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Child Care

News and Announcements

New Providers Can Now Apply Online!

Apply online for a license using our CARES application. Use the guides listed below to help you through the application process. If you have questions regarding licensure requirements or the application process, please contact your Child Care Licensing Office.

-Posted 07/19/2021 -

SB252 - Vehicle Alarm Bill

Pursuant to Senate Bill 252, child care facilities and large family child care homes are required to install an alarm system in each vehicle used by the facility or home to transport children by Jan. 1, 2022.

The Office of Child Care Regulation will promulgate rules 65C-22 and 65C-20 for child care facilities and large child care homes to follow when choosing, installing, and maintaining a car alarm system. A list of approved alarm manufacturing companies will be made available on the website at . Child care programs that provide transportation will be required to use an alarm from this list to be installed in their vehicles.

Alarm manufacturing companies interested in being included on the list may provide their information via an online form: . This form is for alarm manufacturing companies only. Child care providers will be able to choose a car alarm from the resulting list once the list is available.

-Updated 07/27/2021 -

Five NEW Online Courses!

The Department of Children and Families’ Office of Child Care Regulation has developed five new courses. These online courses may be used for your in-service training requirements and CEUs may be earned.

  1. Building Relationships with Families (BRWF): The goal of the Building Relationships with Families course is to present examples of research- and evidence-based practices related to creating receptive, responsive, respectful, and reciprocal relationships with enrolled families.
  2. Developmentally Appropriate Classroom Management (DACM): The goal of the Developmentally Appropriate Classroom Management course is to provide early childhood professionals with classroom management strategies necessary to develop and enhance quality, positive behavioral supports for young children.
  3. Healthy Habits for Quality Child Care (HHCC): The goal the Supporting Diversity Awareness in ECE Programs course is to help child care professionals create a learning environment supporting diversity.
  4. Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder (UAS): The goal of the Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder course is to help early childhood educators understand these specific conditions and identify their early signs. It will also explain how to include children who have these conditions.

For more information on these new courses, visit our Training Alerts web page. To enroll in these new courses, log into your Child Care Training Student Account.

-Posted 07/07/2021 -

Fall/Use Zone Update

On Jan. 29, 2020, the Department promulgated rule regarding outdoor play area and ground covering. Specifically, the Child Care Facility Handbook (the “Handbook”), Section 3.12 D requires that all fall/use zones extend a minimum of 6-feet in all directions from the perimeter of permanent/stationary playground equipment. Section 3.12 D.3 includes an allowance for providers who were previously approved to notify the Department if they intended to continue operating with no change. Although we are well past the notification deadline, the following plan is in progress.

BEFORE JAN. 29, 2020
Child care providers that were licensed on or before Jan. 29, 2020, will automatically be grandfathered in for this standard. During your program’s next inspection, licensing counselors will coordinate with you to gather pictures and floor plans of the play area that will be maintained in your licensing file. Under this grandfathering allowance, if any of the permanent/stationary playground equipment is moved or replaced, then the new standard outlined in the current Handbook will apply, and 6 feet of fall/use zone must be provided in all directions from the perimeter of the equipment. Any new equipment added will be required to have the 6 feet of fall/use zone to comply with this rule. This allowance will not be continued in the event there is a lapse in the license and/or change of ownership.

AFTER JAN. 29, 2020
For child care providers that were issued a license after Jan. 29, 2020, this standard is applicable, and 6 feet of fall/use zone must be provided in all directions from the perimeter of permanent/stationary playground equipment. Licensing staff will be monitoring this standard accordingly. Should there be any challenges with meeting this standard, the provider may make a request for a rule waiver/variance, which must be submitted to the Department’s Agency Clerk in Tallahassee as established in s. 120.542, Florida Statutes.

For child care providers that have already requested and received a variance for this standard, there is no action needed as the variance will be honored as issued.

Please contact your local licensing office or licensing counselor directly should you have additional questions or concerns.

-Posted 06/08/2021 -