiring the owner or administrator
   37         of a child care facility or an assisted living
   38         facility to report background screening results to the
   39         licensing agency; prohibiting the hiring of a person
   40         with a disqualifying offense without being granted an
   41         exemption; prohibiting the agency from granting an
   42         exemption from disqualification from employment under
   43         certain circumstances; amending s. 435.07, F.S.;
   44         increasing the waiting period for requesting an
   45         exemption from disqualification for certain employees;
   46         authorizing licensing agencies to retain employee
   47         fingerprints under certain circumstances; requiring
   48         licensing agencies to review exemptions from
   49         disqualification periodically; providing conditions
   50         for the revocation of an employee’s exemption from
   51         disqualification; authorizing licensing agencies to
   52         adopt rules relating to exemptions from
   53         disqualification; amending ss. 402.30501, 411.01,
   54         1002.55, 1002.57, and 1002.59, F.S.; conforming cross
   55         references; reenacting s. 402.302(3), F.S., relating
   56         to the definition of “child care personnel”;
   57         reenacting s. 402.3055(2)(b), (d), and (g), F.S.,
   58         relating to child care personnel requirements;
   59         reenacting s. 402.3057, F.S., relating to persons not
   60         required to be refingerprinted or rescreened;
   61         reenacting s. 402.308(3)(d) and (4)(d), F.S., relating
   62         to issuance or renewal of a child care facility
   63         license; reenacting s. 402.313(3), F.S., relating to
   64         child care personnel in family day care homes;
   65         reenacting s. 402.3131(2), F.S., relating to child
   66         care personnel in large family child care homes;
   67         reenacting s. 409.1757, F.S., relating to persons not
   68         required to be refingerprinted or rescreened;
   69         providing an effective date.
   70  
   71  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   72  
   73         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Protecting
   74  Florida’s Most Vulnerable Citizens Act.”
   75         Section 2. Subsection (2) of section 402.305, Florida
   76  Statutes, is amended to read:
   77         402.305 Licensing standards; child care facilities.—
   78         (2) PERSONNEL.—Minimum standards for child care personnel
   79  shall include minimum requirements as to:
   80         (a) Good moral character based upon screening.
   81         1. This screening shall be conducted as provided in chapter
   82  435, using the level 2 standards for screening set forth in that
   83  chapter. The owner or operator of a child care facility must
   84  report the results of the screening to the department before a
   85  person may be employed at the child care facility. If the
   86  results of the screening show any disqualifying offense as set
   87  forth in chapter 435, the owner or operator of a child care
   88  facility may not hire that person until such time as an
   89  exemption is applied for and granted by the licensing agency.
   90         2.(b) The department may grant exemptions from
   91  disqualification from working with children or the
   92  developmentally disabled as provided in s. 435.07; however, the
   93  department may not grant an exemption if the person has a record
   94  of a felony or misdemeanor conviction for an offense of a
   95  violent or sexual nature against a child or a vulnerable adult.
   96         (b)(c) Minimum age requirements. Such minimum standards
   97  shall prohibit a person under the age of 21 from being the
   98  operator of a child care facility and a person under the age of
   99  16 from being employed at such facility unless such person is
  100  under direct supervision and is not counted for the purposes of
  101  computing the personnel-to-child ratio.
  102         (c)(d) Minimum training requirements for child care
  103  personnel.
  104         1. Such minimum standards for training shall ensure that
  105  all child care personnel take an approved 40-clock-hour
  106  introductory course in child care, which course covers at least
  107  the following topic areas:
  108         a. State and local rules and regulations which govern child
  109  care.
  110         b. Health, safety, and nutrition.
  111         c. Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.
  112         d. Child development, including typical and atypical
  113  language, cognitive, motor, social, and self-help skills
  114  development.
  115         e. Observation of developmental behaviors, including using
  116  a checklist or other similar observation tools and techniques to
  117  determine the child’s developmental age level.
  118         f. Specialized areas, including computer technology for
  119  professional and classroom use and early literacy and language
  120  development of children from birth to 5 years of age, as
  121  determined by the department, for owner-operators and child care
  122  personnel of a child care facility.
  123  
  124  Within 90 days after employment, child care personnel shall
  125  begin training to meet the training requirements. Child care
  126  personnel shall successfully complete such training within 1
  127  year after the date on which the training began, as evidenced by
  128  passage of a competency examination. Successful completion of
  129  the 40-clock-hour introductory course shall articulate into
  130  community college credit in early childhood education, pursuant
  131  to ss. 1007.24 and 1007.25. Exemption from all or a portion of
  132  the required training shall be granted to child care personnel
  133  based upon educational credentials or passage of competency
  134  examinations. Child care personnel possessing a 2-year degree or
  135  higher that includes 6 college credit hours in early childhood
  136  development or child growth and development, or a child
  137  development associate credential or an equivalent state-approved
  138  child development associate credential, or a child development
  139  associate waiver certificate shall be automatically exempted
  140  from the training requirements in sub-subparagraphs b., d., and
  141  e.
  142         2. The introductory course in child care shall stress, to
  143  the extent possible, an interdisciplinary approach to the study
  144  of children.
  145         3. The introductory course shall cover recognition and
  146  prevention of shaken baby syndrome, prevention of sudden infant
  147  death syndrome, and early childhood brain development within the
  148  topic areas identified in this paragraph.
  149         4. On an annual basis in order to further their child care
  150  skills and, if appropriate, administrative skills, child care
  151  personnel who have fulfilled the requirements for the child care
  152  training shall be required to take an additional 1 continuing
  153  education unit of approved inservice training, or 10 clock hours
  154  of equivalent training, as determined by the department.
  155         5. Child care personnel shall be required to complete 0.5
  156  continuing education unit of approved training or 5 clock hours
  157  of equivalent training, as determined by the department, in
  158  early literacy and language development of children from birth
  159  to 5 years of age one time. The year that this training is
  160  completed, it shall fulfill the 0.5 continuing education unit or
  161  5 clock hours of the annual training required in subparagraph 4.
  162         6. Procedures for ensuring the training of qualified child
  163  care professionals to provide training of child care personnel,
  164  including onsite training, shall be included in the minimum
  165  standards. It is recommended that the state community child care
  166  coordination agencies (central agencies) be contracted by the
  167  department to coordinate such training when possible. Other
  168  district educational resources, such as community colleges and
  169  career programs, can be designated in such areas where central
  170  agencies may not exist or are determined not to have the
  171  capability to meet the coordination requirements set forth by
  172  the department.
  173         7. Training requirements shall not apply to certain
  174  occasional or part-time support staff, including, but not
  175  limited to, swimming instructors, piano teachers, dance
  176  instructors, and gymnastics instructors.
  177         8. The department shall evaluate or contract for an
  178  evaluation for the general purpose of determining the status of
  179  and means to improve staff training requirements and testing
  180  procedures. The evaluation shall be conducted every 2 years. The
  181  evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, determining the
  182  availability, quality, scope, and sources of current staff
  183  training; determining the need for specialty training; and
  184  determining ways to increase inservice training and ways to
  185  increase the accessibility, quality, and cost-effectiveness of
  186  current and proposed staff training. The evaluation methodology
  187  shall include a reliable and valid survey of child care
  188  personnel.
  189         9. The child care operator shall be required to take basic
  190  training in serving children with disabilities within 5 years
  191  after employment, either as a part of the introductory training
  192  or the annual 8 hours of inservice training.
  193         (d)(e) Periodic health examinations.
  194         (e)(f) By January 1, 2000, a credential for child care
  195  facility directors. By January 1, 2004, the credential shall be
  196  a required minimum standard for licensing.
  197         Section 3. Section 402.40, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  198  read:
  199         402.40 Child welfare training and certification.—
  200         (1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—In order to enable the state to
  201  provide a systematic approach to staff development and training
  202  for persons providing child welfare services which meets that
  203  will meet the needs of such staff in the their discharge of
  204  their duties, it is the intent of the Legislature that the
  205  Department of Children and Family Services establish, maintain,
  206  and oversee the operation of child welfare training academies in
  207  the state. The Legislature further intends that the staff
  208  development and training programs that are established will aid
  209  in the reduction of poor staff morale and of staff turnover,
  210  will positively impact on the quality of decisions made
  211  regarding children and families who require assistance from
  212  programs providing child welfare services, and will afford a
  213  better quality of care for of children who are must be removed
  214  from their families.
  215         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
  216         (a) “Child welfare certification” means a professional
  217  credential awarded by the department, or by a credentialing
  218  entity designated by the department, to individuals
  219  demonstrating core competency in any child welfare services
  220  practice area.
  221         (b)(a) “Child welfare services” means any intake,
  222  protective investigations, preprotective services, protective
  223  services, foster care, shelter and group care, and adoption and
  224  related services program, including supportive services,
  225  supervision, and legal services, provided to children who are
  226  alleged to have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, or who are
  227  at risk of becoming, are alleged to be, or have been found
  228  dependent pursuant to chapter 39.
  229         (c) “Core competency” means having the knowledge, skills,
  230  and abilities necessary to perform child welfare services.
  231         (d)(b) “Person providing child welfare services” means a
  232  person who has a responsibility for supervisory, legal, direct
  233  care, or support-related support related work in the provision
  234  of child welfare services pursuant to chapter 39.
  235         (3) CHILD WELFARE TRAINING PROGRAM.—The department shall
  236  establish a child welfare training program for training pursuant
  237  to the provisions of this section, and all persons providing
  238  child welfare services in this state must demonstrate core
  239  competency by earning and maintaining child welfare
  240  certification shall be required to participate in and
  241  successfully complete the program of training pertinent to their
  242  areas of responsibility.
  243         (4) CHILD WELFARE TRAINING TRUST FUND.—
  244         (a) There is created within the State Treasury a Child
  245  Welfare Training Trust Fund to be used by the department of
  246  Children and Family Services for the purpose of funding a
  247  comprehensive system of child welfare training, including the
  248  securing of consultants to develop the system and the developing
  249  of child welfare training academies for that include the
  250  participation of persons providing child welfare services.
  251         (b) One dollar from every noncriminal traffic infraction
  252  collected pursuant to s. 318.14(10)(b) or s. 318.18 shall be
  253  deposited into the Child Welfare Training Trust Fund.
  254         (c) In addition to the funds generated by paragraph (b),
  255  the trust fund shall receive funds generated from an additional
  256  fee on birth certificates and dissolution of marriage filings,
  257  as specified in ss. 382.0255 and 28.101, respectively, and may
  258  receive funds from any other public or private source.
  259         (d) Funds that are not expended by the end of the budget
  260  cycle or through a supplemental budget approved by the
  261  department shall revert to the trust fund.
  262         (5) CORE COMPETENCIES.—
  263         (a) The department of Children and Family Services shall
  264  establish the core competencies for a single integrated
  265  curriculum that ensures that each person delivering child
  266  welfare services obtains the knowledge, skills, and abilities to
  267  competently carry out his or her work responsibilities. The This
  268  curriculum may be a compilation of different development efforts
  269  based on specific subsets of core competencies that are
  270  integrated for a comprehensive curriculum required in the
  271  provision of child welfare services in this state.
  272         (b) The identification of these core competencies shall be
  273  a collaborative effort by to include professionals who have with
  274  expertise in child welfare services and providers that will be
  275  affected by the curriculum, including to include, but not be
  276  limited to, representatives from the community-based care lead
  277  agencies, sheriffs’ offices conducting child protection
  278  investigations, and child welfare legal services providers.
  279         (c) Notwithstanding s. 287.057(5) and (22), the department
  280  shall competitively solicit and contract for the development,
  281  validation, and periodic evaluation of the training curricula
  282  for the established single integrated curriculum. No more than
  283  one training curriculum may be developed for each specific
  284  subset of the core competencies.
  285         (6) ADVANCED TRAINING.—The department of Children and
  286  Family Services shall annually review examine the advanced
  287  training that is needed by persons who deliver child welfare
  288  services in the state. This review must consider examination
  289  shall address whether the current advanced training provided
  290  should be continued and shall include the development of plans
  291  for incorporating any revisions to the advanced training which
  292  are determined necessary. The review must This examination shall
  293  be conducted in collaboration with professionals who have with
  294  expertise in child welfare services and providers that will be
  295  affected by the curriculum, including to include, but not be
  296  limited to, representatives from the community-based care lead
  297  agencies, sheriffs’ offices conducting child protection
  298  investigations, and child welfare legal services providers.
  299         (7) CERTIFICATION AND TRAINER QUALIFICATIONS.—
  300         (a) The department shall designate a credentialing entity
  301  to administer a statewide child welfare certification process
  302  for child welfare services staff.
  303         (b) The department shall, in collaboration with the
  304  professionals and providers described in subsection (5) and the
  305  designated credentialing entity, develop minimum standards for a
  306  certification process that ensures that participants have
  307  successfully attained the knowledge, skills, and abilities
  308  necessary to competently carry out their work responsibilities
  309  and shall develop minimum standards for trainer qualifications
  310  which must be required of training academies in the offering of
  311  the training curricula.
  312         (c) Any person providing child welfare services must shall
  313  be required to master the core competencies components of the
  314  curriculum that are particular to that person’s work
  315  responsibilities as demonstrated by obtaining child welfare
  316  certification.
  317         (8) ESTABLISHMENT OF TRAINING ACADEMIES AND TRAINER
  318  QUALIFICATIONS.—The department shall establish child welfare
  319  training academies and develop minimum trainer qualifications
  320  for trainers at academies offering the curricula described in
  321  subsection (5) as part of a comprehensive system of child
  322  welfare training. In establishing a program of training program,
  323  the department may contract for the operation of one or more
  324  training academies to perform one or more of the following: to
  325  offer one or more of the training curricula developed under
  326  subsection (5); to administer the certification process; to
  327  develop, validate, and periodically evaluate additional training
  328  curricula determined to be necessary, including advanced
  329  training that is specific to a region or contractor, or that
  330  meets a particular training need; or to offer the additional
  331  training curricula. The number, location, and timeframe for the
  332  establishment of training academies shall be approved by the
  333  Secretary of Children and Family Services, who shall ensure that
  334  the goals for the core competencies and the single integrated
  335  curriculum, the child welfare certification process, the trainer
  336  qualifications, and the additional training needs are addressed.
  337  Notwithstanding s. 287.057(5) and (22), the department shall
  338  competitively solicit all training academy contracts.
  339         (9) MODIFICATION OF CHILD WELFARE TRAINING.—The core
  340  competencies determined pursuant to subsection (5), the minimum
  341  standards for the child welfare certification process, and the
  342  minimum standards for trainer qualifications established
  343  pursuant to subsection (8) (7), must be submitted to the
  344  appropriate substantive committees of the Senate and the House
  345  of Representatives before competitively soliciting either the
  346  development, validation, or periodic evaluation of the training
  347  curricula or the training academy contracts.
  348         (10) ADOPTION OF RULES.—The department of Children and
  349  Family Services shall adopt rules necessary to administer carry
  350  out the provisions of this section.
  351         Section 4. Paragraph (g) of subsection (1) of section
  352  429.14, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  353         429.14 Administrative penalties.—
  354         (1) In addition to the requirements of part II of chapter
  355  408, the agency may deny, revoke, and suspend any license issued
  356  under this part and impose an administrative fine in the manner
  357  provided in chapter 120 against a licensee of an assisted living
  358  facility for a violation of any provision of this part, part II
  359  of chapter 408, or applicable rules, or for any of the following
  360  actions by a licensee of an assisted living facility, for the
  361  actions of any person subject to level 2 background screening
  362  under s. 408.809, or for the actions of any facility employee:
  363         (g) A determination that an employee, volunteer,
  364  administrator, or owner, or person who otherwise has access to
  365  the residents of a facility does not meet the criteria specified
  366  in s. 435.03(2), and the owner or administrator has not taken
  367  action to remove the person. Exemptions from disqualification
  368  may be granted as set forth in s. 435.07. However, the agency
  369  may not grant an exemption if the person has a record of a
  370  felony or misdemeanor conviction for an offense of a violent or
  371  sexual nature against a child or a vulnerable adult. If the
  372  results of the screening show any disqualifying offense as set
  373  forth in chapter 435, the facility may not hire that person
  374  until the person has applied for an exemption from
  375  disqualification and has been granted an exemption by the
  376  licensing agency. No administrative action may be taken against
  377  the facility if the person is granted an exemption.
  378         Section 5. Section 429.174, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  379  read:
  380         429.174 Background screening; exemptions.—The owner or
  381  administrator of an assisted living facility must conduct level
  382  1 background screening, as set forth in chapter 435, on all
  383  employees hired on or after October 1, 1998, who perform
  384  personal services as defined in s. 429.02(16). The owner or
  385  administrator of an assisted living facility must report the
  386  results of the screening to the licensing agency before a person
  387  may be employed at the assisted living facility. If the results
  388  of the screening show any disqualifying offense as set forth in
  389  chapter 435, the facility may not hire that person until the
  390  person has applied for an exemption from disqualification and
  391  has been granted an exemption by the agency. The agency may
  392  exempt a person an individual from employment disqualification
  393  as set forth in chapter 435; however, the agency may not grant
  394  an exemption if the person has a record of a felony or
  395  misdemeanor conviction for an offense of a violent or sexual
  396  nature against a child or a vulnerable adult. Except as
  397  otherwise provided in this section, a person Such persons shall
  398  be considered as having met the this requirement for an
  399  exemption if:
  400         (1) Proof of compliance with level 1 screening requirements
  401  obtained to meet any professional license requirements in this
  402  state is provided and accompanied, under penalty of perjury, by
  403  a copy of the person’s current professional license and an
  404  affidavit of current compliance with the background screening
  405  requirements.
  406         (2) The person required to be screened has been
  407  continuously employed in the same type of occupation for which
  408  the person is seeking employment without a breach in service
  409  which exceeds 180 days, and proof of compliance with the level 1
  410  screening requirement which is no more than 2 years old is
  411  provided. Proof of compliance shall be provided directly from
  412  one employer or contractor to another, and not from the person
  413  screened. Upon request, a copy of screening results shall be
  414  provided by the employer retaining documentation of the
  415  screening to the person screened.
  416         (3) The person required to be screened is employed by a
  417  corporation or business entity or related corporation or
  418  business entity that owns, operates, or manages more than one
  419  facility or agency licensed under this chapter, and for whom a
  420  level 1 screening was conducted by the corporation or business
  421  entity as a condition of initial or continued employment.
  422         Section 6. Paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (1) and
  423  subsection (3) of section 435.05, Florida Statutes, are amended
  424  to read:
  425         435.05 Requirements for covered employees.—Except as
  426  otherwise provided by law, the following requirements shall
  427  apply to covered employees:
  428         (1)(a) Every person employed in a position for which
  429  employment screening is required must, within 5 working days
  430  after starting to work, submit to the employer a complete set of
  431  information necessary to conduct a screening under this section.
  432  The owner or administrator of a child care facility or an
  433  assisted living facility must report the results of the
  434  screening to the licensing agency before a person may be
  435  employed at the facility. If the results of the screening show
  436  any disqualifying offense as set forth in this chapter, the
  437  facility may not hire that person until the person has applied
  438  for an exemption from disqualification and has been granted an
  439  exemption by the licensing agency.
  440         (c) For level 2 screening, the employer or licensing agency
  441  must submit the information necessary for screening to the
  442  Florida Department of Law Enforcement within 5 working days
  443  after receiving it. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  444  will conduct a search of its criminal and juvenile records and
  445  will request that the Federal Bureau of Investigation conduct a
  446  search of its records for each employee for whom the request is
  447  made. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will respond to
  448  the employer or licensing agency, and the employer or licensing
  449  agency will inform the employee whether screening has revealed
  450  disqualifying information. The owner or administrator of a child
  451  care facility or an assisted living facility must report the
  452  results of the screening to the agency before a person may be
  453  employed at the facility. If the results of the screening show
  454  any disqualifying offense as set forth in this chapter, the
  455  facility may not hire that person until the person has applied
  456  for an exemption from disqualification and has been granted an
  457  exemption by the licensing agency.
  458         (3) Each employer required to conduct level 2 background
  459  screening must sign an affidavit annually or at the time of
  460  license renewal, under penalty of perjury, stating that all
  461  covered employees have been screened or are newly hired and are
  462  awaiting the results of the required screening checks, except
  463  that the employer must report the results of the screening to
  464  the licensing agency before a person may be employed at a child
  465  care facility or an assisted living facility. If the results of
  466  the screening show any disqualifying offense as set forth in
  467  this chapter, the facility may not hire that person until the
  468  person has applied for an exemption from disqualification and
  469  has been granted an exemption by the licensing agency.
  470         Section 7. Section 435.07, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  471  read:
  472         435.07 Exemptions from disqualification.—Unless otherwise
  473  provided by law, the provisions of this section shall apply to
  474  exemptions from disqualification.
  475         (1) For any employee otherwise disqualified from
  476  employment, the appropriate licensing agency may grant, deny, or
  477  revoke a general, limited, or conditional to any employee
  478  otherwise disqualified from employment an exemption from
  479  disqualification for:
  480         (a) Felonies committed more than 5 3 years prior to the
  481  date of disqualification for which the employee or applicant was
  482  adjudicated and has completed the terms and conditions of the
  483  sentence imposed;
  484         (b) Misdemeanors prohibited under any of the Florida
  485  Statutes cited in this chapter or under similar statutes of
  486  other jurisdictions;
  487         (c) Offenses that were felonies when committed but are now
  488  misdemeanors;
  489         (d) Findings of delinquency; or
  490         (e) Commissions of acts of domestic violence as defined in
  491  s. 741.30.
  492  
  493  For the purposes of this subsection, the term “felonies” means
  494  both felonies prohibited under any of the Florida Statutes cited
  495  in this chapter or under similar statutes of other
  496  jurisdictions.
  497         (2) Persons employed by or who have applied for employment
  498  with treatment providers who treat adolescents 13 years of age
  499  and older who are disqualified from employment solely because of
  500  crimes under s. 817.563, s. 893.13, or s. 893.147 may be
  501  exempted from disqualification from employment pursuant to this
  502  section without the 5-year 3-year waiting period.
  503         (3) In order for a licensing agency department to grant an
  504  exemption to any employee, the employee must demonstrate by
  505  clear and convincing evidence that the employee should not be
  506  disqualified from employment. Employees seeking an exemption
  507  have the burden of setting forth sufficient evidence of
  508  rehabilitation, including, but not limited to, the circumstances
  509  surrounding the criminal incident for which an exemption is
  510  sought, the time period that has elapsed since the incident, the
  511  nature of the harm caused to the victim, and the history of the
  512  employee since the incident, or any other evidence or
  513  circumstances indicating that the employee will not present a
  514  danger if continued employment is allowed. A licensing agency
  515  may not consider an application for an exemption from
  516  disqualification for a person seeking employment at a child care
  517  facility or an assisted living facility until 5 years after the
  518  completion of the terms and conditions of a sentence imposed,
  519  whether served during actual imprisonment, probation, or parole.
  520  The decision of the licensing agency department regarding an
  521  exemption may be contested through the hearing procedures set
  522  forth in chapter 120.
  523         (4) Disqualification from employment under subsection (1)
  524  may not be removed from, nor may an exemption be granted to, any
  525  personnel who is found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or
  526  who has entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, any
  527  felony covered by s. 435.03 solely by reason of any pardon,
  528  executive clemency, or restoration of civil rights.
  529         (5) Exemptions granted by one licensing agency shall be
  530  considered by subsequent licensing agencies, but are not binding
  531  on the subsequent licensing agency.
  532         (6) A licensing agency may adopt rules for the imposition
  533  of conditions upon and the review or revocation of individual
  534  exemptions from disqualification.
  535         (7) A licensing agency may retain fingerprints submitted by
  536  criminal and noncriminal justice agencies to the agency for a
  537  criminal history background screening as provided by rule.
  538         (8) The licensing agency shall review an exemption from
  539  disqualification granted under this section every 3 years, at a
  540  minimum, after the date upon which the exemption was granted to
  541  ensure that the rehabilitation is still effective and that there
  542  have been no additional disqualifying offenses.
  543         (9) The licensing agency shall immediately revoke an
  544  employee’s exemption from disqualification upon a determination
  545  that the employee committed an additional disqualifying offense.
  546         (10) Any licensing agency that grants an exemption from
  547  disqualification for employment may adopt rules necessary for
  548  the implementation of this section.
  549         Section 8. Section 402.30501, Florida Statutes, is amended
  550  to read:
  551         402.30501 Modification of introductory child care course
  552  for community college credit authorized.—The Department of
  553  Children and Family Services may modify the 40-clock-hour
  554  introductory course in child care under s. 402.305 or s.
  555  402.3131 to meet the requirements of articulating the course to
  556  community college credit. Any modification must continue to
  557  provide that the course satisfies the requirements of s.
  558  402.305(2)(c)(d).
  559         Section 9. Paragraph (d) of subsection (5) of section
  560  411.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  561         411.01 School readiness programs; early learning
  562  coalitions.—
  563         (5) CREATION OF EARLY LEARNING COALITIONS.—
  564         (d) Implementation.—
  565         1. An early learning coalition may not implement the school
  566  readiness program until the coalition is authorized through
  567  approval of the coalition’s school readiness plan by the Agency
  568  for Workforce Innovation.
  569         2. Each early learning coalition shall develop a plan for
  570  implementing the school readiness program to meet the
  571  requirements of this section and the performance standards and
  572  outcome measures adopted by the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
  573  The plan must demonstrate how the program will ensure that each
  574  3-year-old and 4-year-old child in a publicly funded school
  575  readiness program receives scheduled activities and instruction
  576  designed to enhance the age-appropriate progress of the children
  577  in attaining the performance standards adopted by the Agency for
  578  Workforce Innovation under subparagraph (4)(d)8. Before
  579  implementing the school readiness program, the early learning
  580  coalition must submit the plan to the Agency for Workforce
  581  Innovation for approval. The Agency for Workforce Innovation may
  582  approve the plan, reject the plan, or approve the plan with
  583  conditions. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall review
  584  school readiness plans at least annually.
  585         3. If the Agency for Workforce Innovation determines during
  586  the annual review of school readiness plans, or through
  587  monitoring and performance evaluations conducted under paragraph
  588  (4)(l), that an early learning coalition has not substantially
  589  implemented its plan, has not substantially met the performance
  590  standards and outcome measures adopted by the agency, or has not
  591  effectively administered the school readiness program or
  592  Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, the Agency for
  593  Workforce Innovation may dissolve the coalition and temporarily
  594  contract with a qualified entity to continue school readiness
  595  and prekindergarten services in the coalition’s county or
  596  multicounty region until the coalition is reestablished through
  597  resubmission of a school readiness plan and approval by the
  598  agency.
  599         4. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt criteria
  600  for the approval of school readiness plans. The criteria must be
  601  consistent with the performance standards and outcome measures
  602  adopted by the agency and must require each approved plan to
  603  include the following minimum standards and provisions:
  604         a. A sliding fee scale establishing a copayment for parents
  605  based upon their ability to pay, which is the same for all
  606  program providers, to be implemented and reflected in each
  607  program’s budget.
  608         b. A choice of settings and locations in licensed,
  609  registered, religious-exempt, or school-based programs to be
  610  provided to parents.
  611         c. Instructional staff who have completed the training
  612  course as required in s. 402.305(2)(c)(d)1., as well as staff
  613  who have additional training or credentials as required by the
  614  Agency for Workforce Innovation. The plan must provide a method
  615  for assuring the qualifications of all personnel in all program
  616  settings.
  617         d. Specific eligibility priorities for children within the
  618  early learning coalition’s county or multicounty region in
  619  accordance with subsection (6).
  620         e. Performance standards and outcome measures adopted by
  621  the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
  622         f. Payment rates adopted by the early learning coalition
  623  and approved by the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Payment
  624  rates may not have the effect of limiting parental choice or
  625  creating standards or levels of services that have not been
  626  authorized by the Legislature.
  627         g. Systems support services, including a central agency,
  628  child care resource and referral, eligibility determinations,
  629  training of providers, and parent support and involvement.
  630         h. Direct enhancement services to families and children.
  631  System support and direct enhancement services shall be in
  632  addition to payments for the placement of children in school
  633  readiness programs.
  634         i. The business organization of the early learning
  635  coalition, which must include the coalition’s articles of
  636  incorporation and bylaws if the coalition is organized as a
  637  corporation. If the coalition is not organized as a corporation
  638  or other business entity, the plan must include the contract
  639  with a fiscal agent. An early learning coalition may contract
  640  with other coalitions to achieve efficiency in multicounty
  641  services, and these contracts may be part of the coalition’s
  642  school readiness plan.
  643         j. Strategies to meet the needs of unique populations, such
  644  as migrant workers.
  645  
  646  As part of the school readiness plan, the early learning
  647  coalition may request the Governor to apply for a waiver to
  648  allow the coalition to administer the Head Start Program to
  649  accomplish the purposes of the school readiness program. If a
  650  school readiness plan demonstrates that specific statutory goals
  651  can be achieved more effectively by using procedures that
  652  require modification of existing rules, policies, or procedures,
  653  a request for a waiver to the Agency for Workforce Innovation
  654  may be submitted as part of the plan. Upon review, the Agency
  655  for Workforce Innovation may grant the proposed modification.
  656         5. Persons with an early childhood teaching certificate may
  657  provide support and supervision to other staff in the school
  658  readiness program.
  659         6. An early learning coalition may not implement its school
  660  readiness plan until it submits the plan to and receives
  661  approval from the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Once the plan
  662  is approved, the plan and the services provided under the plan
  663  shall be controlled by the early learning coalition. The plan
  664  shall be reviewed and revised as necessary, but at least
  665  biennially. An early learning coalition may not implement the
  666  revisions until the coalition submits the revised plan to and
  667  receives approval from the Agency for Workforce Innovation. If
  668  the Agency for Workforce Innovation rejects a revised plan, the
  669  coalition must continue to operate under its prior approved
  670  plan.
  671         7. Sections 125.901(2)(a)3., 411.221, and 411.232 do not
  672  apply to an early learning coalition with an approved school
  673  readiness plan. To facilitate innovative practices and to allow
  674  the regional establishment of school readiness programs, an
  675  early learning coalition may apply to the Governor and Cabinet
  676  for a waiver of, and the Governor and Cabinet may waive, any of
  677  the provisions of ss. 411.223, 411.232, and 1003.54, if the
  678  waiver is necessary for implementation of the coalition’s school
  679  readiness plan.
  680         8. Two or more counties may join for purposes of planning
  681  and implementing a school readiness program.
  682         9. An early learning coalition may, subject to approval by
  683  the Agency for Workforce Innovation as part of the coalition’s
  684  school readiness plan, receive subsidized child care funds for
  685  all children eligible for any federal subsidized child care
  686  program.
  687         10. An early learning coalition may enter into multiparty
  688  contracts with multicounty service providers in order to meet
  689  the needs of unique populations such as migrant workers.
  690         Section 10. Paragraphs (c) and (g) of subsection (3) of
  691  section 1002.55, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  692         1002.55 School-year prekindergarten program delivered by
  693  private prekindergarten providers.—
  694         (3) To be eligible to deliver the prekindergarten program,
  695  a private prekindergarten provider must meet each of the
  696  following requirements:
  697         (c) The private prekindergarten provider must have, for
  698  each prekindergarten class, at least one prekindergarten
  699  instructor who meets each of the following requirements:
  700         1. The prekindergarten instructor must hold, at a minimum,
  701  one of the following credentials:
  702         a. A child development associate credential issued by the
  703  National Credentialing Program of the Council for Professional
  704  Recognition; or
  705         b. A credential approved by the Department of Children and
  706  Family Services as being equivalent to or greater than the
  707  credential described in sub-subparagraph a.
  708  
  709  The Department of Children and Family Services may adopt rules
  710  under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 which provide criteria and
  711  procedures for approving equivalent credentials under sub
  712  subparagraph b.
  713         2. The prekindergarten instructor must successfully
  714  complete an emergent literacy training course approved by the
  715  department as meeting or exceeding the minimum standards adopted
  716  under s. 1002.59. This subparagraph does not apply to a
  717  prekindergarten instructor who successfully completes approved
  718  training in early literacy and language development under s.
  719  402.305(2)(c)(d)5., s. 402.313(6), or s. 402.3131(5) before the
  720  establishment of one or more emergent literacy training courses
  721  under s. 1002.59 or April 1, 2005, whichever occurs later.
  722         (g) Before the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year, the
  723  private prekindergarten provider must have a prekindergarten
  724  director who has a prekindergarten director credential that is
  725  approved by the department as meeting or exceeding the minimum
  726  standards adopted under s. 1002.57. Successful completion of a
  727  child care facility director credential under s.
  728  402.305(2)(e)(f) before the establishment of the prekindergarten
  729  director credential under s. 1002.57 or July 1, 2006, whichever
  730  occurs later, satisfies the requirement for a prekindergarten
  731  director credential under this paragraph.
  732         Section 11. Subsections (3) and (4) of section 1002.57,
  733  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  734         1002.57 Prekindergarten director credential.—
  735         (3) The prekindergarten director credential must meet or
  736  exceed the requirements of the Department of Children and Family
  737  Services for the child care facility director credential under
  738  s. 402.305(2)(e)(f), and successful completion of the
  739  prekindergarten director credential satisfies these requirements
  740  for the child care facility director credential.
  741         (4) The department shall, to the maximum extent
  742  practicable, award credit to a person who successfully completes
  743  the child care facility director credential under s.
  744  402.305(2)(e)(f) for those requirements of the prekindergarten
  745  director credential which are duplicative of requirements for
  746  the child care facility director credential.
  747         Section 12. Section 1002.59, Florida Statutes, is amended
  748  to read:
  749         1002.59 Emergent literacy training courses.—By April 1,
  750  2005, the department shall adopt minimum standards for one or
  751  more training courses in emergent literacy for prekindergarten
  752  instructors. Each course must comprise 5 clock hours and provide
  753  instruction in strategies and techniques to address the age
  754  appropriate progress of prekindergarten students in developing
  755  emergent literacy skills, including oral communication,
  756  knowledge of print and letters, phonemic and phonological
  757  awareness, and vocabulary and comprehension development. Each
  758  course must also provide resources containing strategies that
  759  allow students with disabilities and other special needs to
  760  derive maximum benefit from the Voluntary Prekindergarten
  761  Education Program. Successful completion of an emergent literacy
  762  training course approved under this section satisfies
  763  requirements for approved training in early literacy and
  764  language development under ss. 402.305(2)(c)(d)5., 402.313(6),
  765  and 402.3131(5).
  766         Section 13. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  767  made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in a
  768  reference thereto, subsection (3) of section 402.302, Florida
  769  Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  770         402.302 Definitions.—
  771         (3) “Child care personnel” means all owners, operators,
  772  employees, and volunteers working in a child care facility. The
  773  term does not include persons who work in a child care facility
  774  after hours when children are not present or parents of children
  775  in Head Start. For purposes of screening, the term includes any
  776  member, over the age of 12 years, of a child care facility
  777  operator’s family, or person, over the age of 12 years, residing
  778  with a child care facility operator if the child care facility
  779  is located in or adjacent to the home of the operator or if the
  780  family member of, or person residing with, the child care
  781  facility operator has any direct contact with the children in
  782  the facility during its hours of operation. Members of the
  783  operator’s family or persons residing with the operator who are
  784  between the ages of 12 years and 18 years shall not be required
  785  to be fingerprinted but shall be screened for delinquency
  786  records. For purposes of screening, the term shall also include
  787  persons who work in child care programs which provide care for
  788  children 15 hours or more each week in public or nonpublic
  789  schools, summer day camps, family day care homes, or those
  790  programs otherwise exempted under s. 402.316. The term does not
  791  include public or nonpublic school personnel who are providing
  792  care during regular school hours, or after hours for activities
  793  related to a school’s program for grades kindergarten through
  794  12. A volunteer who assists on an intermittent basis for less
  795  than 40 hours per month is not included in the term “personnel”
  796  for the purposes of screening and training, provided that the
  797  volunteer is under direct and constant supervision by persons
  798  who meet the personnel requirements of s. 402.305(2). Students
  799  who observe and participate in a child care facility as a part
  800  of their required coursework shall not be considered child care
  801  personnel, provided such observation and participation are on an
  802  intermittent basis and the students are under direct and
  803  constant supervision of child care personnel.
  804         Section 14. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  805  made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in
  806  references thereto, paragraphs (b), (d), and (g) of subsection
  807  (2) of section 402.3055, Florida Statutes, are reenacted to
  808  read:
  809         402.3055 Child care personnel requirements.—
  810         (2) EXCLUSION FROM OWNING, OPERATING, OR BEING EMPLOYED BY
  811  A CHILD CARE FACILITY OR OTHER CHILD CARE PROGRAM; HEARINGS
  812  PROVIDED.—
  813         (b) When the department or the local licensing agency has
  814  reasonable cause to believe that grounds for denial or
  815  termination of employment exist, it shall notify, in writing,
  816  the applicant, licensee, or other child care program and the
  817  child care personnel affected, stating the specific record which
  818  indicates noncompliance with the standards in s. 402.305(2).
  819         (d) When a local licensing agency is the agency initiating
  820  the statement regarding noncompliance of an employee with the
  821  standards contained in s. 402.305(2), the employee, applicant,
  822  licensee, or other child care program has 15 days from the time
  823  of written notification of the agency’s finding to make a
  824  written request for a hearing. If a request for a hearing is not
  825  received in that time, the permanent employee, applicant,
  826  licensee, or other child care program is presumed to accept the
  827  finding.
  828         (g) Refusal on the part of an applicant or licensee to
  829  dismiss child care personnel who have been found to be in
  830  noncompliance with personnel standards of s. 402.305(2) shall
  831  result in automatic denial or revocation of the license in
  832  addition to any other remedies pursued by the department or
  833  local licensing agency.
  834         Section 15. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  835  made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in a
  836  reference thereto, section 402.3057, Florida Statutes, is
  837  reenacted to read:
  838         402.3057 Persons not required to be refingerprinted or
  839  rescreened.—Any provision of law to the contrary
  840  notwithstanding, human resource personnel who have been
  841  fingerprinted or screened pursuant to chapters 393, 394, 397,
  842  402, and 409, and teachers and noninstructional personnel who
  843  have been fingerprinted pursuant to chapter 1012, who have not
  844  been unemployed for more than 90 days thereafter, and who under
  845  the penalty of perjury attest to the completion of such
  846  fingerprinting or screening and to compliance with the
  847  provisions of this section and the standards for good moral
  848  character as contained in such provisions as ss. 110.1127(3),
  849  393.0655(1), 394.457(6), 397.451, 402.305(2), and 409.175(6),
  850  shall not be required to be refingerprinted or rescreened in
  851  order to comply with any caretaker screening or fingerprinting
  852  requirements.
  853         Section 16. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  854  made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in
  855  references thereto, paragraph (d) of subsection (3) and
  856  paragraph (d) of subsection (4) of section 402.308, Florida
  857  Statutes, are reenacted to read:
  858         402.308 Issuance of license.—
  859         (3) STATE ADMINISTRATION OF LICENSING.—In any county in
  860  which the department has the authority to issue licenses, the
  861  following procedures shall be applied:
  862         (d) The department shall issue or renew a license upon
  863  receipt of the license fee and upon being satisfied that all
  864  standards required by ss. 402.301-402.319 have been met. A
  865  license may be issued if all the screening materials have been
  866  timely submitted; however, a license may not be issued or
  867  renewed if any of the child care personnel at the applicant
  868  facility have failed the screening required by ss. 402.305(2)
  869  and 402.3055.
  870         (4) LOCAL ADMINISTRATION OF LICENSING.—In any county in
  871  which there is a local licensing agency approved by the
  872  department, the following procedures shall apply:
  873         (d) The local licensing agency shall issue a license or
  874  renew a license upon being satisfied that all standards required
  875  by ss. 402.301-402.319 have been met. A license may be issued or
  876  renewed if all the screening materials have been timely
  877  submitted; however, the local licensing agency shall not issue
  878  or renew a license if any of the child care personnel at the
  879  applicant facility have failed the screening required by ss.
  880  402.305(2) and 402.3055.
  881         Section 17. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  882  made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in a
  883  reference thereto, subsection (3) of section 402.313, Florida
  884  Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  885         402.313 Family day care homes.—
  886         (3) Child care personnel in family day care homes shall be
  887  subject to the applicable screening provisions contained in ss.
  888  402.305(2) and 402.3055. For purposes of screening in family day
  889  care homes, the term includes any member over the age of 12
  890  years of a family day care home operator’s family, or persons
  891  over the age of 12 years residing with the operator in the
  892  family day care home. Members of the operator’s family, or
  893  persons residing with the operator, who are between the ages of
  894  12 years and 18 years shall not be required to be fingerprinted,
  895  but shall be screened for delinquency records.
  896         Section 18. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  897  made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in a
  898  reference thereto, subsection (2) of section 402.3131, Florida
  899  Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  900         402.3131 Large family child care homes.—
  901         (2) Child care personnel in large family child care homes
  902  shall be subject to the applicable screening provisions
  903  contained in ss. 402.305(2) and 402.3055. For purposes of
  904  screening child care personnel in large family child care homes,
  905  the term “child care personnel” includes any member of a large
  906  family child care home operator’s family 12 years of age or
  907  older, or any person 12 years of age or older residing with the
  908  operator in the large family child care home. Members of the
  909  operator’s family, or persons residing with the operator, who
  910  are between the ages of 12 years and 18 years, inclusive, shall
  911  not be required to be fingerprinted, but shall be screened for
  912  delinquency records.
  913         Section 19. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  914  made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in a
  915  reference thereto, section 409.1757, Florida Statutes, is
  916  reenacted to read:
  917         409.1757 Persons not required to be refingerprinted or
  918  rescreened.—Any provision of law to the contrary
  919  notwithstanding, human resource personnel who have been
  920  fingerprinted or screened pursuant to chapters 393, 394, 397,
  921  402, and this chapter, and teachers who have been fingerprinted
  922  pursuant to chapter 1012, who have not been unemployed for more
  923  than 90 days thereafter, and who under the penalty of perjury
  924  attest to the completion of such fingerprinting or screening and
  925  to compliance with the provisions of this section and the
  926  standards for good moral character as contained in such
  927  provisions as ss. 110.1127(3), 393.0655(1), 394.457(6), 397.451,
  928  402.305(2), and 409.175(6), shall not be required to be
  929  refingerprinted or rescreened in order to comply with any
  930  caretaker screening or fingerprinting requirements.
  931         Section 20. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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