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Florida Child Care Statutes Sections 402.26-402.319 (2002)

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402.26 Child care; legislative intent.

(1) The Legislature recognizes the critical importance to the citizens of the state of both safety and quality in child care. Child care in Florida is in the midst of continuing change and development, driven by extraordinary changes in demographics. Many parents with children under age 6 are employed outside the home. For the majority of Florida's children, child care will be a common experience. For many families, child care is an indispensable part of the effort to meet basic economic obligations or to make economic gains. State policy continues to recognize the changing composition of the labor force and the need to respond to the concerns of Florida's citizens as they enter the child care market. In particular, the Legislature recognizes the need to have more working parents employed in family-friendly workplaces. In addition, the Legislature recognizes the abilities of public and private employers to assist the family's efforts to balance family care needs with employment opportunities.

(2) The Legislature also recognizes the effects of both safety and quality in child care in reducing the need for special education, public assistance, and dependency programs and in reducing the incidence of delinquency and educational failure. In a budgetary context that spends billions of dollars to address the aftermath of bad outcomes, safe, quality child care is one area in which the often maligned concept of cost-effective social intervention can be applied. It is the intent of the Legislature, therefore, that state policy should be firmly embedded in the recognition that child care is a voluntary choice of the child's parents. For parents who choose child care, it is the intent of the Legislature to protect the health and welfare of children in care.

(3) To protect the health and welfare of children, it is the intent of the Legislature to develop a regulatory framework that promotes the growth and stability of the child care industry and facilitates the safe physical, intellectual, motor, and social development of the child.

(4) It is also the intent of the Legislature to promote the development of child care options in the private sector and disseminate information that will assist the public in determining appropriate child care options.

(5) It is the further intent of the Legislature to provide and make accessible child care opportunities for children at risk, economically disadvantaged children, and other children traditionally disenfranchised from society. In achieving this intent, the Legislature shall develop a subsidized child care system, a range of child care options, support services, and linkages with other programs to fully meet the child care needs of this population.

(6) It is the intent of the Legislature that a child care facility licensed pursuant to s. 402.305 or a child care facility exempt from licensing pursuant to s. 402.316, that achieves Gold Seal Quality status pursuant to s. 402.281, be considered an educational institution for the purpose of qualifying for exemption from ad valorem tax pursuant to s. 196.198.

History.--s. 32, ch. 90-306; s. 70, ch. 96-175; s. 4, ch. 99-304.

402.27 Child care and early childhood resource and referral.

The Department of Children and Family Services shall establish a statewide child care resource and referral network. Preference shall be given to using the already established central agencies for subsidized child care as the child care resource and referral agency. If the agency cannot comply with the requirements to offer the resource information component or does not want to offer that service, the Department of Children and Family Services shall select the resource information agency based upon a request for proposal. At least one child care resource and referral agency must be established in each district of the department, but no more than one may be established in any county. Child care resource and referral agencies shall provide the following services:

(1) Identification of existing public and private child care and early childhood education services, including child care services by public and private employers, and the development of a resource file of those services. These services may include family day care, public and private child care programs, head start, prekindergarten early intervention programs, special education programs for prekindergarten handicapped children, services for children with developmental disabilities, full-time and part-time programs, before-school and after-school programs, vacation care programs, parent education, the WAGES Program, and related family support services. The resource file shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) Type of program.

(b) Hours of service.

(c) Ages of children served.

(d) Number of children served.

(e) Significant program information.

(f) Fees and eligibility for services.

(g) Availability of transportation.

(2) The establishment of a referral process which responds to parental need for information and which is provided with full recognition of the confidentiality rights of parents. Resource and referral programs shall make referrals to licensed child care facilities. Referrals shall be made to an unlicensed child care facility or arrangement only if there is no requirement that the facility or arrangement be licensed.

(3) Maintenance of ongoing documentation of requests for service tabulated through the internal referral process. The following documentation of requests for service shall be maintained by all child care resource and referral agencies:

(a) Number of calls and contacts to the child care information and referral agency component by type of service requested.

(b) Ages of children for whom service was requested.

(c) Time category of child care requests for each child.

(d) Special time category, such as nights, weekends, and swing shift.

(e) Reason that the child care is needed.

(f) Name of the employer and primary focus of the business.

(4) Provision of technical assistance to existing and potential providers of child care services. This assistance may include:

(a) Information on initiating new child care services, zoning, and program and budget development and assistance in finding such information from other sources.

(b) Information and resources which help existing child care services providers to maximize their ability to serve children and parents in their community.

(c) Information and incentives which could help existing or planned child care services offered by public or private employers seeking to maximize their ability to serve the children of their working parent employees in their community, through contractual or other funding arrangements with businesses.

(5) Assistance to families and employers in applying for various sources of subsidy including, but not limited to, subsidized child care, head start, prekindergarten early intervention programs, Project Independence, private scholarships, and the federal dependent care tax credit.

(6) Assistance to state agencies in determining the market rate for child care.

(7) Assistance in negotiating discounts or other special arrangements with child care providers.

(8) Information and assistance to local interagency councils coordinating services for prekindergarten handicapped children.

(9) Assistance to families in identifying summer recreation camp and summer day camp programs and in evaluating the health and safety qualities of summer recreation camp and summer day camp programs and in evaluating the health and safety qualities of summer camp programs. Contingent upon specific appropriation, a checklist of important health and safety qualities that parents can use to choose their summer camp programs shall be developed and distributed in a manner that will reach parents interested in such programs for their children.

(10) A child care facility licensed under s. 402.305 and licensed and registered family day care homes must provide the statewide child care and resource and referral agencies with the following information annually:

(a) Type of program.

(b) Hours of service.

(c) Ages of children served.

(d) Fees and eligibility for services.

History.--s. 5, ch. 89-379; s. 6, ch. 91-300; s. 71, ch. 96-175; s. 143, ch. 99-8; s. 13, ch. 2000-253.

402.281 Gold Seal Quality Care program.

(1) Child care facilities, large family child care homes, or family day care homes that are accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting association whose standards substantially meet or exceed the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the National Association of Family Child Care, and the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Commission shall receive a separate "Gold Seal Quality Care" designation to operate as a gold seal child care facility, large family child care home, or family day care home.

(2) In developing the Gold Seal Quality Care program standards, the department shall consult with the Department of Education, the Florida Head Start Directors Association, the Florida Association of Child Care Management, the Florida Family Day Care Association, the Florida Children's Forum, the State Coordinating Council for School Readiness Programs, the Early Childhood Association of Florida, the National Association for Child Development Education, providers receiving exemptions under s. 402.316, and parents, for the purpose of approving the accrediting associations.

History.--s. 72, ch. 96-175; s. 5, ch. 99-304; s. 17, ch. 2000-337; s. 26, ch. 2001-170.

402.301 Child care facilities; legislative intent
and declaration of purpose and policy.

It is the legislative intent to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the children of the state and to promote their emotional and intellectual development and care. Toward that end:

(1) It is the purpose of ss. 402.301-402.319 to establish statewide minimum standards for the care and protection of children in child care facilities, to ensure maintenance of these standards, and to approve county administration and enforcement to regulate conditions in such facilities through a program of licensing.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that all owners, operators, and child care personnel shall be of good moral character.

(3) It shall be the policy of the state to ensure protection of children and to encourage child care providers and parents to share responsibility for and to assist in the improvement of child care programs.

(4) It shall be the policy of the state to promote public and private employer initiatives to establish day care services for their employees.

(5) It is the further legislative intent that the freedom of religion of all citizens shall be inviolate. Nothing in ss. 402.301-402.319 shall give any governmental agency jurisdiction or authority to regulate, supervise, or in any way be involved in any Sunday School, Sabbath School, or religious services or any nursery service or other program conducted during religious or church services primarily for the convenience of those attending such services.

(6) It is further the intent that membership organizations affiliated with national organizations which do not provide child care, whose primary purpose is providing activities that contribute to the development of good character or good sportsmanship or to the education or cultural development of minors in this state, which charge only a nominal annual membership fee, which are not for profit, and which are certified by their national associations as being in compliance with the association's minimum standards and procedures shall not be considered child care facilities and therefore, their personnel shall not be required to be screened.

(7) It shall be the policy of the state to encourage child care providers to serve children with disabilities. When requested, the department shall provide technical assistance to parents and child care providers in order to facilitate serving children with disabilities.

History.--s. 1, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 1, ch. 84-551; s. 21, ch. 87-238; s. 1, ch. 91-300; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 74, ch. 96-175.

402.3016 Early Head Start collaboration grants.

(1) Contingent upon specific appropriations, the Florida Partnership for School Readiness shall establish a program to award collaboration grants to assist local agencies in securing Early Head Start programs through Early Head Start program federal grants. The collaboration grants shall provide the required matching funds for public and private nonprofit agencies that have been approved for Early Head Start program federal grants.

(2) Public and private nonprofit agencies providing Early Head Start programs applying for collaborative grants must:

(a) Ensure quality performance by meeting the requirements in the Head Start program performance standards and other applicable rules and regulations;

(b) Ensure collaboration with other service providers at the local level; and

(c) Ensure that a comprehensive array of health, nutritional, and other services are provided to the program's pregnant women and very young children, and their families.

(3) The partnership shall report to the Legislature on an annual basis the number of agencies receiving Early Head Start collaboration grants and the number of children served.

(4) The partnership may adopt rules as necessary for the award of collaboration grants to competing agencies and the administration of the collaboration grants program under this section.

History.--s. 7, ch. 99-304.

402.3017 Teacher Education and Compensation
Helps (TEACH) scholarship program.

(1) The Legislature finds that the level of early child care teacher education and training is a key predictor for determining program quality. The Legislature also finds that low wages for child care workers prevent many from obtaining increased training and education and contribute to high turnover rates. The Legislature therefore intends to help fund a program which links teacher training and education to compensation and commitment to the field of early childhood education.

(2) The Department of Children and Family Services is authorized to contract for the administration of the Teacher Education and Compensation Helps (TEACH) scholarship program, which provides educational scholarships to caregivers and administrators of early childhood programs, family day care homes, and large family child care homes.

(3) The department shall adopt rules as necessary to implement this section.

(4) For the 2002-2003 fiscal year only, the Agency for Workforce Innovation shall administer this section. This subsection expires July 1, 2003.

History.--s. 15, ch. 2000-253; ss. 55, 79, ch. 2002-402.

Note.

A. Section 55, ch. 2002-402, created subsection (4) "[i]n order to implement proviso language in Specific Appropriation 2236E of the 2002-2003 General Appropriations Act." Some appropriations within this range were vetoed. See ch. 2002-394, the 2002-2003 General Appropriations Act.

B. Section 79, ch. 2002-402, provides that "[a] section of this act that implements a specific appropriation or specifically identified proviso language in the 2002-2003 General Appropriations Act is void if the specific appropriation or specifically identified proviso language is vetoed. A section of this act that implements more than one specific appropriation or more than one portion of specifically identified proviso language in the 2002-2003 General Appropriations Act is void if all the specific appropriations or portions of specifically identified proviso language are vetoed." Not all specific appropriations or portions of specifically identified proviso language relating to the creation of subsection (4) were vetoed.

402.3018 Consultation to child care centers and family day care homes regarding health, developmental, disability, and special needs issues.

(1) Contingent upon specific appropriations, the department is directed to contract with the statewide resource information and referral agency for a statewide toll-free Warm-Line for the purpose of providing assistance and consultation to child care centers and family day care homes regarding health, developmental, disability, and special needs issues of the children they are serving, particularly children with disabilities and other special needs.

(2) The purpose of the Warm-Line is to provide advice to child care personnel concerning strategies, curriculum, and environmental adaptations that allow a child to derive maximum benefit from the child care experience.

(3) The department shall inform child care centers and family day care homes of the availability of this service, on an annual basis.

(4) Contingent upon specific appropriations, the department shall expand or contract for the expansion of the Warm-Line from one statewide site to one Warm-Line site in each child care resource and referral agency region.

(5) Each regional Warm-Line shall provide assistance and consultation to child care centers and family day care homes regarding health, developmental, disability, and special needs issues of the children they are serving, particularly children with disabilities and other special needs. Regional Warm-Line staff shall provide onsite technical assistance, when requested, to assist child care centers and family day care homes with inquiries relative to the strategies, curriculum, and environmental adaptations the child care centers and family day care homes may need as they serve children with disabilities and other special needs.

History.--s. 13, ch. 99-304.

402.302 Definitions.

(1) "Child care" means the care, protection, and supervision of a child, for a period of less than 24 hours a day on a regular basis, which supplements parental care, enrichment, and health supervision for the child, in accordance with his or her individual needs, and for which a payment, fee, or grant is made for care.

(2) "Child care facility" includes any child care center or child care arrangement which provides child care for more than five children unrelated to the operator and which receives a payment, fee, or grant for any of the children receiving care, wherever operated, and whether or not operated for profit. The following are not included:

(a) Public schools and nonpublic schools and their integral programs, except as provided in s. 402.3025;

(b) Summer camps having children in full-time residence;

(c) Summer day camps;

(d) Bible schools normally conducted during vacation periods; and

(e) Operators of transient establishments, as defined in chapter 509, which provide child care services solely for the guests of their establishment or resort, provided that all child care personnel of the establishment are screened according to the level 2 screening requirements of chapter 435.

(3) "Child care personnel" means all owners, operators, employees, and volunteers working in a child care facility. The term does not include persons who work in a child care facility after hours when children are not present or parents of children in Head Start. For purposes of screening, the term includes any member, over the age of 12 years, of a child care facility operator's family, or person, over the age of 12 years, residing with a child care facility operator if the child care facility is located in or adjacent to the home of the operator or if the family member of, or person residing with, the child care facility operator has any direct contact with the children in the facility during its hours of operation. Members of the operator's family or persons residing with the operator who are between the ages of 12 years and 18 years shall not be required to be fingerprinted but shall be screened for delinquency records. For purposes of screening, the term shall also include persons who work in child care programs which provide care for children 15 hours or more each week in public or nonpublic schools, summer day camps, family day care homes, or those programs otherwise exempted under s. 402.316. The term does not include public or nonpublic school personnel who are providing care during regular school hours, or after hours for activities related to a school's program for grades kindergarten through 12. A volunteer who assists on an intermittent basis for less than 40 hours per month is not included in the term "personnel" for the purposes of screening and training, provided that the volunteer is under direct and constant supervision by persons who meet the personnel requirements of s. 402.305(2). Students who observe and participate in a child care facility as a part of their required coursework shall not be considered child care personnel, provided such observation and participation are on an intermittent basis and the students are under direct and constant supervision of child care personnel.

(4) "Department" means the Department of Children and Family Services.

(5) "Drop-in child care" means child care provided occasionally in a child care facility in a shopping mall or business establishment where a child is in care for no more than a 4-hour period and the parent remains on the premises of the shopping mall or business establishment at all times. Drop-in child care arrangements shall meet all requirements for a child care facility unless specifically exempted.

(6) "Evening child care" means child care provided during the evening hours and may encompass the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. to accommodate parents who work evenings and late-night shifts.

(7) "Family day care home" means an occupied residence in which child care is regularly provided for children from at least two unrelated families and which receives a payment, fee, or grant for any of the children receiving care, whether or not operated for profit. A family day care home shall be allowed to provide care for one of the following groups of children, which shall include those children under 13 years of age who are related to the caregiver:

(a) A maximum of four children from birth to 12 months of age.

(b) A maximum of three children from birth to 12 months of age, and other children, for a maximum total of six children.

(c) A maximum of six preschool children if all are older than 12 months of age.

(d) A maximum of 10 children if no more than 5 are preschool age and, of those 5, no more than 2 are under 12 months of age.

(8) "Large family child care home" means an occupied residence in which child care is regularly provided for children from at least two unrelated families, which receives a payment, fee, or grant for any of the children receiving care, whether or not operated for profit, and which has at least two full-time child care personnel on the premises during the hours of operation. One of the two full-time child care personnel must be the owner or occupant of the residence. A large family child care home must first have operated as a licensed family day care home for 2 years, with an operator who has had a child development associate credential or its equivalent for 1 year, before seeking licensure as a large family child care home. A large family child care home shall be allowed to provide care for one of the following groups of children, which shall include those children under 13 years of age who are related to the caregiver:

(a) A maximum of 8 children from birth to 24 months of age.

(b) A maximum of 12 children, with no more than 4 children under 24 months of age.

(9) "Indoor recreational facility" means an indoor commercial facility which is established for the primary purpose of entertaining children in a planned fitness environment through equipment, games, and activities in conjunction with food service and which provides child care for a particular child no more than 4 hours on any one day. An indoor recreational facility must be licensed as a child care facility under s. 402.305, but is exempt from the minimum outdoor-square-footage-per-child requirement specified in that section, if the indoor recreational facility has, at a minimum, 3,000 square feet of usable indoor floor space.

(10) "Local licensing agency" means any agency or individual designated by the county to license child care facilities.

(11) "Operator" means any onsite person ultimately responsible for the overall operation of a child care facility, whether or not he or she is the owner or administrator of such facility.

(12) "Owner" means the person who is licensed to operate the child care facility.

(13) "Screening" means the act of assessing the background of child care personnel and includes, but is not limited to, employment history checks, local criminal records checks through local law enforcement agencies, fingerprinting for all purposes and checks in this subsection, statewide criminal records checks through the Department of Law Enforcement, and federal criminal records checks through the Federal Bureau of Investigation; except that screening for volunteers included under the definition of personnel includes only local criminal records checks through local law enforcement agencies for current residence and residence immediately prior to employment as a volunteer, if different, and statewide criminal records correspondence checks through the Department of Law Enforcement.

(14) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Children and Family Services.

(15) "Substantial compliance" means that level of adherence which is sufficient to safeguard the health, safety, and well-being of all children under care. Substantial compliance is greater than minimal adherence but not to the level of absolute adherence. Where a violation or variation is identified as the type which impacts, or can be reasonably expected within 90 days to impact, the health, safety, or well-being of a child, there is no substantial compliance.

(16) "Weekend child care" means child care provided between the hours of 6 p.m. on Friday and 6 a.m. on Monday.

History.--s. 2, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 2, ch. 84-551; s. 23, ch. 85-54; s. 22, ch. 87-238; s. 2, ch. 88-391; s. 1, ch. 90-35; s. 34, ch. 90-306; s. 7, ch. 91-300; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 1, ch. 94-257; s. 1059, ch. 95-148; s. 57, ch. 95-228; s. 75, ch. 96-175; s. 1, ch. 97-63; s. 1, ch. 98-165; s. 8, ch. 99-304; s. 16, ch. 2000-253; s. 989, ch. 2002-387.

402.3025 Public and nonpublic schools.

For the purposes of ss. 402.301-402.319, the following shall apply:

(1) PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--

(a) The following programs for children shall not be deemed to be child care and shall not be subject to the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319:

1. Programs for children in 5-year-old kindergarten and grades one or above.

2. Programs for children who are at least 3 years of age, but who are under 5 years of age, provided the programs are operated and staffed directly by the schools and provided the programs meet age-appropriate standards as adopted by the State Board of Education.

3. Programs for children under 3 years of age who are eligible for participation in the programs under the existing or successor provisions of Pub. L. No. 94-142 or Pub. L. No. 99-457, provided the programs are operated and staffed directly by the schools and provided the programs meet age-appropriate standards as adopted by the State Board of Education.

(b) The following programs for children shall be deemed to be child care and shall be subject to the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319:

1. Programs for children who are under 5 years of age when the programs are not operated and staffed directly by the schools.

2. Programs for children under 3 years of age who are not eligible for participation in the programs under existing or successor provisions of Pub. L. No. 94-142 or Pub. L. No. 99-457.

(c) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement this subsection, including standards for programs in subparagraphs (a)2. and 3., which recognize the vulnerability of children under 5 years of age and make special provisions to ensure their health and safety. Such rules shall include, but not be limited to, facilities, personnel staffing and qualifications, transportation, and health and safety practices. In preparing such rules, the Commissioner of Education shall review the standards already existing in the state and the recommendations of appropriate professional and accreditation agencies.

(d) The monitoring and enforcement of compliance with age-appropriate standards established by rule of the State Board of Education shall be the responsibility of the Department of Education.

(2) NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS.--

(a) Programs for children under 3 years of age shall be deemed to be child care and subject to the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319.

(b) Programs for children in 5-year-old kindergarten and grades one or above shall not be deemed to be child care and shall not be subject to the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319.

(c) Programs for children who are at least 3 years of age, but under 5 years of age, shall not be deemed to be child care and shall not be subject to the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319 relating to child care facilities, provided the programs in the schools are operated and staffed directly by the schools, provided a majority of the children enrolled in the schools are 5 years of age or older, and provided there is compliance with the screening requirements for personnel pursuant to s. 402.305 or s. 402.3057. A nonpublic school may designate certain programs as child care, in which case these programs shall be subject to the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319.

(d)

1. Programs for children who are at least 3 years of age, but under 5 years of age, which are not licensed under ss. 402.301-402.319 shall substantially comply with the minimum child care standards promulgated pursuant to ss. 402.305-402.3057.

2. The department or local licensing agency shall enforce compliance with such standards, where possible, to eliminate or minimize duplicative inspections or visits by staff enforcing the minimum child care standards and staff enforcing other standards under the jurisdiction of the department.

3. The department or local licensing agency may commence and maintain all proper and necessary actions and proceedings for any or all of the following purposes:

a. To protect the health, sanitation, safety, and well-being of all children under care.

b. To enforce its rules and regulations.

c. To use corrective action plans, whenever possible, to attain compliance prior to the use of more restrictive enforcement measures.

d. To make application for injunction to the proper circuit court, and the judge of that court shall have jurisdiction upon hearing and for cause shown to grant a temporary or permanent injunction, or both, restraining any person from violating or continuing to violate any of the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319. Any violation of this section or of the standards applied under ss. 402.305-402.3057 which threatens harm to any child in the school's programs for children who are at least 3 years of age, but are under 5 years of age, or repeated violations of this section or the standards under ss. 402.305-402.3057, shall be grounds to seek an injunction to close a program in a school.

e. To impose an administrative fine, not to exceed $100, for each violation of the minimum child care standards promulgated pursuant to ss. 402.305-402.3057.

4. It is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for any person willfully, knowingly, or intentionally to:

a. Fail, by false statement, misrepresentation, impersonation, or other fraudulent means, to disclose in any required written documentation for exclusion from licensure pursuant to this section a material fact used in making a determination as to such exclusion; or

b. Use information from the criminal records obtained under s. 402.305 or s. 402.3055 for any purpose other than screening that person for employment as specified in those sections or release such information to any other person for any purpose other than screening for employment as specified in those sections.

5. It is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, for any person willfully, knowingly, or intentionally to use information from the juvenile records of any person obtained under s. 402.305 or s. 402.3055 for any purpose other than screening for employment as specified in those sections or to release information from such records to any other person for any purpose other than screening for employment as specified in those sections.

(e) The department and the nonpublic school accrediting agencies are encouraged to develop agreements to facilitate the enforcement of the minimum child care standards as they relate to the schools which the agencies accredit.

(3) INSPECTION FEE.--The department shall establish by rule a fee for inspection activities performed pursuant to this section, in an amount sufficient to cover costs. However, the amount of such fee for the inspection of a school shall not exceed the fee imposed for child care licensure pursuant to s. 402.315.

History.--s. 3, ch. 88-391; s. 1, ch. 89-296; s. 35, ch. 90-347; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 94, ch. 2000-349.

402.3026 Full-service schools

(1) The State Board of Education and the Department of Health shall jointly establish full-service schools to serve students from schools that have a student population that has a high risk of needing medical and social services, based on the results of the demographic evaluations. The full-service schools must integrate the services of the Department of Health that are critical to the continuity-of-care process. The Department of Health shall provide services to these high-risk students through facilities established within the grounds of the school. The Department of Health professionals shall carry out their specialized services as an extension of the educational environment. Such services may include, without limitation, nutritional services, basic medical services, aid to dependent children, parenting skills, counseling for abused children, counseling for children at high risk for delinquent behavior and their parents, and adult education.

(2) The Department of Health shall designate an executive staff director to coordinate the full-service schools program and to act as liaison with the Department of Education to coordinate the provision of health and rehabilitative services in educational facilities.

History.--s. 20, ch. 90-273; s. 122, ch. 94-209; s. 34, ch. 99-5; s. 146, ch. 99-8.

402.305 Licensing standards; child care facilities.

(1) LICENSING STANDARDS.--The department shall establish licensing standards that each licensed child care facility must meet regardless of the origin or source of the fees used to operate the facility or the type of children served by the facility.

(a) The standards shall be designed to address the following areas:

1. The health, sanitation, safety, and adequate physical surroundings for all children in child care.

2. The health and nutrition of all children in child care.

3. The child development needs of all children in child care.

(b) All standards established under ss. 402.301-402.319 must be consistent with the rules adopted by the State Fire Marshal for child care facilities. However, if the facility is operated in a public school, the department shall use the public school fire code, as provided in the rules of the Department of Education, as the minimum standard for fire safety.

(c) The minimum standards for child care facilities shall be adopted in the rules of the department and shall address the areas delineated in this section. The department, in adopting rules to establish minimum standards for child care facilities, shall recognize that different age groups of children may require different standards. The department may adopt different minimum standards for facilities that serve children in different age groups, including school-age children. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, minimum child care licensing standards shall be developed to provide for reasonable, affordable, and safe before-school and after-school care. Standards, at a minimum, shall allow for a credentialed director to supervise multiple before-school and after-school sites.

(2) PERSONNEL.--Minimum standards for child care personnel shall include minimum requirements as to:

(a) Good moral character based upon screening. This screening shall be conducted as provided in chapter 435, using the level 2 standards for screening set forth in that chapter.

(b) The department may grant exemptions from disqualification from working with children or the developmentally disabled as provided in s. 435.07.

(c) Minimum age requirements. Such minimum standards shall prohibit a person under the age of 21 from being the operator of a child care facility and a person under the age of 16 from being employed at such facility unless such person is under direct supervision and is not counted for the purposes of computing the personnel-to-child ratio.

(d) Minimum training requirements for child care personnel.

1. Such minimum standards for training shall ensure that all child care personnel take an approved 40-clock-hour introductory course in child care, which course covers at least the following topic areas:

a. State and local rules and regulations which govern child care.

b. Health, safety, and nutrition.

c. Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.

d. Child development, including typical and atypical language, cognitive, motor, social, and self-help skills development.

e. Observation of developmental behaviors, including using a checklist or other similar observation tools and techniques to determine the child's developmental age level.

f. Specialized areas, including computer technology for professional and classroom use, as determined by the department, for owner-operators and child care personnel of a child care facility.

Within 90 days after employment, child care personnel shall begin training to meet the training requirements. Child care personnel shall successfully complete such training within 1 year after the date on which the training began, as evidenced by passage of a competency examination. Successful completion of the 40-clock-hour introductory course shall articulate into community college credit in 1early childhood education, pursuant to 2ss. 1007.24 and 1007.25. Exemption from all or a portion of the required training shall be granted to child care personnel based upon educational credentials or passage of competency examinations. Child care personnel possessing a 2-year degree or higher that includes 6 college credit hours in early childhood development or child growth and development, or a child development associate credential or an equivalent state-approved child development associate credential, or a child development associate waiver certificate shall be automatically exempted from the training requirements in sub-subparagraphs b., d., and e.

2. The introductory course in child care shall stress, to the extent possible, an interdisciplinary approach to the study of children.

3. On an annual basis in order to further their child care skills and, if appropriate, administrative skills, child care personnel who have fulfilled the requirements for the child care training shall be required to take an additional approved 8 clock hours of inservice training or an equivalent as determined by the department.

4. Procedures for ensuring the training of qualified child care professionals to provide training of child care personnel, including onsite training, shall be included in the minimum standards. It is recommended that the state community child care coordination agencies (central agencies) be contracted by the department to coordinate such training when possible. Other district educational resources, such as community colleges and vocational-technical programs, can be designated in such areas where central agencies may not exist or are determined not to have the capability to meet the coordination requirements set forth by the department.

5. Training requirements shall not apply to certain occasional or part-time support staff, including, but not limited to, swimming instructors, piano teachers, dance instructors, and gymnastics instructors.

6. The department shall evaluate or contract for an evaluation for the general purpose of determining the status of and means to improve staff training requirements and testing procedures. The evaluation shall be conducted every 2 years. The evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, determining the availability, quality, scope, and sources of current staff training; determining the need for specialty training; and determining ways to increase inservice training and ways to increase the accessibility, quality, and cost-effectiveness of current and proposed staff training. The evaluation methodology shall include a reliable and valid survey of child care personnel.

7. The child care operator shall be required to take basic training in serving children with disabilities within 5 years after employment, either as a part of the introductory training or the annual 8 hours of inservice training.

(e) Periodic health examinations.

(f) By January 1, 2000, a credential for child care facility directors. By January 1, 2004, the credential shall be a required minimum standard for licensing.

(3) MINIMUM STAFF CREDENTIALS.--By July 1, 1996, for every 20 children in a licensed child care facility, if the facility operates 8 hours or more per week, one of the child care personnel in the facility must have:

(a) A child development associate credential;

(b) A child care professional credential, unless the department determines that such child care professional credential is not equivalent to or greater than a child development associate credential; or

(c) A credential that is equivalent to or greater than the credential required in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).

The department shall establish by rule those hours of operation, such as during rest periods and transitional periods, when this subsection does not apply.

(4) STAFF-TO-CHILDREN RATIO.--

(a) Minimum standards for the care of children in a licensed child care facility as established by rule of the department must include:

1. For children from birth through 1 year of age, there must be one child care personnel for every four children.

2. For children 1 year of age or older, but under 2 years of age, there must be one child care personnel for every six children.

3. For children 2 years of age or older, but under 3 years of age, there must be one child care personnel for every 11 children.

4. For children 3 years of age or older, but under 4 years of age, there must be one child care personnel for every 15 children.

5. For children 4 years of age or older, but under 5 years of age, there must be one child care personnel for every 20 children.

6. For children 5 years of age or older, there must be one child care personnel for every 25 children.

7. When children 2 years of age and older are in care, the staff-to-children ratio shall be based on the age group with the largest number of children within the group.

(b) This subsection does not apply to nonpublic schools and their integral programs as defined in s. 402.3025(2)(d)1. In addition, an individual participating in a community service work experience activity under s. 445.024(1)(d), or a work experience activity under s. 445.024(1)(e), at a child care facility may not be considered in calculating the staff-to-children ratio.

(5) PHYSICAL FACILITIES.--Minimum standards shall include requirements for building conditions, indoor play space, outdoor play space, napping space, bathroom facilities, food preparation facilities, outdoor equipment, and indoor equipment. Because of the nature and duration of drop-in child care, outdoor play space and outdoor equipment shall not be required for licensure; however, if such play space and equipment are provided, then the minimum standards shall apply to drop-in child care. With respect to minimum standards for physical facilities of a child care program for school-age children which is operated in a public school facility, the department shall adopt the State Uniform Building Code for Public Educational Facilities Construction as the minimum standards, regardless of the operator of the program. The Legislature intends that if a child care program for school-age children is operated in a public school, the program need not conform to standards for physical facilities other than the standards adopted by the Commissioner of Education.

(6) SQUARE FOOTAGE PER CHILD.--Minimum standards shall be established by the department by rule.

(a) A child care facility that holds a valid license on October 1, 1992, must have a minimum of 20 square feet of usable indoor floor space for each child and a minimum of 45 square feet of usable outdoor play area for each child. Outdoor play area shall be calculated at the rate of 45 feet per child in any group using the play area at one time. A minimum play area shall be provided for one half of the licensed capacity. This standard applies as long as the child care facility remains licensed at the site occupied on October 1, 1992, and shall not be affected by any change in the ownership of the site.

(b) A child care facility that does not hold a valid license on October 1, 1992, and seeks regulatory approval to operate as a child care facility must have a minimum of 35 square feet of usable floor space for each child and a minimum of 45 square feet of usable outdoor play area for each child.

The minimum standard for outdoor play area does not apply in calculating square footage for children under 1 year of age. However, appropriate outdoor infant equipment shall be substituted for outdoor play space. The centers shall provide facilities and equipment conducive to the physical activities appropriate for the age and physical development of the child.

(7) SANITATION AND SAFETY.--

(a) Minimum standards shall include requirements for sanitary and safety conditions, first aid treatment, emergency procedures, and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The minimum standards shall require that at least one staff person trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, as evidenced by current documentation of course completion, must be present at all times that children are present.

(b) In the case of a child care program for school-age children attending before and after school programs on the public school site, the department shall use the public school fire code, as promulgated in the rules of the Department of Education, as the minimum standard for firesafety. In the case of a child care program for school-age children attending before-school and after-school programs on a site operated by a municipality, the department shall adopt rules for such site and intended use.

(c) Some type of communications system, such as a pocket pager or beeper, shall be provided to a parent whose child is in drop-in child care to ensure the immediate return of the parent to the child, if necessary.

(8) NUTRITIONAL PRACTICES.--Minimum standards shall include requirements for the provision of meals or snacks of a quality and quantity to assure that the nutritional needs of the child are met.

(9) ADMISSIONS AND RECORDKEEPING.--

(a) Minimum standards shall include requirements for preadmission and periodic health examinations, requirements for immunizations, and requirements for maintaining emergency information and health records on all children.

(b) Because of the nature and duration of drop-in child care, requirements for preadmission and periodic health examinations and requirements for medically signed records of immunization required for child care facilities shall not apply. A parent of a child in drop-in child care shall, however, be required to attest to the child's health condition and the type and current status of the child's immunizations.

(c) Any child shall be exempt from medical or physical examination or medical or surgical treatment upon written request of the parent or guardian of such child who objects to the examination and treatment. However, the laws, rules, and regulations relating to contagious or communicable diseases and sanitary matters shall not be violated because of any exemption from or variation of the health and immunization minimum standards.

(10) TRANSPORTATION SAFETY.--Minimum standards shall include requirements for child restraints or seat belts in vehicles used by child care facilities and large family child care homes to transport children, requirements for annual inspections of the vehicles, limitations on the number of children in the vehicles, and accountability for children being transported.

(11) ACCESS.--Minimum standards shall provide for reasonable access to the child care facility by the custodial parent or guardian during the time the child is in care.

(12) CHILD DISCIPLINE.--

(a) Minimum standards for child discipline practices shall ensure that age-appropriate, constructive disciplinary practices are used for children in care. Such standards shall include at least the following requirements:

1. Children shall not be subjected to discipline which is severe, humiliating, or frightening.

2. Discipline shall not be associated with food, rest, or toileting.

3. Spanking or any other form of physical punishment is prohibited.

(b) Prior to admission of a child to a child care facility, the facility shall notify the parents in writing of the disciplinary practices used by the facility.

(13) PLAN OF ACTIVITIES.--Minimum standards shall ensure that each child care facility has and implements a written plan for the daily provision of varied activities and active and quiet play opportunities appropriate to the age of the child. The written plan must include a program, to be implemented periodically for children of an appropriate age, which will assist the children in preventing and avoiding physical and mental abuse.

(14) URBAN CHILD CARE FACILITIES.--Minimum standards shall include requirements for child care facilities located in urban areas. The standards must allow urban child care facilities to substitute indoor play space for outdoor play space, if outdoor play space is not available in the area, and must set forth additional requirements that apply to a facility which makes that substitution, including, but not limited to, additional square footage requirements for indoor space; air ventilation provisions; and a requirement to provide facilities and equipment conducive to physical activities appropriate for the age of the children.

(15) TRANSITION PERIODS.--During the periods of time in which children are arriving and departing from the child care facility, notwithstanding local fire ordinances, the provisions of subsection (6) are suspended for a period of time not to exceed 30 minutes.

(16) EVENING AND WEEKEND CHILD CARE.--Minimum standards shall be developed by the department to provide for reasonable, affordable, and safe evening and weekend child care. Each facility offering evening or weekend child care must meet these minimum standards, regardless of the origin or source of the fees used to operate the facility or the type of children served by the facility. The department may modify by rule the licensing standards contained in this section to accommodate evening child care.

(17) SPECIALIZED CHILD CARE FACILITIES FOR THE CARE OF MILDLY ILL CHILDREN.--Minimum standards shall be developed by the department, in conjunction with the Department of Health, for specialized child care facilities for the care of mildly ill children. The minimum standards shall address the following areas: personnel requirements; staff-to-child ratios; staff training and credentials; health and safety; physical facility requirements, including square footage; client eligibility, including a definition of "mildly ill children"; sanitation and safety; admission and record keeping; dispensing of medication; and a schedule of activities.

(18) TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP.--

(a) One week prior to the transfer of ownership of a child care facility or family day care home, the transferor shall notify the parent or caretaker of each child of the impending transfer.

(b) The department shall, by rule, establish methods by which notice will be achieved and minimum standards by which to implement this subsection.

History.--s. 5, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 3, ch. 84-551; s. 24, ch. 85-54; s. 41, ch. 87-225; s. 23, ch. 87-238; s. 25, ch. 89-379; s. 2, ch. 90-35; s. 2, ch. 90-225; s. 35, ch. 90-306; s. 10, ch. 91-33; s. 28, ch. 91-57; s. 92, ch. 91-221; s. 2, ch. 91-300; s. 56, ch. 92-58; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 14, ch. 93-156; s. 22, ch. 94-134; s. 22, ch. 94-135; s. 1060, ch. 95-148; s. 18, ch. 95-152; s. 15, ch. 95-158; s. 22, ch. 95-195; s. 41, ch. 95-228; s. 131, ch. 95-418; ss. 76, 77, ch. 96-175; s. 12, ch. 96-268; s. 2, ch. 97-63; s. 2, ch. 98-165; s. 1, ch. 99-241; s. 10, ch. 99-304; s. 164, ch. 2000-165; s. 19, ch. 2000-253; s. 18, ch. 2000-337; ss. 21, 26, ch. 2001-170; s. 2, ch. 2002-300.

1Note.--The phrase "as approved by the Articulation Coordinating Committee" following the term "early childhood education" was deleted by the editors to conform to the elimination of the Articulation Coordinating Committee by the School Code Rewrite bill, ch. 2002-387.

2Note.--Substituted by the editors for a reference to s. 229.551(1)(g), the predecessor provision to ss. 1007.24 and 1007.25.

402.30501 Modification of introductory child care course for community college credit authorized.

The Department of Children and Family Services may modify the 40-clock-hour introductory course in child care under s. 402.305 or s. 402.3131 to meet the requirements of articulating the course to community college credit. Any modification must continue to provide that the course satisfies the requirements of s. 402.305(2)(d).

History.--s. 4, ch. 2002-300.

402.3051 Child care market rate reimbursement;
child care grants.

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) "Child care program assessment tool" means an assessment instrument designated or developed by the department to determine quality child care and other child development services to children under the provision of 1s. 402.3015, Title IV-A of the Social Security Act, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990.

(b) "Market rate" means the price that a child care provider charges for daily, weekly, or monthly child care services. Market rate shall:

1. Be established for licensed child care facilities or facilities that are not subject to s. 402.305, licensed or registered family day care homes, licensed before-school and after-school child care programs, and unregulated care provided by a relative or other caretaker.

2. Differentiate among child care for children with special needs or risk categories, infants, toddlers, and preschool and school-age children.

3. Differentiate between full-time and part-time care.

4. Consider reductions in the cost of care for additional children in the same family.

(c) "Prevailing market rate" means the annually determined 75th percentile of a reasonable frequency distribution of market rate in a predetermined geographic market at which licensed child care providers charge a person for child care services.

(2) The department shall establish procedures to reimburse licensed, exempt, or registered child care providers who hold a Gold Seal Quality Care designation at the market rate for child care services for children who are eligible to receive subsidized child care; and licensed, exempt, or registered child care providers at the prevailing market rate for child care services for children who are eligible to receive subsidized child care, unless prohibited by federal law under 1s. 402.3015. The department shall establish procedures to reimburse providers of unregulated child care at not more than 50 percent of the market rate. The payment system may not interfere with the parents' decision as to the appropriate child care arrangement, regardless of the level of available funding for child care. The child care program assessment tool may not be used to determine reimbursement rates.

(3) The department may provide child care grants to central agencies, community colleges, and vocational/technical programs for the purpose of providing support and technical assistance to licensed child care providers.

(4) The department may use the state community child care coordination agencies (central agencies), community colleges, and vocational/technical programs to implement this section.

(5) The department may adopt rules and other policy provisions necessary to implement this section.

(6) This section shall be implemented only to the extent that funding is available.

History.--s. 4, ch. 91-300; s. 78, ch. 96-175; s. 11, ch. 99-304.

1. Note.--Repealed by s. 26, ch. 2001-170.

402.3054 Child enrichment service providers.

(1) For the purposes of this section, "child enrichment service provider" means an individual who provides enrichment activities, such as language training, music instruction, educational instruction, and other experiences, to specific children during a specific time that is not part of the regular program in a child care facility.

(2) The child's parent shall provide written consent before a child may participate in activities conducted by a child enrichment service provider that are not part of the regular program of the child care facility. A child enrichment service provider receives compensation from the child's parent or from the child care facility and shall not be considered a volunteer or child care personnel.

(3) A child enrichment service provider shall be of good moral character based upon screening. This screening shall be conducted as provided in chapter 435, using the level 2 standards for screening set forth in that chapter. A child enrichment service provider must meet the screening requirements prior to providing services to a child in a child care facility. A child enrichment service provider who has met the screening standards shall not be required to be under the direct and constant supervision of child care personnel.

History.--s. 18, ch. 2000-253.

402.3055 Child care personnel requirements.

(1) REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILD CARE PERSONNEL.

(a) The department or local licensing agency shall require that the application for a child care license contain a question that specifically asks the applicant, owner, or operator if he or she has ever had a license denied, revoked, or suspended in any state or jurisdiction or has been the subject of a disciplinary action or been fined while employed in a child care facility. The applicant, owner, or operator shall attest to the accuracy of the information requested under penalty of perjury. If the applicant, owner, or operator admits that he or she has been a party in such action, the department or local licensing agency shall review the nature of the suspension, revocation, disciplinary action, or fine before granting the applicant a license to operate a child care facility. If the department or local licensing agency determines as the result of such review that it is not in the best interest of the state or local jurisdiction for the applicant to be licensed, a license shall not be granted.

(b) The child care facility employer shall require that the application for a child care personnel position contain a question that specifically asks the applicant if he or she has ever worked in a facility that has had a license denied, revoked, or suspended in any state or jurisdiction or has been the subject of a disciplinary action or been fined while employed in a child care facility. The applicant shall attest to the accuracy of the information requested under penalty of perjury. If the applicant admits that he or she has been a party in such action, the employer shall review the nature of the denial, suspension, revocation, disciplinary action, or fine before the applicant is hired.

(2) EXCLUSION FROM OWNING, OPERATING, OR BEING EMPLOYED BY A CHILD CARE FACILITY OR OTHER CHILD CARE PROGRAM; HEARINGS PROVIDED.

(a) The department or local licensing agency shall deny, suspend, or revoke a license or pursue other remedies provided in s. 402.310, s. 402.312, or s. 402.319 in addition to or in lieu of denial, suspension, or revocation for failure to comply with this section. The disciplinary actions determination to be made by the department or the local licensing agency and the procedure for hearing for applicants and licensees shall be in accordance with s. 402.310.

(b) When the department or the local licensing agency has reasonable cause to believe that grounds for denial or termination of employment exist, it shall notify, in writing, the applicant, licensee, or other child care program and the child care personnel affected, stating the specific record which indicates noncompliance with the standards in s. 402.305(2).

(c) When the department is the agency initiating the statement regarding noncompliance, the procedures established for hearing under chapter 120 shall be available to the applicant, licensee, or other child care program and to the affected child care personnel, in order to present evidence relating either to the accuracy of the basis of exclusion or to the denial of an exemption from disqualification.

(d) When a local licensing agency is the agency initiating the statement regarding noncompliance of an employee with the standards contained in s. 402.305(2), the employee, applicant, licensee, or other child care program has 15 days from the time of written notification of the agency's finding to make a written request for a hearing. If a request for a hearing is not received in that time, the permanent employee, applicant, licensee, or other child care program is presumed to accept the finding.

(e) If a request for a hearing is made to the local licensing agency, a hearing shall be held within 30 days and shall be conducted by an individual designated by the county commission.

(f) An employee, applicant, licensee, or other child care program shall have the right to appeal a finding of the local licensing agency to a representative of the department. Any required hearing shall be held in the county in which the permanent employee is employed. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120.

(g) Refusal on the part of an applicant or licensee to dismiss child care personnel who have been found to be in noncompliance with personnel standards of s. 402.305(2) shall result in automatic denial or revocation of the license in addition to any other remedies pursued by the department or local licensing agency.

History.--ss. 4, 19, ch. 84-551; s. 25, ch. 85-54; s. 24, ch. 87-238; ss. 36, 61, ch. 90-306; s. 36, ch. 90-347; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 811, ch. 95-148; s. 58, ch. 95-228; s. 7, ch. 95-407; s. 223, ch. 99-13; s. 12, ch. 99-304.

402.3057 Persons not required to be refingerprinted
or rescreened.

Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, human resource personnel who have been fingerprinted or screened pursuant to chapters 393, 394, 397, 402, and 409, and teachers and noninstructional personnel who have been fingerprinted pursuant to chapter 1012, who have not been unemployed for more than 90 days thereafter, and who under the penalty of perjury attest to the completion of such fingerprinting or screening and to compliance with the provisions of this section and the standards for good moral character as contained in such provisions as ss. 110.1127(3), 393.0655(1), 394.457(6), 397.451, 402.305(2), and 409.175(5), shall not be required to be refingerprinted or rescreened in order to comply with any caretaker screening or fingerprinting requirements.

History.--s. 1, ch. 87-128; s. 1, ch. 87-141; s. 67, ch. 91-105; s. 7, ch. 91-266; s. 28, ch. 93-39; s. 224, ch. 99-13; s. 9, ch. 2002-219; s. 990, ch. 2002-387.

402.306 Designation of licensing agency; dissemination by the department and local licensing agency of information on child care.

(1) Any county whose licensing standards meet or exceed state minimum standards may:

(a) Designate a local licensing agency to license child care facilities in the county; or

(b) Contract with the department to delegate the administration of state minimum standards in the county to the department.

(2) Child care facilities in any county whose standards do not meet or exceed state minimum standards shall be subject to licensing by the department under state minimum standards.

(3) The department and local licensing agencies, or the designees thereof, shall be responsible for coordination and dissemination of information on child care to the community and shall make available upon request all licensing standards and procedures, in addition to the names and addresses of licensed child care facilities and, where applicable pursuant to s. 402.313, licensed or registered family day care homes.

History.--s. 6, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 5, ch. 84-551; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115.

402.307 Approval of licensing agency.

(1) Within 30 days after the promulgation of state minimum standards, each county shall provide the department with a copy of its standards if they differ from the state minimum standards. At the same time, each county shall provide the department with the administrative procedures it intends to use for the licensing of child care facilities.

(2) The department shall have the authority to determine if local standards meet or exceed state minimum standards. Within 60 days after the county has submitted its standards and procedures, the department, upon being satisfied that such standards meet or exceed state minimum standards and that there is compliance with all provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319, shall approve the local licensing agency.

(3) Approval to issue licenses for the department shall be renewed annually. For renewal, the local licensing agency shall submit to the department a copy of the licensing standards and procedures applied. An onsite review may be made if deemed necessary by the department.

(4) If, following an onsite review, the department finds the local licensing agency is not applying the approved standards, the department shall report the specific violations to the county commission of the involved county which shall investigate the violations and take whatever action necessary to correct them.

(5) To ensure that accurate statistical data are available, each local licensing agency shall report annually to the department the number of child care facilities under its jurisdiction, the number of children served, the ages of children served, and the number of revocations or denials of licenses.

History.--s. 7, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 6, ch. 84-551; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115.

402.308 Issuance of license.

(1) ANNUAL LICENSING.--Every child care facility in the state shall have a license which shall be renewed annually.

(2) CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP.--Every child care facility shall reapply for and receive a license prior to the time a new owner assumes responsibility for the facility. The department shall grant or deny the reapplication for license within 45 days from the date upon which the child care facility reapplies.

(3) STATE ADMINISTRATION OF LICENSING.--In any county in which the department has the authority to issue licenses, the following procedures shall be applied:

(a) Application for a license or for a renewal of a license to operate a child care facility shall be made in the manner and on the forms prescribed by the department. The applicant's social security number shall be included on the form submitted to the department. Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each applicant is required to provide his or her social security number in accordance with this section. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through this requirement shall be limited to the purpose of administration of the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement.

(b) Prior to the renewal of a license, the department shall reexamine the child care facility, including in that process the examination of the premises and those records of the facility as required under s. 402.305, to determine that minimum standards for licensing continue to be met.

(c) The department shall coordinate all inspections of child care facilities. A child care facility is not required to implement a recommendation of one agency that is in conflict with a recommendation of another agency if such conflict arises due to uncoordinated inspections. Any conflict in recommendations shall be resolved by the secretary of the department within 15 days after written notice that such conflict exists.

(d) The department shall issue or renew a license upon receipt of the license fee and upon being satisfied that all standards required by ss. 402.301-402.319 have been met. A license may be issued if all the screening materials have been timely submitted; however, a license may not be issued or renewed if any of the child care personnel at the applicant facility have failed the screening required by ss. 402.305(2) and 402.3055.

(4) LOCAL ADMINISTRATION OF LICENSING.--In any county in which there is a local licensing agency approved by the department, the following procedures shall apply:

(a) Application for a license or for renewal of license to operate a child care facility shall be made in the manner and on the forms prescribed by the local licensing agency.

(b) Prior to the renewal of a license, the agency shall reexamine the child care facility, including in that process the examination of the premises and records of the facility as required in s. 402.305 to determine that minimum standards for licensing continue to be met.

(c) The local agency shall coordinate all inspections of child care facilities. A child care facility is not required to implement a recommendation of one agency that is in conflict with a recommendation of another agency if such conflict arises due to uncoordinated inspections. Any conflict in recommendations shall be resolved by the county commission or its representative within 15 days after written notice that such conflict exists.

(d) The local licensing agency shall issue a license or renew a license upon being satisfied that all standards required by ss. 402.301-402.319 have been met. A license may be issued or renewed if all the screening materials have been timely submitted; however, the local licensing agency shall not issue or renew a license if any of the child care personnel at the applicant facility have failed the screening required by ss. 402.305(2) and 402.3055.

(5) ISSUANCE OF LOCAL OCCUPATIONAL LICENSES.--No county or municipality shall issue an occupational license which is being obtained for the purpose of operating a child care facility regulated under this act without first ascertaining that the applicant has been licensed to operate such facility at the specified location or locations by the department or local licensing agency. The department or local licensing agency shall furnish to local agencies responsible for issuing occupational licenses sufficient instruction for making the above required determinations.

History.--s. 8, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 7, ch. 84-551; s. 26, ch. 85-54; s. 25, ch. 87-238; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 44, ch. 97-170; s. 225, ch. 99-13.

402.309 Provisional license.

(1) The local licensing agency or the department, whichever is authorized to license child care facilities in a county, may issue a provisional license to applicants for a license or to licensees who are unable to conform to all the standards provided for in ss. 402.301-402.319.

(2) No provisional license may be issued unless the operator or owner makes adequate provisions for the health and safety of the child. A provisional license may be issued if all of the screening materials have been timely submitted; however, a provisional license may not be issued unless the child care facility is in compliance with the requirements for screening of child care personnel in ss. 402.305 and 402.3055.

(3) The provisional license shall in no event be issued for a period in excess of 6 months; however, it may be renewed one time for a period not in excess of 6 months under unusual circumstances beyond the control of the applicant.

(4) The provisional license may be suspended if periodic inspection made by the local licensing agency or the department indicates that insufficient progress has been made toward compliance.

History.--s. 9, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 8, ch. 84-551; s. 27, ch. 85-54; s. 26, ch. 87-238; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115.

402.310 Disciplinary actions; hearings upon denial,
suspension, or revocation of license; administrative fines.

(1)

(a) The department or local licensing agency may deny, suspend, or revoke a license or impose an administrative fine not to exceed $100 per violation, per day, for the violation of any provision of ss. 402.301-402.319 or rules adopted thereunder. However, where the violation could or does cause death or serious harm, the department or local licensing agency may impose an administrative fine, not to exceed $500 per violation per day.

(b) In determining the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken for a violation as provided in paragraph (a), the following factors shall be considered:

1. The severity of the violation, including the probability that death or serious harm to the health or safety of any person will result or has resulted, the severity of the actual or potential harm, and the extent to which the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319 have been violated.

2. Actions taken by the licensee to correct the violation or to remedy complaints.

3. Any previous violations of the licensee.

(2) When the department has reasonable cause to believe that grounds for the denial, suspension, or revocation of a license or imposition of an administrative fine exist, it shall determine the matter in accordance with procedures prescribed in chapter 120. When the local licensing agency has reasonable cause to believe that grounds for the denial, suspension, or revocation of a license or imposition of an administrative fine exist, it shall notify the applicant or licensee in writing, stating the grounds upon which the license is being denied, suspended, or revoked or an administrative fine is being imposed. If the applicant or licensee makes no written request for a hearing to the local licensing agency within 15 days from receipt of such notice, the license shall be deemed denied, suspended, or revoked or an administrative fine shall be imposed.

(3) If a request for a hearing is made to the local licensing agency, a hearing shall be held within 30 days and shall be conducted by an individual designated by the county commission.

(4) An applicant or licensee shall have the right to appeal a decision of the local licensing agency to a representative of the department. Any required hearing shall be held in the county in which the child care facility is being operated or is to be established. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120.

History.--s. 10, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-117; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 19, ch. 78-95; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 9, ch. 84-551; s. 42, ch. 87-225; s. 37, ch. 90-306; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 24, ch. 2000-153.

402.311 Inspection.

A licensed child care facility shall accord to the department or the local licensing agency, whichever is applicable, the privilege of inspection, including access to facilities and personnel and to those records required in s. 402.305, at reasonable times during regular business hours, to ensure compliance with the provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319. The right of entry and inspection shall also extend to any premises which the department or local licensing agency has reason to believe are being operated or maintained as a child care facility without a license, but no such entry or inspection of any premises shall be made without the permission of the person in charge thereof unless a warrant is first obtained from the circuit court authorizing same. Any application for a license or renewal made pursuant to this act or the advertisement to the public for the provision of child care as defined in s. 402.302 shall constitute permission for any entry or inspection of the premises for which the license is sought in order to facilitate verification of the information submitted on or in connection with the application. In the event a licensed facility refuses permission for entry or inspection to the department or local licensing agency, a warrant shall be obtained from the circuit court authorizing same prior to such entry or inspection. The department or local licensing agency may institute disciplinary proceedings pursuant to s. 402.310, for such refusal.

History.--s. 11, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 10, ch. 84-551; s. 61, ch. 90-306; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115.

402.3115 Elimination of duplicative and
unnecessary inspections; abbreviated inspections
.

The Department of Children and Family Services and local governmental agencies that license child care facilities shall develop and implement a plan to eliminate duplicative and unnecessary inspections of child care facilities. In addition, the department and the local governmental agencies shall develop and implement an abbreviated inspection plan for child care facilities that have had no Class 1 or Class 2 deficiencies, as defined by rule, for at least 2 consecutive years. The abbreviated inspection must include those elements identified by the department and the local governmental agencies as being key indicators of whether the child care facility continues to provide quality care and programming.

History.--s. 79, ch. 96-175; s. 147, ch. 99-8; s. 226, ch. 99-13.

402.312 License required; injunctive relief.

(1) The operation of a child care facility without a license is prohibited. If the department or the local licensing agency discovers that a child care facility is being operated without a license, the department or local licensing agency is authorized to seek an injunction in the circuit court where the facility is located to enjoin continued operation of such facility. When the court is closed for the transaction of judicial business, the department or local licensing agency is authorized to seek an emergency injunction to enjoin continued operation of such unlicensed facility, which injunction shall be continued, modified, or revoked on the next day of judicial business.

(2) Other grounds for seeking an injunction to close a facility are that:

(a) There is any violation of the standards applied under ss. 402.301-402.319 which threatens harm to any child in the child care facility.

(b) A licensee has repeatedly violated the standards provided for under ss. 402.301-402.319.

(c) A child care facility continues to have children in attendance after the closing date established by the department or the local licensing agency.

(3) The department may impose an administrative fine on any child care facility operating without a license, consistent with the provisions of s. 402.310.

History.--s. 12, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 4, 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 11, ch. 84-551; s. 61, ch. 90-306; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115.

402.3125 Display and appearance of license; posting of
violations; information to be provided to parents.

(1)

(a) Upon receipt of a license issued under s. 402.308 or s. 402.309, the child care facility shall display such license in a conspicuous place within the facility.

(b)

1. In addition to posting the license as required under paragraph (a), the child care facility shall post with the license:

a. Each citation for a violation of any standard or requirement of ss. 402.301-402.319 that has resulted in disciplinary action under s. 402.310 or s. 402.312.

b. An explanation, written in simple language, of each citation.

c. A description, written in simple language, of the corrective action, if any, taken by the facility for each citation. Included in the description shall be the dates on which the corrective action was taken.

2. Each citation, explanation, and description of corrective action shall remain posted for 1 year after the citation's effective date.

(2) The department shall ensure that every license it issues under s. 402.308 or s. 402.309 bears the distinctive seals of the State of Florida and of the department and is clearly recognizable by its size, color, seals, and contents to be a state license or provisional license for a child care facility.

(3) Each local licensing agency shall ensure that every license it issues under s. 402.308 or s. 402.309 bears the distinctive seals of the issuing county and of the department and is clearly recognizable by its size, color, seals, and contents to be a county license or provisional license for a child care facility. Noncompliance by a local licensing agency shall be deemed by the department to be failure to meet minimum state standards and shall result in the department immediately assuming licensure authority in the county.

(4) Any license issued pursuant to subsection (2) or subsection (3) shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the licensing agency.

(5) The department shall develop a model brochure for distribution by the department and by local licensing agencies to every child care facility in the state. Pursuant thereto:

(a) Upon receipt of such brochures, each child care facility shall provide a copy of same to every parent, guardian, or other person having entered a child in such facility. Thereafter, a copy of such brochure shall be provided to every parent, guardian, or other person entering a child in such facility upon entrance of the child or prior thereto.

(b) Each child care facility shall certify to the department or local licensing agency, whichever is appropriate, that it has so provided and will continue to so provide such brochures, which certification shall operate as a condition upon issuance and renewal of licensure. Noncompliance by any child care facility shall be grounds for sanction as provided in ss. 402.310 and 402.312.

(c) The brochure shall, at a minimum, contain the following information:

1. A statement that the facility is licensed and has met state standards for licensure as established by s. 402.305 or that the facility is licensed by a local licensing agency and has met or exceeded the state standards, pursuant to ss. 402.306 and 402.307. Such statement shall include a listing of specific standards that licensed facilities must meet pursuant to s. 402.305.

2. A statement indicating that information about the licensure status of the child care facility can be obtained by telephoning the department office or the office of the local licensing agency issuing the license at a telephone number or numbers which shall be printed upon or otherwise affixed to the brochure.

3. The statewide toll-free telephone number of the central abuse hotline, together with a notice that reports of suspected and actual cases of child physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect are received and referred for investigation by the hotline.

4. The date that the current license for the facility was issued and the date of its scheduled expiration if it is not renewed.

5. Any other information relating to competent child care that the department deems would be helpful to parents and other caretakers in their selection of a child care facility.

(d) The department shall prepare a brochure containing substantially the same information as specified in paragraph (c) and shall make such brochure available to all interested persons, including physicians and other health professionals; mental health professionals; school teachers or other school personnel; social workers or other professional child care, foster care, residential, or institutional workers; and law enforcement officers.

History.--ss. 12, 19, ch. 84-551; s. 43, ch. 87-225; s. 61, ch. 90-306; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 1, ch. 95-329; s. 95, ch. 2000-349.

402.313 Family day care homes.

(1) Family day care homes shall be licensed under this act if they are presently being licensed under an existing county licensing ordinance, if they are participating in the subsidized child care program, or if the board of county commissioners passes a resolution that family day care homes be licensed. If no county authority exists for the licensing of a family day care home, the department shall have the authority to license family day care homes under contract for the purchase-of-service system in the subsidized child care program.

(a) If not subject to license, family day care homes shall register annually with the department, providing the following information:

1. The name and address of the home.

2. The name of the operator.

3. The number of children served.

4. Proof of a written plan to provide at least one other competent adult to be available to substitute for the operator in an emergency. This plan shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the designated substitute.

5. Proof of screening and background checks.

6. Proof of successful completion of the 30-hour training course, as evidenced by passage of a competency examination, which shall include:

a. State and local rules and regulations that govern child care.

b. Health, safety, and nutrition.

c. Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.

d. Child development, including typical and atypical language development; and cognitive, motor, social, and self-help skills development.

e. Observation of developmental behaviors, including using a checklist or other similar observation tools and techniques to determine a child's developmental level.

f. Specialized areas, as determined by the department, for owner-operators of family day care homes.

7. Proof that immunization records are kept current.

(b) The department or local licensing agency may impose an administrative fine, not to exceed $100, for failure to comply with licensure or registration requirements.

(c) A family day care home not participating in the subsidized child care program may volunteer to be licensed under the provisions of this act.

(d) The department may provide technical assistance to counties and family day care home providers to enable counties and family day care providers to achieve compliance with family day care homes standards.

(2) This information shall be included in a directory to be published annually by the department to inform the public of available child care facilities.

(3) Child care personnel in family day care homes shall be subject to the applicable screening provisions contained in ss. 402.305(2) and 402.3055. For purposes of screening in family day care homes, the term includes any member over the age of 12 years of a family day care home operator's family, or persons over the age of 12 years residing with the operator in the family day care home. Members of the operator's family, or persons residing with the operator, who are between the ages of 12 years and 18 years shall not be required to be fingerprinted, but shall be screened for delinquency records.

(4) Operators of family day care homes must successfully complete an approved 30-clock-hour introductory course in child care, as evidenced by passage of a competency examination, before caring for children.

(5) Family day care home operators may avail themselves of supportive services offered by the department.

(6) The department shall prepare a brochure on family day care for distribution by the department and by local licensing agencies, if appropriate, to family day care homes for distribution to parents utilizing such child care, and to all interested persons, including physicians and other health professionals; mental health professionals; school teachers or other school personnel; social workers or other professional child care, foster care, residential, or institutional workers; and law enforcement officers. The brochure shall, at a minimum, contain the following information:

(a) A brief description of the requirements for family day care registration, training, and fingerprinting and screening.

(b) A listing of those counties that require licensure of family day care homes. Such counties shall provide an addendum to the brochure that provides a brief description of the licensure requirements or may provide a brochure in lieu of the one described in this subsection, provided it contains all the required information on licensure and the required information in the subsequent paragraphs.

(c) A statement indicating that information about the family day care home's compliance with applicable state or local requirements can be obtained by telephoning the department office or the office of the local licensing agency, if appropriate, at a telephone number or numbers which shall be affixed to the brochure.

(d) The statewide toll-free telephone number of the central abuse hotline, together with a notice that reports of suspected and actual child physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect are received and referred for investigation by the hotline.

(e) Any other information relating to competent child care that the department or local licensing agency, if preparing a separate brochure, deems would be helpful to parents and other caretakers in their selection of a family day care home.

(7) On an annual basis, the department shall evaluate the registration and licensure system for family day care homes. Such evaluation shall, at a minimum, address the following:

(a) The number of family day care homes registered and licensed and the dates of such registration and licensure.

(b) The number of children being served in both registered and licensed family day care homes and any available slots in such homes.

(c) The number of complaints received concerning family day care, the nature of the complaints, and the resolution of such complaints.

(d) The training activities utilized by child care personnel in family day care homes for meeting the state or local training requirements.

The evaluation shall be utilized by the department in any administrative modifications or adjustments to be made in the registration of family day care homes or in any legislative requests for modifications to the system of registration or to other requirements for family day care homes.

(8) In order to inform the public of the state requirement for registration of family day care homes as well as the other requirements for such homes to legally operate in the state, the department shall institute a media campaign to accomplish this end. Such a campaign shall include, at a minimum, flyers, newspaper advertisements, radio advertisements, and television advertisements.

(9) Notwithstanding any other state or local law or ordinance, any family day care home licensed pursuant to this chapter or pursuant to a county ordinance shall be charged the utility rates accorded to a residential home. A licensed family day care home may not be charged commercial utility rates.

(10) The department shall, by rule, establish minimum standards for family day care homes that are required to be licensed by county licensing ordinance or county licensing resolution or that voluntarily choose to be licensed. The standards should include requirements for staffing, training, maintenance of immunization records, minimum health standards, reduced standards for the regulation of child care during evening hours by municipalities and counties, and enforcement of standards.

History.--s. 13, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 28, ch. 85-54; s. 44, ch. 87-225; s. 27, ch. 87-238; s. 38, ch. 90-306; s. 3, ch. 91-300; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 46, ch. 95-196; s. 59, ch. 95-228; s. 80, ch. 96-175; s. 3, ch. 97-63; s. 39, ch. 97-173; s. 14, ch. 99-304; s. 96, ch. 2000-349; s. 62, ch. 2002-1; s. 3, ch. 2002-300.

402.3131 Large family child care homes.

(1) Large family child care homes shall be licensed under this section.

(a) The department or local licensing agency may impose an administrative fine, not to exceed $1,000, for failure to comply with licensure requirements.

(b) A licensed family day care home must first have operated for a minimum of 2 consecutive years, with an operator who has had a child development associate credential or its equivalent for 1 year, before seeking licensure as a large family child care home.

(c) The department may provide technical assistance to counties and family day care home providers to enable the counties and providers to achieve compliance with minimum standards for large family child care homes.

(2) Child care personnel in large family child care homes shall be subject to the applicable screening provisions contained in ss. 402.305(2) and 402.3055. For purposes of screening child care personnel in large family child care homes, the term "child care personnel" includes any member of a large family child care home operator's family 12 years of age or older, or any person 12 years of age or older residing with the operator in the large family child care home. Members of the operator's family, or persons residing with the operator, who are between the ages of 12 years and 18 years, inclusive, shall not be required to be fingerprinted, but shall be screened for delinquency records.

(3) Operators of large family child care homes must successfully complete an approved 40-clock-hour introductory course in group child care, as evidenced by passage of a competency examination. Successful completion of the 40-clock-hour introductory course shall articulate into community college credit in 1early childhood education, pursuant to 2ss. 1007.24 and 1007.25.

(4) The department shall prepare a brochure on large family child care homes for distribution to the general public.

(5) The department shall, by rule, establish minimum standards for large family child care homes. The standards shall include, at a minimum, requirements for staffing, maintenance of immunization records, minimum health standards, minimum safety standards, minimum square footage, and enforcement of standards.

(6) Prior to being licensed by the department, large family child care homes must be approved by the state or local fire marshal in accordance with standards established for child care facilities.

History.--s. 15, ch. 99-304; s. 1, ch. 2002-300.

1Note.--The phrase "as approved by the Articulation Coordinating Committee" following the term "early childhood education" was deleted by the editors to conform to the elimination of the Articulation Coordinating Committee by the School Code Rewrite bill, ch. 2002-387.

2Note.--Substituted by the editors for a reference to s. 229.551(1)(g), the predecessor provision to ss. 1007.24 and 1007.25.

402.3135 Subsidized child care case management program.

(1) The department shall establish or contract for a child care case management program for children at risk of abuse or neglect participating in the subsidized child care program and their families.

(2) The case management program staff shall perform, but not be limited to, the following duties and responsibilities:

(a) Participation in the case staffing meetings.

(b) Provision of technical assistance to child care staff or parents on child development matters or other issues related to the child.

(c) Supplementation of the training efforts of the department and other providers in the child care and child development area.

(3) The department shall conduct or contract for an evaluation to determine the effectiveness of this program component and establish an allocation workload methodology for budget development.

History.--s. 39, ch. 90-306; s. 26, ch. 2001-170.

402.314 Supportive services.

The department shall provide consultation services, technical assistance, and inservice training, when requested and as available, to operators, licensees, registrants, and applicants to help improve programs, homes, and facilities for child care, and shall work cooperatively with other organizations and agencies concerned with child care.

History.--s. 13, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 29, ch. 85-54; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115.

402.3145 Subsidized child care transportation program.

(1) The department, pursuant to chapter 427, shall establish a subsidized child care transportation system for children at risk of abuse or neglect participating in the subsidized child care program. The state community child care coordination agencies shall contract for the provision of transportation services as required by this section.

(2) The transportation system shall provide transportation to each child participating in subsidized child care when, and only when, transportation is necessary to provide child care opportunities which otherwise would not be available to a child whose home is more than a reasonable walking distance from the nearest child care facility or family day care home.

History.--s. 40, ch. 90-306.

402.315 Funding; license fees.

(1) If the county designates a local agency to be responsible for the licensing of child care facilities, the county shall bear at least 75 percent of the costs involved.

(2) The department shall bear the costs of the licensing of child care facilities when contracted to do so by a county or when directly responsible for licensing in a county which fails to meet or exceed state minimum standards.

(3) The department shall collect a fee for any license it issues for a child care facility pursuant to s. 402.308. Such fee shall be $1 per child, except that the minimum fee shall be $25 per center and the maximum fee shall be $100 per center.

(4) Any county may collect a fee for any license it issues pursuant to s. 402.308.

(5) All moneys collected by the department for child care licensing shall be held in a trust fund of the department to be reallocated to the department during the following fiscal year to fund child care licensing activities, including the Gold Seal Quality Care program created pursuant to s. 402.281.

History.--s. 15, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 13, ch. 84-551; s. 30, ch. 85-54; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 81, ch. 96-175.

402.316 Exemptions.

(1) The provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319, except for the requirements regarding screening of child care personnel, shall not apply to a child care facility which is an integral part of church or parochial schools conducting regularly scheduled classes, courses of study, or educational programs accredited by, or by a member of, an organization which publishes and requires compliance with its standards for health, safety, and sanitation. However, such facilities shall meet minimum requirements of the applicable local governing body as to health, sanitation, and safety and shall meet the screening requirements pursuant to ss. 402.305 and 402.3055. Failure by a facility to comply with such screening requirements shall result in the loss of the facility's exemption from licensure.

(2) Any county or city with state or local child care licensing programs in existence on July 1, 1974, will continue to license the child care facilities as covered by such programs, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), until and unless the licensing agency makes a determination to exempt them.

(3) Any child care facility covered by the exemption provisions of subsection (1), but desiring to be included in this act, is authorized to do so by submitting notification to the department. Once licensed, such facility cannot withdraw from the act and continue to operate.

History.--s. 16, ch. 74-113; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 83-248; s. 14, ch. 84-551; s. 31, ch. 85-54; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115.

402.318 Advertisement.

No person shall advertise a child care facility without including within such advertisement the state or local agency license number of such facility. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--ss. 15, 19, ch. 84-551; s. 74, ch. 91-224; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115.

402.319 Penalties.

(1) It is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for any person knowingly to:

(a) Fail, by false statement, misrepresentation, impersonation, or other fraudulent means, to disclose in any application for voluntary or paid employment or licensure regulated under ss. 402.301-402.318 all information required under those sections or a material fact used in making a determination as to such person's qualifications to be child care personnel, as defined in s. 402.302, in a child care facility, family day care home, or other child care program.

(b) Operate or attempt to operate a child care facility without having procured a license as required by this act.

(c) Operate or attempt to operate a family day care home without a license or without registering with the department, whichever is applicable.

(d) Operate or attempt to operate a child care facility or family day care home under a license that is suspended, revoked, or terminated.

(e) Misrepresent, by act or omission, a child care facility or family day care home to be duly licensed pursuant to this act without being so licensed.

(f) Make any other misrepresentation, by act or omission, regarding the licensure or operation of a child care facility or family day care home to a parent or guardian who has a child placed in the facility or is inquiring as to placing a child in the facility, or to a representative of the licensing authority, or to a representative of a law enforcement agency, including, but not limited to, any misrepresentation as to:

1. The number of children at the child care facility or the family day care home;

2. The part of the child care facility or family day care home designated for child care;

3. The qualifications or credentials of child care personnel;

4. Whether a family day care home or child care facility complies with the screening requirements of s. 402.305; or

5. Whether child care personnel have the training as required by s. 402.305.

(2) If any child care personnel makes any misrepresentation in violation of this section to a parent or guardian who has placed a child in the child care facility or family day care home, and the parent or guardian relied upon the misrepresentation, and the child suffers great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, or death as a result of an intentional act or negligence by the child care personnel, then the child care personnel commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.--ss. 16, 19, ch. 84-551; s. 32, ch. 85-54; s. 37, ch. 90-347; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-115; s. 60, ch. 95-228; s. 2, ch. 99-207.


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