Even though state licensing visits are a necessary aspect of the childcare sector, as a childcare provider, state licensing visits can be nerve-wracking and stressful, especially if your document organization could use a little TLC.
Not to worry, though! Getting yourself sorted ahead of time and being proactive about your organization’s processes is the first step to being more prepared for a visit and to have better peace of mind leading up to one. With that in mind, here’s how to prepare for state licensing visits.
Be Up To Date With Rules And Regulations
Child care licensing visits are designed to ensure safe and healthy child care by examining many facets of the child care facility and operations. While it can be a bit overwhelming to prepare for a visit, there are some simple steps that you can take to make the process easier on yourself and your team.
Your first step in learning how to prepare for a state child care licensing visit is to brush up on child care rules and regulations. Depending on where your child care business operates, you will want to be sure to review the rules and regulations particular to your state. For example, Colorado’s Rules & Regulations can be found on a combination of the state website, as well as the Colorado Office of Early Childhood.
Areas that are examined during a state licensing visit include:
- Environmental health and safety requirements, as well as equipment
- Policies and procedures at the facility
- Program for health and nutrition, including government food program documentation
- Playground and facility safety
- Child records including enrollment and attendance
- Employee records
Keep Your Paperwork Organized
When you are searching for how to prepare for a state licensing visit, a huge focus goes to your paperwork and documentation for a variety of aspects of your business.
While you could be going the traditional route with paper filing or simply desktop files, the best route is to use online software that is specific to the needs and parameters of child care organizations. Enter: Alliance CORE Child Care Management System.
Developed specifically for child care teams, Alliance CORE can help child care administrators and management ensure all documentation is kept, compliance standards are met and children receive the care they need.
In terms of preparing for a child care visit and specialists’ request for information, Alliance CORE can help child care administrators like yourself in these ways:
- Taxes: organize your bills, bank statements, stubs and payment records
- Accounting: more specifically, receipts and papers that are stored in an organized fashion within a designated, secure place
- Day-to-day admin: tracking attendance, meals, parent payments and more.
The time and effort you invest in learning how to prepare for a state licensing visit pays dividends in the long run, and even more so when you take the time to set up an organization system for your most important records. Having documents within taxes, accounting and the day-to-day that are organized and easily accessible means that your state licensing visit will be far less intimidating and much more seamless.
Ensure Staff Records Are Well Organized
During the state licensing visit, employee records will be checked, which includes their appropriate certification, licensing, and other mandatory qualifications. As a result, it’s important to ensure that your staff records are well-organized and easy to reference.
Prepare And Show Required Documentation
During the state licensing visit, the process ensures that the specialist checks a variety of documentation and aspects of your facility. This includes checking for the following:
- Employee records, including certifications and licensing
- Child attendance records
- Child care facility calendar
- Waiting list
- Enrollment forms
- Immunization records
- Medical information
- Food program paperwork
Alliance CORE, specialized software that is designed for child care providers, tracks all these items seamlessly and makes it easy for you to confidently pull all your records up for a state licensing visit.
What Happens If The Licensing Specialist Finds Problems?
It’s not uncommon for licensing specialists to have some minor issues with your child care licensing requirements. In this case, the licensing specialist will assign the child care provider with a list of areas to improve upon. With this list, of course, comes the expectation of a follow-up and a deadline for these adjustments to the child care to be made.
If this is the case, child care management software, Alliance CORE, can assist in making the improvements as easy to track and execute as possible. Features that many Alliance CORE child care providers enjoy when it's time to track facility improvements include childcare-specific timeframes for providers to make changes:
- 90 days for a new license application
- 45 days for license renewal or other inspections
- Less than 30 days for more serious violations
Improving organization ahead of time and staying organized after a visit can make the difference in how easy it is to make the necessary improvements to your child care facility.
Set Yourself Up For Success
How do you prepare for a state licensing visit? If you’re asking this question, you’re already on your way to becoming prepared for a visit. It’s never too early to start preparing for a state visit, especially since they happen at least twice per year.
AllIance CORE has helped countless child care providers in becoming more organized and professional in their child care operations and management. The sole purpose of the Alliance CORE is to identify and streamline child care processes and create an intuitive platform for documentation and record-keeping.
Features of Alliance CORE:
- Record Keeping
- Track Attendance
- Child Care Licensing Compliance
- Enrollment Management
- Tuition Invoicing
- Payment Tracking
- And Much More!
Alliance CORE is designed to bring accuracy, time savings, and ease of use to your child care operations and management. In the end, a child care management system frees up more time for you to engage with the aspect of your business that matters most: the children.
Are you looking for more child care management information? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Child Care Management.
Our child care management system makes running your child care program simple and efficient. Get back to what's most important. You shouldn't have to spend more time on the administrative tasks than you do with children and staff.
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Do you run an early childhood association made up of child care providers? If so, check out our Ultimate Guide to Shared Service Alliance.
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