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Jenniferdawn 11:04 PM 09-21-2011
I've got my initial inspection to open up my daycare coming up (in California) and I'm curious to see how yours went. Did you pass the first time? What did you forget to do that they made you do better/different? Any advise?
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sharlan 11:22 PM 09-21-2011
I've had 3 inspections and this what I failed on the various ones.

Toothpaste, deodorant, etc in the bathroom medicine cabinet, shampoo in the shower, dishsoap under the kitchen sink. I used to use the finger locks, the ones that you push down. Now I use the magnetic locks in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. I use the refrigerator locks, plastic straps, on the downstairs shower

Batteries and small screwdriver in the kitchen drawer.

Stairway not blocked even though both rooms leading to the staircase were gated off.

Good luck with your inspection.
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daycare 11:40 PM 09-21-2011
I'm in northern cali.
I think it depends on the person that comes out to inspect. Mine was very nice and very informative/helpful. She made a few reccomndations and I had purchased the wrong fire extinguisher so I had to get a new one and email her the sale of reciept with a pic of the right one I bought.

It was very stress free and simple.
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Jenniferdawn 07:33 AM 09-22-2011
So if I can't have toothpaste and shampoo etc in the shower area, where do I put it? If I have the finger locks on the cabinets, can I store it in there, or is that not okay anymore? I turned in my application and am waiting to hear back, but I feel like the information on how to prepare for the inspection is so vague. Will I get more info regarding inspection once they get back to me about my application?
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care-care 09:04 AM 09-22-2011
i know i had to make sure i had the drawer with my sandwich bags and tin foil locked and my junk drawers i did too. In my bathroom i have drawers on my vanity in bathroom so some of them i locked and some i didnt . my tooth paste drawer has a lock my product drawer has a lock but the drawer that has my tampons and pads dont. and the drawer that has my curling iron and blow dryer dont. i also have the door knob lock things on some of my doors so when i shut them they cant open them . like my pantry closet the door to my furnace room i had shampoo in my shower when she came she didnt say anything i have a glass door dont no if thats y? i even went as far as checking all my dresser drawers in my bedroom to see ifsomething could of possibly gotten in there i didnt want becuz i didnt no if she woud look there lol
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sharlan 09:10 AM 09-22-2011
In my area, it takes over 3 months to get your inspection.

Call your local office and ask them if the finger locks are ok. Each inspector has their own things they look for.

My inspector (first time) wouldn't accept toothpaste in a drawer locked with a finger lock. (To be honest, I put it in the garage until she left, then put it back on the top shelf in the medicine cabinet.)

My niece has the downstairs bathroom and I put the magnetic locks on the cabinet and the strappy latches on the shower doors. She keeps everything in her shower - razors, shampoo, toothpaste, etc and it was approved.

My last inspector approved of knives sitting on the counter - a big no no to everyone else. Yet, he didn't pass me because of the staircase. Two other inspectors approved it. I have gates blocking access to that room, but he wanted the staircase specifically blocked.
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Jenniferdawn 09:15 AM 09-22-2011
Huh. you would think there would be a standard all the inspectors should be going by...I guess I'll just see what happens.
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sharlan 09:20 AM 09-22-2011
To be honest, CA is such a large state and each inspector has their own little pet peeve.

I've found that if you keep it pleasant, don't over react, don't cop an attitude, they'll respond the same way.
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daycare 09:26 AM 09-22-2011
Originally Posted by Jenniferdawn:
Huh. you would think there would be a standard all the inspectors should be going by...I guess I'll just see what happens.
Lots of grey area!! Just do your best to follow these two rules
Keep anything dangerous (like knives) and anything that says keep out of reach of children under locks. Finger locks in CA will not pass.

2nd thing is if it fits in a toilet paper tube a child can swallow it. Those items must be out of reach of children and if in reach must be locked with proper lock.

See the thing I don't get is I can't have a battery in my kitchen drawer but I can have legos or pegs or toys with batteries and that's ok??
Lots of grey area.
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Jenniferdawn 09:39 AM 09-22-2011
Ug! I just got through installing all the finger locks all over the house! Seriously, why don't they tell you that first???
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care-care 09:43 AM 09-22-2011
The lady i had at the lisencing place said the inspector for my area was a battle axe.. (their word not mine) and she was the sweetest lady ever. I was prepared to have her search everything and she didnt I also think she could see that I didnt have misc stuff laying around from the get go.
I just took the check list and read and re read and kept going over it until the day she came. I did have numerous trips back to store for stuff but in the end I passed with nothing to fix or change. I guess look at it from a kids view lol. I think some of the stuff is silly but they said well it is cause one person had it happen now it is a rule. So when something happens the only way they can try to make it not for someone else is to create a rule for all. I personally never had locks on any of my stuff with my daughter and grandson and they never got into anything Now im locked up like fort knox..lol
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Jenniferdawn 09:47 AM 09-22-2011
I just called licensing and they said the finger locks are fine. So I guess I will go with that.
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familyschoolcare 10:08 AM 09-22-2011
Originally Posted by Jenniferdawn:
I just called licensing and they said the finger locks are fine. So I guess I will go with that.
Even though you where told this I would not use them for something that has to be inaccessible to the children. They are on the list/picture of the orientation for California, for locking devices that are not to be used. Therefor, even if you pass with them you could get written up later.

Also, I did not pass my first inspection because my kitchen was "cluttered." (her word) I had baked the morning and the dishwasher was running and there was a 1/2 full , sink of dishes, and the plastic bottles we reuse where "thrown" (her words) on a self. So when she came back no dishes in sight and I had put the bottles in a box on the self in the same place looks the same to me but I passed.

My inspector told me that "they" except that when you know they are coming that the house be very clean because "they" assume that when "they" are not coming the house is messier. Nothing like thinking day care providers are honest people.
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KBCsMommy 10:10 AM 09-22-2011
I think California is too lax on their inspections.......or maybe its just the inspectors themselves.

I had a gentleman do my initial inspection to get my license. He literally checked nothing. The only thing he checked was that I had a fire extinguisher, smoke alarms, and the deed to my house.

I kept having to ask him if certain things were ok. For example I keep my alchoholic beverages over the oven its way out of reach even for me, he said that was fine.
My husband keeps his vitamins and protein and pre workout mixes in a cabinet in the kitchen it has a magnetic lock, he said that was fine.
If the gate in the hallway was sufficient to keep the kids out of the back rooms.
In my kids bathroom I had shampoo, soap, conditioner in a rack hanging from the shower head and handsoap by the sink and he didnt make any comments on that at all.

The only thing he wanted me to change was in my backyard, he said he would like to see a cover over my BBQ!!! That was it!!

Now Im freaked out because if I get a different inspector, are they going to write me up for things that he didnt think was an issue but someone else will.

I did ask what most people did get violations for and he said - being over capacity, water hazards, and access to hazardous materials are what most daycares are written up for.
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sharlan 10:14 AM 09-22-2011
Originally Posted by Jenniferdawn:
I just called licensing and they said the finger locks are fine. So I guess I will go with that.
That's my complaint with CA licensing. There is so much gray area.

My 2nd inspector had my 5 yo dcg come into the bathroom and open the finger lock. She felt that if the 5 yo could open it, it wasn't safe.

Just go over the check list and relax. I've found that most will work with you rather than have to write you up and come back out.

(I was thinking that I've had 3 inspections, but I've had 4.)

My 3rd inspector came with an attitude as I was operating illegally. HER FAULT, not mine. We bought a new house and I called when we bought, a week before we moved and the week after. I gave her our new address and phone numbers. Never once did she say she needed to come out and inspect. She called me 3 mos AFTER we moved, using the new phone number to do an inspection. She came the next day with a major attitude because I had been operating illegally for 3 mos. I reminded her that I had moved, she said I never called. I asked how she had the new phone number if I never called. She realized that she messed up and changed her attitude, inspection went smoothly after that.
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justgettingstarted 10:15 AM 09-22-2011
Hi Jennifer,

Our area is a little different because the county does the inspections, not the state (we're one of only two counties in the state that handle it themselves) so our regs are slightly different. At the orientation they said the finger locks are okay for products that just say keep out of reach of children, the more dangerous things that can actually kill (poisonous cleansers, etc.) have to be behind a lock and key. I really want to get my license the day of my inspection (next Friday!) so I'm being really careful. I've actually taken just about everyting out of the bathroom the kids will use (except for toilet paper and wipes, first aid kit, and towels) and put it in my bathroom which is behind a locked door. I'll ask what I can keep where during the inspection and then move things back in accordingly afterward. I'm probably going overboard but oh well. FYI, the letter from the inspector says that we have to have a first aid kit which is not what they said at the orientation. I was planning to have one anyway but at the orientation they only said it was recommended.

I'll post after my inspection and let you know how it went. I was actually hoping you had already done your inspection so that I could ask you!

Regarding the timeline - if you just submitted your application it will take about 2 weeks to get the live scan (finger printing forms), once you submit those it takes about a month to get your inspection appointment which will be a couple weeks out. At least, that's how it went for me.

Hope this helps! BTW, I never got an email from you. If you'd still like to chat you can private message me on here (I just figured out how) or send me an email (kristin.brightbeginnings@gmail.com).
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Jenniferdawn 10:24 AM 09-22-2011
That's weird. I emailed Monday at 11:07 my computer says. I'll try again.
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Jenniferdawn 10:35 AM 09-22-2011
I just had another daycare worker in my area say she just uses hair rubber bands on the knobs on her cabinets to keep the kids out and they passed her!!! (Not the poisons, but the other things like soaps, etc.)
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mom2many 10:45 AM 09-22-2011
I've had roughly 12 inspections, since I opened and each one is so different! Ca. is terrible with inconsistencies in regulations, so you just have to do the best you can and expect them to find something wrong!

I passed my first inspection 100% and everything was perfect. Then the next analyst came out 3 yrs later and wanted me to move my knives from my counter top to my drawer. Later another one wanted them on the counter. I could go on and on! What one sees as an issue, others do not. I have never had any injuries or problems with safety in my home and sometimes they seriously lack common sense!

Where are you located? In Santa Clara Co. I was recently written up for having the finger locks on my bathroom vanity. They'd ALWAYS been okay for 22 years and I had an unannounced visit in August 2009 and passed with everything 100% and then another analyst came out in January 2010 (just 5 mths later) and I was told ONLY "Tot Loks" were allowed to secure cabinets. I would have been totally okay with this changing, but the Analyst proceeded to write me up for everything I had stored in the previously approved "locked" cabinet. I also asked to see where this change was made and was told it was merely discussed in the new orientations. I filed an appeal, but it was denied. Kind of frustrating especially when the Analyst's Mgr admitted that within the state of CA each county cannot agree on how cabinets should be secured! Evidently some counties still allow the finger locks and since you called licensing yours must be one of them!

Good luck! Don't stress...the first inspection is more about making sure things are up to their standards.
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mom2many 10:49 AM 09-22-2011
Originally Posted by Jenniferdawn:
I just had another daycare worker in my area say she just uses hair rubber bands on the knobs on her cabinets to keep the kids out and they passed her!!! (Not the poisons, but the other things like soaps, etc.)
WOW!!!!!!!! That is crazy! That is all I had under my bathroom sink and I was written up for having "hazardous" items and they were secured with the finger locks.
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mom2many 10:54 AM 09-22-2011
Originally Posted by KBCsMommy:
I think California is too lax on their inspections.......or maybe its just the inspectors themselves.

I had a gentleman do my initial inspection to get my license. He literally checked nothing. The only thing he checked was that I had a fire extinguisher, smoke alarms, and the deed to my house.

I kept having to ask him if certain things were ok. For example I keep my alchoholic beverages over the oven its way out of reach even for me, he said that was fine.
My husband keeps his vitamins and protein and pre workout mixes in a cabinet in the kitchen it has a magnetic lock, he said that was fine.
If the gate in the hallway was sufficient to keep the kids out of the back rooms.
In my kids bathroom I had shampoo, soap, conditioner in a rack hanging from the shower head and handsoap by the sink and he didnt make any comments on that at all.

The only thing he wanted me to change was in my backyard, he said he would like to see a cover over my BBQ!!! That was it!!

Now Im freaked out because if I get a different inspector, are they going to write me up for things that he didnt think was an issue but someone else will.

I did ask what most people did get violations for and he said - being over capacity, water hazards, and access to hazardous materials are what most daycares are written up for.

This is exactly how it is! I have always been very conscientious and detail oriented to make sure I followed all of the CA regulations, but what is okay and considered "inaccessible" to some is not with others! It is very hard to pass every inspection.
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Jenniferdawn 10:55 AM 09-22-2011
I'm in Sacramento county. I guess it does make a difference which county your in as well as what inspector you get.
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daycare 11:02 AM 09-22-2011
Originally Posted by familyschoolcare:
Even though you where told this I would not use them for something that has to be inaccessible to the children. They are on the list/picture of the orientation for California, for locking devices that are not to be used. Therefor, even if you pass with them you could get written up later.

Also, I did not pass my first inspection because my kitchen was "cluttered." (her word) I had baked the morning and the dishwasher was running and there was a 1/2 full , sink of dishes, and the plastic bottles we reuse where "thrown" (her words) on a self. So when she came back no dishes in sight and I had put the bottles in a box on the self in the same place looks the same to me but I passed.

My inspector told me that "they" except that when you know they are coming that the house be very clean because "they" assume that when "they" are not coming the house is messier. Nothing like thinking day care providers are honest people.
Ditto this... I was told finger locks where ok and then when they came out to inspect, I was told differently. You have to LOCK meaning a child cannot open in anyway things that are harmful....LIke I stated before anything that says "keep out of reach of children" labeled on it.... lock it up....

each inspector is different. The one that came out from the start said that I could have shampoo and stuff in my shower, as long as a child could not reach it, while other inspectors may so no you can't have it at all..

Bottom line is just plan as though you are going to have the "battle axe" lol of all inspectors and prepare for them. THen you will more than likely be ok..
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Unregistered 06:44 PM 12-09-2011
I have a question, I need to know if the inspectors check all rooms of the house, (Our bedrooms?) We have key locking doors on all bedrooms. Will they still check the rooms?
Also, Finger locks... Are they ok to use or not ok? I have everything with finger locks...
Any helpfull tips? Im soo nervous!.

Thanks
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Jenniferdawn 09:25 PM 12-09-2011
Unregistered, what state are you in? I know each one has different regs, and even with in the state, it differs. Yes, they will check every room on the initial inspection to make sure you aren't hiding anything, but on future inspections (at least here) if the doors are locked when they come, they do not check them again. I have all my lower cabinets with finger locks, BUT I have no cleaners or poisons in them. My inspector was fine with the cleaners being in my top cabinet. Really hazardous ones are out in the garage behind a lock. I have my meds in a locked cabinet, but my inspector said as long as they are out of reach, they are fine. But I know other inspectors here that made the daycare lock up VANILLA because it has alcohol in it. The nice thing to know (again, in my case) the first inspection was easy. I had a few things I needed to fix (I had poisonous plants I didn't know about) but other than that, it was fine. I think the whole point of the initial inspection is to help you spot things you miss. As long as they see you've tried, you should be fine. I stressed WAy more than I needed to. I'm sure you are too.
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Meeko 07:56 AM 12-10-2011
My state web site has the exact same checklist the licensor uses. I print it off and go over it myself. That way it's easy to be 100% compliant.

We are told at our training classes that the inspector can only use the checklist. He or she cannot decide whether or not they personally like or dislike something.

So even though I stress...I KNOW before the inspector gets here that I will pass. See if your state has a web site and the inspection checklists.

I know I sound like a broken record..sorry ladies but I hate to see providers get themselves so worried about inspections. You do a wonderful job!
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