INDIANAPOLIS - Significant changes are on the way for more than 5,000 child care providers in Indiana.
The Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) Bureau of Child Care is taking on the task of notifying day cares of the new requirements, which go into effect Monday.
Starting Thursday, the agency will send emails to providers, followed up with an informational packet sent out next week.
“Throughout the month of June we’ll be offering teleconferences and webinars, so that providers can sign in and learn all about the new changes,” said Melanie Brizzi, administrator for FSSA’s Bureau of Child Care.
Under the new guidelines, all regulated child care providers must comply with national criminal background checks for employees and staff.
“The biggest change for all provider types is they’re going to be required to submit fingerprints for a national criminal history check,” Brizzi said.
The background check changes are a result of the passage of House Bill 1494, and will affect licensed centers, licensed homes, unlicensed registered ministries and unlicensed homes and unlicensed centers that are accepting CCDF funds, or federal vouchers.
Additionally, starting July 1, the 1,500 child care providers who accept CCDF taxpayer-funded vouchers will have to meet health and safety standards such as keeping medicines out of reach, hand washing, requiring supervisors be at least 18 years of age and safe sleeping practices for infants.
The new requirements are the result of Senate Bill 305, which applies to registered ministries, unlicensed homes and unlicensed centers taking CCDF funding.
Registered ministries, also known as church day cares, are not licensed by the state and currently only have to meet about 21 state standards.
Licensed centers currently have to meet nearly 200 health, safety and staffing regulations.
“If you’re attending an unlicensed provider, you probably will see some changes,” Brizzi said. “You may be asked to sign new forms, for example, there will be a requirement for a discipline policy that you’ll need to sign.”
Brizzi said parents need to read the provider’s discipline policy carefully and make sure they agree with the methods used by the provider.
The new guidelines also require day cares receiving CCDF funds to train employees and volunteers in child abuse prevention and detection, and keep a record of trainings for each individual.
Child care providers who transport children must also obtain a written permission slip from parents and anyone driving the children must be 18 years old with a valid driver’s license.
“You may be asked to sign new forms, for example, you may be asked to sign a field trip permission slip,” said Brizzi.
Brizzi said FSSA is pleased with the changes.
“Our goal is to keep children healthy and safe and we believe this takes very significant steps to do that,” Brizzi said. “Parents can be more confident so they can go to work and not have to worry.”
Providers who do not comply could lose their federal funding.
“If they do not come into compliance with the regulations, they will not be able to receive CCDF funding,” Brizzi said.
Click here to read more on the new regulations.
Click here to look up inspection reports on your child’s day care provider:
More FSSA links and information
This version will go to Legally Licensed Exempt Child Care Homes which take CCDF. Other categories of child care may see slightly different wording.