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Senate Bill 1968

Senate Bill sb1968

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1968

    By Senator Wasserman Schultz





    34-1510-04                                              See HB

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to child care facilities;

  3         amending s. 402.281, F.S.; revising the

  4         development of Gold Seal Quality Care program

  5         standards; allowing the Department of Children

  6         and Family Services to adopt standards and

  7         procedures by rule; amending s. 402.305, F.S.;

  8         excluding certain child care personnel from

  9         certain training requirements; adding minimum

10         education requirements for child care

11         personnel; amending s. 402.313, F.S.; revising

12         information provided by family day care homes

13         for registration; requiring operator

14         substitutes to complete a specified course in

15         child care prior to caring for children;

16         providing an effective date.

17  

18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

19  

20         Section 1.  Section 402.281, Florida Statutes, is

21  amended to read:

22         402.281  Gold Seal Quality Care program.--

23         (1)  Child care facilities, large family child care

24  homes, or family day care homes that are accredited by a

25  national nationally recognized accrediting association whose

26  standards and renewal requirements substantially meet or

27  exceed those of the National Association for the Education of

28  Young Children (NAEYC), the National Association of Family

29  Child Care, and the National Early Childhood Program

30  Accreditation Commission shall receive a separate "Gold Seal

31  Quality Care" designation to operate as a gold seal child care

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1968
    34-1510-04                                              See HB




 1  facility, large family child care home, or family day care

 2  home.

 3         (2)  In developing the Gold Seal Quality Care program

 4  standards and approving the accrediting associations, the

 5  department shall:

 6         (a)  Provide for a selection of high-quality

 7  accrediting associations that adequately reflect the diversity

 8  of the full range of child care providers while maintaining

 9  the integrity and manageability of the program.

10         (b)  Consult with the Florida Partnership for School

11  Readiness, the Department of Education, the Florida Head Start

12  Directors Association, the Florida Association of Child Care

13  Management, the Florida Family Day Care Association, the

14  Florida Children's Forum, the State Coordinating Council for

15  School Readiness Programs, the Early Childhood Association of

16  Florida, the National Association for Child Development

17  Education, providers receiving exemptions under s. 402.316,

18  and parents, for the purpose of approving the accrediting

19  associations.

20         (3)  The department may, by rule, adopt standards and

21  procedures necessary for the implementation of the program.

22         Section 2.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) and

23  subsection (3) of section 402.305, Florida Statutes, are

24  amended, and paragraph (g) is added to subsection (2) of that

25  section, to read:

26         402.305  Licensing standards; child care facilities.--

27         (2)  PERSONNEL.--Minimum standards for child care

28  personnel shall include minimum requirements as to:

29         (d)  Minimum training requirements for child care

30  personnel.

31  

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1968
    34-1510-04                                              See HB




 1         1.  Such minimum standards for training shall ensure

 2  that all child care personnel take an approved 40-clock-hour

 3  introductory course in child care, which course covers at

 4  least the following topic areas:

 5         a.  State and local rules and regulations which govern

 6  child care.

 7         b.  Health, safety, and nutrition.

 8         c.  Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.

 9         d.  Child development, including typical and atypical

10  language, cognitive, motor, social, and self-help skills

11  development.

12         e.  Observation of developmental behaviors, including

13  using a checklist or other similar observation tools and

14  techniques to determine the child's developmental age level.

15         f.  Specialized areas, including computer technology

16  for professional and classroom use and early literacy and

17  language development of children from birth to 5 years of age,

18  as determined by the department, for owner-operators and child

19  care personnel of a child care facility.

20  

21  Within 90 days after employment, child care personnel shall

22  begin training to meet the training requirements. Child care

23  personnel shall successfully complete such training within 1

24  year after the date on which the training began, as evidenced

25  by passage of a competency examination. Successful completion

26  of the 40-clock-hour introductory course shall articulate into

27  community college credit in early childhood education,

28  pursuant to ss. 1007.24 and 1007.25. Exemption from all or a

29  portion of the required training shall be granted to child

30  care personnel based upon educational credentials or passage

31  of competency examinations. Child care personnel possessing a

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1968
    34-1510-04                                              See HB




 1  2-year degree or higher that includes 6 college credit hours

 2  in early childhood development or child growth and

 3  development, or a child development associate credential or an

 4  equivalent state-approved child development associate

 5  credential, or a child development associate waiver

 6  certificate shall be automatically exempted from the training

 7  requirements in sub-subparagraphs b., d., and e.

 8         2.  The introductory course in child care shall stress,

 9  to the extent possible, an interdisciplinary approach to the

10  study of children.

11         3.  On an annual basis in order to further their child

12  care skills and, if appropriate, administrative skills, child

13  care personnel who have fulfilled the requirements for the

14  child care training shall be required to take an additional 1

15  continuing education unit of approved inservice training, or

16  10 clock hours of equivalent training, as determined by the

17  department.

18         4.  Child care personnel, except those employed in

19  facilities that serve only children in kindergarten and above,

20  shall be required to complete 0.5 continuing education unit of

21  approved training or 5 clock hours of equivalent training, as

22  determined by the department, in early literacy and language

23  development of children from birth to 5 years of age one time.

24  The year that this training is completed, it shall fulfill the

25  0.5 continuing education unit or 5 clock hours of the annual

26  training required in subparagraph 3.

27         5.  Procedures for ensuring the training of qualified

28  child care professionals to provide training of child care

29  personnel, including onsite training, shall be included in the

30  minimum standards. It is recommended that the state community

31  child care coordination agencies (central agencies) be

                                  4

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1968
    34-1510-04                                              See HB




 1  contracted by the department to coordinate such training when

 2  possible. Other district educational resources, such as

 3  community colleges and vocational-technical programs, can be

 4  designated in such areas where central agencies may not exist

 5  or are determined not to have the capability to meet the

 6  coordination requirements set forth by the department.

 7         6.  Training requirements shall not apply to certain

 8  occasional or part-time support staff, including, but not

 9  limited to, swimming instructors, piano teachers, dance

10  instructors, and gymnastics instructors.

11         7.  The department shall evaluate or contract for an

12  evaluation for the general purpose of determining the status

13  of and means to improve staff training requirements and

14  testing procedures. The evaluation shall be conducted every 2

15  years. The evaluation shall include, but not be limited to,

16  determining the availability, quality, scope, and sources of

17  current staff training; determining the need for specialty

18  training; and determining ways to increase inservice training

19  and ways to increase the accessibility, quality, and

20  cost-effectiveness of current and proposed staff training. The

21  evaluation methodology shall include a reliable and valid

22  survey of child care personnel.

23         8.  The child care operator shall be required to take

24  basic training in serving children with disabilities within 5

25  years after employment, either as a part of the introductory

26  training or the annual 8 hours of inservice training.

27         (g)  Minimum education requirements for child care

28  personnel. Such minimum education standards shall prohibit a

29  person who has not obtained a high school diploma or high

30  school equivalency diploma pursuant to s. 1003.435 from being

31  

                                  5

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1968
    34-1510-04                                              See HB




 1  employed as child care personnel as defined in s. 402.302

 2  unless:

 3         1.  Such person is under direct supervision and is not

 4  counted for purposes of computing the child-to-staff ratio.

 5         2.  Such person is not serving in an instructional

 6  position and is not counted for purposes of computing the

 7  child-to-staff ratio.

 8         3.  Such person is employed in child care on July 1,

 9  2004, and has 10 or more years of documented experience

10  working with children in a child care setting or in a public

11  school between July 1, 1989, and July 1, 2004.

12  

13  Those child care personnel employed in child care on July 1,

14  2004, who do not possess the required education and who are

15  not exempted from such pursuant to subparagraphs 1.-3. shall

16  have until July 1, 2005, to obtain the required education or

17  shall be prohibited from employment as child care personnel

18  until such time as they are in compliance.

19         (3)  MINIMUM STAFF CREDENTIALS.--By July 1, 1996, For

20  every 20 children in a licensed child care facility, beginning

21  with the first child, if the facility operates 8 hours or more

22  per week, one of the child care personnel in the facility must

23  have:

24         (a)  A current child development associate credential;

25         (b)  A current child care professional credential,

26  unless the department determines that such child care

27  professional credential is not equivalent to or greater than a

28  child development associate credential; or

29         (c)  A current credential that is equivalent to or

30  greater than the credential required in paragraph (a) or

31  paragraph (b).

                                  6

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1968
    34-1510-04                                              See HB




 1  

 2  The department shall establish by rule those hours of

 3  operation, such as during rest periods and transitional

 4  periods, when this subsection does not apply.

 5         Section 3.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and

 6  subsection (4) of section 402.313, Florida Statutes, are

 7  amended to read:

 8         402.313  Family day care homes.--

 9         (1)  Family day care homes shall be licensed under this

10  act if they are presently being licensed under an existing

11  county licensing ordinance, if they are participating in the

12  subsidized child care program, or if the board of county

13  commissioners passes a resolution that family day care homes

14  be licensed. If no county authority exists for the licensing

15  of a family day care home, the department shall have the

16  authority to license family day care homes under contract for

17  the purchase-of-service system in the subsidized child care

18  program.

19         (a)  If not subject to license, family day care homes

20  shall register annually with the department, providing the

21  following information:

22         1.  The name and address of the home.

23         2.  The name of the operator.

24         3.  The number of children served.

25         4.  Proof of a written plan to provide at least one

26  other competent adult to act as the operator in his or her

27  absence and to be available to substitute for the operator in

28  an emergency. This plan shall include the name, address, and

29  telephone number of the designated substitute.

30  

31  

                                  7

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1968
    34-1510-04                                              See HB




 1         5.  Proof of screening and background checks for all

 2  persons subject to screening requirements, including

 3  substitutes, prior to caring for children.

 4         6.  Proof of successful completion of the 30-hour

 5  training course, as evidenced by passage of a competency

 6  examination, which shall include:

 7         a.  State and local rules and regulations that govern

 8  child care.

 9         b.  Health, safety, and nutrition.

10         c.  Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.

11         d.  Child development, including typical and atypical

12  language development; and cognitive, motor, social, and

13  self-help skills development.

14         e.  Observation of developmental behaviors, including

15  using a checklist or other similar observation tools and

16  techniques to determine a child's developmental level.

17         f.  Specialized areas, including early literacy and

18  language development of children from birth to 5 years of age,

19  as determined by the department, for owner-operators of family

20  day care homes.

21         7.  Proof that immunization records are kept current.

22         8.  Proof of completion of the required continuing

23  education units or clock hours.

24         (4)  Operators of family day care homes, and their

25  substitutes, must successfully complete an approved

26  30-clock-hour introductory course in child care, as evidenced

27  by passage of a competency examination, before caring for

28  children.

29         Section 4.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

30  

31  

                                  8

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