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Child Care

News and Announcements

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 -

Guidance for Operating Child Care Programs during COVID-19

Updated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (link):

-Posted 03/17/2021 -

Background Screening Basic Training Material

The Department hosted training sessions on the background screening process for child care on December 17, 2020. To view the materials presented during the training please click the following link: Background Screening Basic Training Presentation

Please visit the Background Screening website for additional resources and access to the Clearinghouse.

-Posted 12/23/2020 -

The Department has updated the following forms to include The Children’s Forum’s new address:

CF-FSP 5386 Gold Seal Application
CF-FSP 5315 Gold Seal Quality Care Accrediting Association Application
CF-FSP 5257 School Age FCCPC
CF-FSP 5191 Birth Through 5 FCCPC

Please ensure you are using the these new applications and mailing them to:

The Children’s Forum
1211 Governors Square Blvd., Suite 200
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

-Posted 6/12/2020 -

Safe Sleep for Child Care Providers

Please see new Safe Sleep resources for child care providers from the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality.

-Posted 5/26/2020 -

Child Care Standards Rule Change Effective January 29, 2020

The Department of Children and Families, Office of Child Care Regulation, has completed rule promulgation for Child Care Standards, Chapter 65C-22.001, Florida Administrative Code, that includes updates to combination sinks, first aid/CPR, and one hour calling. Learn more about these rules at Thank you for your feedback on the health and safety of children.

-Posted 2/4/2020-