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  #1  
Old 09-24-2013, 01:14 PM
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Default Conversation with My Licensing Agent

This may be more of a vent, but if you have any insight/advice, it would be appreciated.

So, I woke up this morning around 2:00am and couldn't go back to sleep until around 6:00am. I currently have only one dcc, and her mom has Tuesdays off. So I turned off my alarm and went to catch a couple hours of sleep.
Just before 8:00, my oldest dd came in to my room and woke me saying that there was some lady knocking on our door. She didn't answer it. Just as I was groggily trying to process this information, my phone rang. I let the answering machine get it, and sure enough, it was licensing. I called her back after my brain woke up. She sounded very irritated that I didn't answer the door. I explained that 1.) I am off on Tuesdays and 2.) I didn't sleep well last night, so I was asleep when she came. She asked if I am still operating. I explained that as of right now, I only have 1 child enrolled (which in CA, does not require a license). She told me I needed to "make up my mind" as to if I am going to keep my license and if so, I need to be available for random visits. Okay, I get it. Then she asked when I am available. I told her afternoons are better because we go out on frequent outings in the mornings and come back to the house in the afternoons for lunch and nap. Her response was, "Last time I was there in the afternoon, and you weren't there." I said, "Hmmm. That must have been on a Tuesday. That is when my children and I will go run errands or otherwise go somewhere." (Last Tuesday, we decided after lunch to go to the zoo.) Then she said that that is why she came by so early this morning, to change it up. I again apologized for not answering the door this morning.

I really didn't like the way the conversation went. Not so much what she said, but how she said it. I tried my best to be upbeat and cheerful, but I felt as if she thought I was hiding from her or lying to her about something. The conversation really upset me. We are at the house more than we are out. I understand that her office is an hour's drive away from my town, so it is probably frustrating for her to make the drive and not be able to accomplish everything she needs to. But is it my problem that when she comes by, it happens to be when we are out?
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:18 PM
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Nope, not your problem. I really would try not to worry about this. I took Fridays off all summer and I never told them. We are not obligated to stay home on the off chance that the state might visit!
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:42 PM
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I can get where she's coming from but I also understand your frusteration. I was told during training that if for some reason that happens, you should have a little something on the door to say you're temporarily closed on Tues. Take it down any other day or during an interview but that in case licensing shows up you're covered. Now that they've done that, twice, she sounds like she'll be back and perhaps on a mission to cite you.
We heard stories in training about people who were on vacation from work but home and licensing showed up, and even with no kids on the premises, cited the providers for any thing they could find. So yeah we were advised to have a note up if you're closed.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:42 PM
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Never let someone else's bad attitude or tone be your problem.

You aren't breaking any laws, you aren't doing anything illegal and whether you have 1 or 5 kids enrolled is up to you. I don't think she had a right to tell you to make your mind unless she was personally going to help you enroll children.

I would let her bad mood be hers and go about your business.

I am sorry she was rude but some people just are.

In the future, I would maybe place a sign on your door stating OPEN, CLOSED or AWAY FOR A MOMENT. WE WILL RETURN AT ______ a.m./p.m.

That might help.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:46 PM
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Part of the big fraud prevention thing in our state is that if you are out, you are supposed to call or email your licenser and tell them.

This is because providers were claiming children (subsidy) when the children weren't there. Now, they will cite you here for not being available during regulated hours unless you call.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Never let someone else's bad attitude or tone be your problem.

You aren't breaking any laws, you aren't doing anything illegal and whether you have 1 or 5 kids enrolled is up to you. I don't think she had a right to tell you to make your mind unless she was personally going to help you enroll children.

I would let her bad mood be hers and go about your business.

I am sorry she was rude but some people just are.

In the future, I would maybe place a sign on your door stating OPEN, CLOSED or AWAY FOR A MOMENT. WE WILL RETURN AT ______ a.m./p.m.

That might help.
But that bolded part is untrue. You cannot operate a license-exempt daycare while Licensed. By being licensed you agree to random drop-in visits by a state worker. If you're license-exempt you don't have to agree to that and aren't regulated by the state. You have to give up your license and have your Trustline transferred to license-exempt status to not worry about visits so she is right by saying she needs to make up her mind. Even if you're only watching 1 child, as a licensed provider, you have to be following the rules for a licensed provider and be available for drop-in visits. Do you have to spend every waking moment at home waiting? No! But you need to leave a note or something if you're out.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
But that bolded part is untrue. You cannot operate a license-exempt daycare while Licensed. By being licensed you agree to random drop-in visits by a state worker. If you're license-exempt you don't have to agree to that and aren't regulated by the state. You have to give up your license and have your Trustline transferred to license-exempt status to not worry about visits so she is right by saying she needs to make up her mind. Even if you're only watching 1 child, as a licensed provider, you have to be following the rules for a licensed provider and be available for drop-in visits. Do you have to spend every waking moment at home waiting? No! But you need to leave a note or something if you're out.
I've never heard of having to leave a note. I know in California they have a temporarily closed form you can send in, so you don't have to re-license... My rep told me to not worry about sending it in unless you were going to be closed for more then a couple of months (it's my understanding you could still do licensed exempt care while 'closed'). She said it's not a problem if you are on a vacation, closed for a day, not there, or possibly not hearing the doorbell because you are in the backyard (in which case they would call). Then again I'm in Sac county and licensing is about to change from county to state oversight, so I'm not sure how differently they operate.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
But that bolded part is untrue. You cannot operate a license-exempt daycare while Licensed. By being licensed you agree to random drop-in visits by a state worker. If you're license-exempt you don't have to agree to that and aren't regulated by the state. You have to give up your license and have your Trustline transferred to license-exempt status to not worry about visits so she is right by saying she needs to make up her mind. Even if you're only watching 1 child, as a licensed provider, you have to be following the rules for a licensed provider and be available for drop-in visits. Do you have to spend every waking moment at home waiting? No! But you need to leave a note or something if you're out.
That is pretty much what I said so I am not seeing/understanding how what I said in my previous post about doing nothing illegal being untrue?

OP should have left a note and from the sounds of it IS available for unannounced visits but the timing of them have just been "off" for various reasons...all of which would be solved by leaving a note which is what I suggested as well.

I didn't read anywhere that the OP was operating illegally.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:37 PM
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Here, they won't license you with the intention of caring for 2 or 3 kids, but they won't force you to give up your license if you are low on numbers, either.

I've heard of providers being visited while they were on maternity leave and told to open up their files. Even one who WAS IN LABOR and the licenser came to the house demanding her MIL show her files. Nice...

They can be very mean sometimes, and our state takes what I consider an adversarial approach to daycare vs. a partnership approach.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
Part of the big fraud prevention thing in our state is that if you are out, you are supposed to call or email your licenser and tell them.

This is because providers were claiming children (subsidy) when the children weren't there. Now, they will cite you here for not being available during regulated hours unless you call.
Really? Wow. I get the reasoning behind it but I can't imagine having to inform licensing every time we go for a walk or to the playground!
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:48 PM
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That is pretty much what I said so I am not seeing/understanding how what I said in my previous post about doing nothing illegal being untrue?

OP should have left a note and from the sounds of it IS available for unannounced visits but the timing of them have just been "off" for various reasons...all of which would be solved by leaving a note which is what I suggested as well.

I didn't read anywhere that the OP was operating illegally.
I didn't say she was illegally doing anything? I was just clarifying that they do have the right to say she needs to make up her mind on how she's operating her daycare. If she's going to be exempt and not want to get up for an 8am inspection than don't maintain licensure. Otherwise, you agree to open your doors for inspection. She was home and just didn't want to get up because she was tired and she didn't have kids there. My point is it doesn't work that way. You can't say I am now exempt because I have 1 kid and don't have to be available for inspections on my day off. It sucks but it's true. Bottom line is she has missed 2 unannounced visits and it doesn't matter why to licensing.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:49 PM
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Really? Wow. I get the reasoning behind it but I can't imagine having to inform licensing every time we go for a walk or to the playground!
Yeah, and they aren't that specific. The updates we've gotten say to notify your licenser (and your food program rep) if you're closed. I go for a walk every day, and I don't call for that. It's not actually a licensing reg. to call, but it's suggested to avoid a citation for inaccessibility.

Here is an example of why...

http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/program_int...s_and_mine.htm

I can certainly understand what they are trying to prevent. As always, everyone gets painted with the same brush.

Oh, and here's this providers licensing non-compliance "rap sheet". Wow, I wonder why they visit so often?

http://childcarefinder.wisconsin.gov...xzZXwwfGF8MHww

Public documents, btw.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:54 PM
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Really? Wow. I get the reasoning behind it but I can't imagine having to inform licensing every time we go for a walk or to the playground!
I am in WI too. I was told to leave a note on the door stating we are at the park or on a walk and to include my phone #. If I am going to be closed I am suppose to notify licensing and the food program. I am not licensed at this time to transport kids, so we don't go on long field trips.

I do plan to go on walking field trips once I have a six kid stroller.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:00 PM
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I'm sorry but I am not leaving a note. That's like saying to anyone who comes to the door "I'm not here, take what you want!" or "I'll be back later with a bunch of kids in tow." It is a HOME daycare and the state needs to remember that as well. I did agree to let them in if they drop by but I didn't agree to be home everyday all day on the off chance they do!


Part of the reason I do home daycare is so I can be my own boss, I just refuse to report my every movement to the state.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:02 PM
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Yeah, and they aren't that specific. The updates we've gotten say to notify your licenser (and your food program rep) if you're closed. I go for a walk every day, and I don't call for that. It's not actually a licensing reg. to call, but it's suggested to avoid a citation for inaccessibility.

Here is an example of why...

http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/program_int...s_and_mine.htm

I can certainly understand what they are trying to prevent. As always, everyone gets painted with the same brush.
In Utah, they won't inspect unless you have kids. They understand we need our days off and privacy.

Many years ago, I did daycare on a military base in Oklahoma. They tried to tell us we had to call and let licensing know if we left the house, so they wouldn't make a trip and find us gone.

We balked at that as a group. We were being told "It's your business. You can it anyhow you wish as long as you meet regs".

On the other hand we were being told we couldn't even set foot outside our homes without notifying licensing. Which meant if you couldn't reach your licensor....you couldn't leave your own home!!!

So we decided to prove a point. Every provider on the base called the licensor (only one on the base) for EVERYTHING. Going outside to play? Called her. Going to the park? Called her. Errand? Called her. Everyone left early? Called her.

It took about three days before they decided we didn't need to call and if we missed an inspection, we missed it. Better luck next time.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:07 PM
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I'm sorry but I am not leaving a note. That's like saying to anyone who comes to the door "I'm not here, take what you want!" or "I'll be back later with a bunch of kids in tow." It is a HOME daycare and the state needs to remember that as well. I did agree to let them in if they drop by but I didn't agree to be home everyday all day on the off chance they do!


Part of the reason I do home daycare is so I can be my own boss, I just refuse to report my every movement to the state.
I know....I thought the same thing. I'm in a separate house, so there isn't anything of value .......just toys, 2 porta-cribs..that's about it. Well, my I-pad and my new stainless dishwasher! They better not run off with that. I really didn't want to leave my Cell ph.# either. Thought the state should have that available!
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:48 PM
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NO WAY I'd leave a note. Like someone else said that is as good as saying "Please come rob my home."

That said, I know what month my 'unannounced' inspection is in and one month she was late and it was going into the next month. I was tired of not feeling like I could take the kiddies to the park or for a walk so I called her. I politely said that I wanted to take the children to the park but didn't want her to drive out here for nothing so I'd give her my cell and she could call when she was on the way and we'd come back. She was very nice and asked what time we went. I told her the morning and so she said she wouldn't come before 11 a.m. and that was perfect because we usually got back at 11:00.

If I knew I wasn't working one day a week, I'd always call to let them know. Or if I was taking a vacation in the month she was supposed to come I'd call.

Laurel
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:50 PM
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In Utah, they won't inspect unless you have kids. They understand we need our days off and privacy.

Many years ago, I did daycare on a military base in Oklahoma. They tried to tell us we had to call and let licensing know if we left the house, so they wouldn't make a trip and find us gone.

We balked at that as a group. We were being told "It's your business. You can it anyhow you wish as long as you meet regs".

On the other hand we were being told we couldn't even set foot outside our homes without notifying licensing. Which meant if you couldn't reach your licensor....you couldn't leave your own home!!!

So we decided to prove a point. Every provider on the base called the licensor (only one on the base) for EVERYTHING. Going outside to play? Called her. Going to the park? Called her. Errand? Called her. Everyone left early? Called her.

It took about three days before they decided we didn't need to call and if we missed an inspection, we missed it. Better luck next time.
I wish our providers were more together. The official early childhood organizations don't seem to want to make waves. The only one that will is the provider's union (part of the larger AFSCME), but so many providers refuse to join the union because they don't want to pay the $25 per month, or they don't believe the union will help us. I'm not particularly pro-union (that's a whole other topic), but here anyway, they are the only ones "on our side". They are just not powerful enough to actually make much of a dent.

So, if a few providers tried what you did, the state would probably find a way to give payback.

I haven't had any problems whatsoever with licensing. My licensers have all been pretty great. By the book, but polite and professional. DCF just doesn't mess around; and would be very short tempered if they thought someone was messing with them.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:00 PM
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I didn't say she was illegally doing anything? I was just clarifying that they do have the right to say she needs to make up her mind on how she's operating her daycare. If she's going to be exempt and not want to get up for an 8am inspection than don't maintain licensure. Otherwise, you agree to open your doors for inspection. She was home and just didn't want to get up because she was tired and she didn't have kids there. My point is it doesn't work that way. You can't say I am now exempt because I have 1 kid and don't have to be available for inspections on my day off. It sucks but it's true. Bottom line is she has missed 2 unannounced visits and it doesn't matter why to licensing.
Ahh, sorry. I misread, read too quickly and failed to comprehend.....

I see what you are saying now...


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Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
NO WAY I'd leave a note. Like someone else said that is as good as saying "Please come rob my home."

I guess I never thought about that. I live in a community that that thought just never crossed my mind but I can see how for a majority of people, that is a very valid reason to not pin a note to the door.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:11 PM
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In Utah, they won't inspect unless you have kids. They understand we need our days off and privacy.

Many years ago, I did daycare on a military base in Oklahoma. They tried to tell us we had to call and let licensing know if we left the house, so they wouldn't make a trip and find us gone.

We balked at that as a group. We were being told "It's your business. You can it anyhow you wish as long as you meet regs".

On the other hand we were being told we couldn't even set foot outside our homes without notifying licensing. Which meant if you couldn't reach your licensor....you couldn't leave your own home!!!

So we decided to prove a point. Every provider on the base called the licensor (only one on the base) for EVERYTHING. Going outside to play? Called her. Going to the park? Called her. Errand? Called her. Everyone left early? Called her.

It took about three days before they decided we didn't need to call and if we missed an inspection, we missed it. Better luck next time.
I can promise you OKDHS hasn't changed very much since then.

We also have to notify if we won't be home. In OP's case, of I were closed every Tuesday, I would just need to update that with my licensor. She keeps a tab of what days & hours each provider is open, so that they can come during hours of operation.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:24 PM
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But that bolded part is untrue. You cannot operate a license-exempt daycare while Licensed. By being licensed you agree to random drop-in visits by a state worker. If you're license-exempt you don't have to agree to that and aren't regulated by the state. You have to give up your license and have your Trustline transferred to license-exempt status to not worry about visits so she is right by saying she needs to make up her mind. Even if you're only watching 1 child, as a licensed provider, you have to be following the rules for a licensed provider and be available for drop-in visits. Do you have to spend every waking moment at home waiting? No! But you need to leave a note or something if you're out.
Sure you agree to random visits. You don't agree you are going to be home. That's the RISK of an unannounced visit. I did field trips CONSTANTLY. I tried to leave a note but sometimes I didn't. I ALWAYS called our food lady, but not the state. The food lady was one thing because they would audit to make sure I was really feeding the kids at the right times. Sometimes, if we went to a picnic, she'd meet us there. As long as I had prepped the food at home myself and it was not fast food, I could still claim it. I never called the state because honestly, if they can't tell me when they're coming, and they never answer the phone anyway, it is a waste of time. But the note does save your ass. I used to date them and place a time on them when it was left and time when I'd be back. Never once did I get any card or notice a visit was happening or a complaint that I was not there.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by crazydaycarelady View Post
I'm sorry but I am not leaving a note. That's like saying to anyone who comes to the door "I'm not here, take what you want!" or "I'll be back later with a bunch of kids in tow." It is a HOME daycare and the state needs to remember that as well. I did agree to let them in if they drop by but I didn't agree to be home everyday all day on the off chance they do!


Part of the reason I do home daycare is so I can be my own boss, I just refuse to report my every movement to the state.
My thoughts exactly!!
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:21 PM
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I personally understand her frustration, but in CA there are NO regs saying you need to always be "home" Mon - Fri 7-6...or whatever your normal operating hours are.

Geez, I used to take field trips and do park days all of the time. I had licensing leave their card on my door once, when I was gone and one time she caught me just as I was headed out to pick up S/A kids in the afternoon. She simply waited.

We are allowed to close for sick days, personal days and vacations! I would NEVER leave a note on my door saying, "I am gone!" Are you kidding?!?!?! We have had numerous robberies in plain daylight lately in my neighborhood and that is utterly absurd for licensing to request a provider do that. An unannounced can happen "any" time! I've had them anywhere from 3 years and 4 months to almost exactly 3 years apart. This is way too much leeway of knowing when to expect them.

I have never had a licensing visit on my day off, but I did have my food program rep come by for an unannounced and she graciously said she would return the following week when I was not on vacation.

This individual sounds like she needs an attitude adjustment. I would be on the phone with her supervisor and explaining what transpired. This would not ever fly!
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:26 PM
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I'm so glad that i don't have to be licensed
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:13 PM
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Thank you, everyone, for your responses. I don't see how licensing can get worked up over 2 missed visits in a 3 year time period, KWIM? Between vacation, sick, personal time off, outings, etc., it's bound to happen. Oh well, better luck next time.

Guess I better go over my paperwork with a fine toothed comb now, huh?
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:37 AM
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I personally understand her frustration, but in CA there are NO regs saying you need to always be "home" Mon - Fri 7-6...or whatever your normal operating hours are.

Geez, I used to take field trips and do park days all of the time. I had licensing leave their card on my door once, when I was gone and one time she caught me just as I was headed out to pick up S/A kids in the afternoon. She simply waited.

We are allowed to close for sick days, personal days and vacations! I would NEVER leave a note on my door saying, "I am gone!" Are you kidding?!?!?! We have had numerous robberies in plain daylight lately in my neighborhood and that is utterly absurd for licensing to request a provider do that. An unannounced can happen "any" time! I've had them anywhere from 3 years and 4 months to almost exactly 3 years apart. This is way too much leeway of knowing when to expect them.

I have never had a licensing visit on my day off, but I did have my food program rep come by for an unannounced and she graciously said she would return the following week when I was not on vacation.

This individual sounds like she needs an attitude adjustment. I would be on the phone with her supervisor and explaining what transpired. This would not ever fly!
Wow, ours are every four months and one of them is a relicensing visit. We are relicensed every year. We know the month though just not the day.

One time I had taken the day off to get a Colonoscopy. She came soon after I got back and my husband answered the door. He told her I had taken the day off and why. She just asked if I had any children there and I didn't, of course. So she just said "Tell her I hope she feels better soon" and she left. Good thing as the paper you get after the procedure says you should not sign anything because of just having had anaesthesia. I wasn't legally 'with it' but actually I was fine.

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Old 09-25-2013, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Leanna View Post
Really? Wow. I get the reasoning behind it but I can't imagine having to inform licensing every time we go for a walk or to the playground!
I agree. I've had my licensor show up a couple of times when I either wasn't here or was closed. IMO that's the risk they take with drop in visits. I am also NOT leaving a note on my door. If there is NO reg stating that the provider needs to let the licensing agent know they are going to be closed/away from home, then IMO the licensor has no leg to stand on and has no right to tell the provider they need to make a decision about their business.
Thankfully in my state if I'm not caring for children, I don't have to let the licensor in to inspect. They know our houses are not going to be day care ready if we are on vacation or off sick.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:58 AM
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Here is what our licensing manual says:

(2) INSPECTION. Pursuant to s. 48.73, Stats., the department may visit and inspect any family
child care center at any time during licensed hours of operation. A department licensing
representative shall have unrestricted access to the premises identified in the license, including access
to children served and staff and child records and any other materials or other individuals having
information on the family child care centerís compliance with this chapter.

So, by not being home or available during licensed hours, this is what they will cite us for. I really think they only actually cite you if they suspect there is something shady going on. Hiding children because one has more, billing the state for kids who don't really attend, etc.
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  #29  
Old 09-25-2013, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
Here is what our licensing manual says:

(2) INSPECTION. Pursuant to s. 48.73, Stats., the department may visit and inspect any family
child care center at any time during licensed hours of operation. A department licensing
representative shall have unrestricted access to the premises identified in the license, including access
to children served and staff and child records and any other materials or other individuals having
information on the family child care centerís compliance with this chapter.

So, by not being home or available during licensed hours, this is what they will cite us for. I really think they only actually cite you if they suspect there is something shady going on. Hiding children because one has more, billing the state for kids who don't really attend, etc.
Are licensed hours your business hours or when licensing is open and available to inspect?
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:51 AM
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My last unannounced licensing visit came just 3 days after my daughter's wedding in July of 2012. I was due for a visit by the end of August (since they are supposed to come out every 3 years)

I had closed Wed, Thurs and Friday to prepare for her wedding. We were having it at our home and expecting 150 people, so it was a huge big deal! I was doing all of the food myself and had many friends and family helping in the kitchen Thurs and Fri. If licensing would have showed up, I can guarantee my home was not up to "daycare standards" and I would have told them the circumstances and I'm pretty sure they would have understood and come back when I was back open. In 27 years, I have never heard of a LPA insisting on a site visit when a provider is closed.

When I reopened on Monday, I made sure everything was back in order and when licensing showed up on Wed, everything was 100% in compliance.

OP, I hope when she does return for your inspection, she will be reasonable and not give you a bad time for the fact that she had to make several trips out to your home.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
I can get where she's coming from but I also understand your frusteration. I was told during training that if for some reason that happens, you should have a little something on the door to say you're temporarily closed on Tues. Take it down any other day or during an interview but that in case licensing shows up you're covered. Now that they've done that, twice, she sounds like she'll be back and perhaps on a mission to cite you.
We heard stories in training about people who were on vacation from work but home and licensing showed up, and even with no kids on the premises, cited the providers for any thing they could find. So yeah we were advised to have a note up if you're closed.
no way- Why don't you just ask a burglar to come on in and help themselves. Maybe call the office or give them a schedule ahead of time but I would not be putting up a sign that says we are not home-
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:36 AM
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I'm sorry but I am not leaving a note. That's like saying to anyone who comes to the door "I'm not here, take what you want!" or "I'll be back later with a bunch of kids in tow." It is a HOME daycare and the state needs to remember that as well. I did agree to let them in if they drop by but I didn't agree to be home everyday all day on the off chance they do!


Part of the reason I do home daycare is so I can be my own boss, I just refuse to report my every movement to the state.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by craftymissbeth View Post
Are licensed hours your business hours or when licensing is open and available to inspect?
Whatever the licensed hours on your license says. It's part of the application to tell them which hours you want to be licensed for. They can inspect any time within those hours.
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  #34  
Old 09-25-2013, 11:10 AM
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When I get close to when I think licensing will be here I let her know if I have any "odd" schedules and what my "best times are". When we go for a walk in the mornings I do leave a little note on my door (playroom door not my front door) if I think I am in the time frame of someone stopping (food or state). They both know we go for walks in the morning and will stick around for a bit anyway if the car is here to see if I show back up.
My licensing would totally understand that I didn't have a child that early so I slept for a bit. One time she came at nap time and I told her she could peek in to count heads but I was not going to have her wake everyone by inspecting me. She said oh no, she didn't realize I would have them down so early (1 o'clock) and that she would come back another day.
Shake it off. I am sure your visit will go fine when it happens
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:10 AM
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Default Leaves A Note

I totally respect each provider's choice to leave a note or not. I do not want my home burglarized by any means. Yet, I know it's a possibility. I have appropriate insurance & an alarm system. So I have a prepared notice always hanging from my door with clip. The cliff note version is:

Open, knock loud, be patient
We are gone!
Nap time, knock softly
We are on a walk, be back shortly
Closed, no kids in care

It's my attempt of informing parents & inspectors, if you knock & I don't answer I am not HIDING.

The way I interpreted the original poster's story; I get why the inspector told her she needs to make up her mind. She is licensed. Therefore she is subject to the appropriate inspections. It doesn't matter that she only has one child in care. Due to her license she is not exempt.

My interpretation isn't that the provider was trying to make an excuse. I thought she was just explaining why she was closed with no kids in care.

I think some inspectors see a lot & get jaded. When I am inspected, I remember this is about the safety of children.
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  #36  
Old 09-27-2013, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by KidGrind View Post
I totally respect each provider's choice to leave a note or not. I do not want my home burglarized by any means. Yet, I know it's a possibility. I have appropriate insurance & an alarm system. So I have a prepared notice always hanging from my door with clip. The cliff note version is:

Open, knock loud, be patient
We are gone!
Nap time, knock softly
We are on a walk, be back shortly
Closed, no kids in care

It's my attempt of informing parents & inspectors, if you knock & I don't answer I am not HIDING.

The way I interpreted the original poster's story; I get why the inspector told her she needs to make up her mind. She is licensed. Therefore she is subject to the appropriate inspections. It doesn't matter that she only has one child in care. Due to her license she is not exempt.

My interpretation isn't that the provider was trying to make an excuse. I thought she was just explaining why she was closed with no kids in care.

I think some inspectors see a lot & get jaded. When I am inspected, I remember this is about the safety of children.
When we looked into purchasing and home security system, one of the techs told us specifically that they tell clients to never put a note on the door saying they are not home.
As for being available for inspections - yes that is a part of it. But no provider should be penalized for being closed - especially if there are no regulations stating they need to notify the licensing agent when they are off.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:29 AM
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Each analyst is so different in CA.

Prior to my current guy, I always received a call a few days in advance to see if I was still in business. The one I have now doesn't believe in the advance calls. He told me that if he came and I wasn't home, he'd leave his business card so that I knew he came and he would return, unannounced, in a few days.
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  #38  
Old 09-27-2013, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Play Care View Post
When we looked into purchasing and home security system, one of the techs told us specifically that they tell clients to never put a note on the door saying they are not home.
As for being available for inspections - yes that is a part of it. But no provider should be penalized for being closed - especially if there are no regulations stating they need to notify the licensing agent when they are off.
In CA if you state you're open Mon thru Fri 8am to 5pm on your license application then they can come inspect anytime during those hours. This is not a new concept, this is on their main page. You must be willing to open your doors at any time during your stated business hours. If the OP didn't notify licensing that she's currently closed on Tuesdays then how could they possibly know she's closed when her license states she's open? That's the problem here. She was supposed to be open for business according to her license but her current work load allowed her to be closed but not for licensing. I know providers who close on Fridays so on their license it says that and they wouldn't be subject to inspection on those days.

And as far as the note on the door goes, I guess it really depends on your neighborhood. I don't think twice leaving a note that we'll be back shortly. I'm not worried someone will break in and take all our daycare toys while I'm gone for a walk around the block or down to the school. That's why I have insurance and locks on my doors. People burglarize homes regardless of a note so I really don't think the note is the issue. Someone could watch you pack up and drive away just as easily as walking to the door and seeing a note that you'll be right back. I would think THAT would be a better deterrent since they would risk you coming back quickly. Obviously I'm not saying to leave a note saying "I'll be gone ALL DAY LONG, door is the back is unlocked so go ahead and make yourself at home!" I'm just saying to leave a small note that you'll be returning shortly for licensing or food program unannounced visits. The last thing I want to do is annoy my analyst. He was a nice guy but he is here to check the safety of my home and he may not be very happy that his day spent doing local inspections has been thrown off and now he has to come back. There are at least 4 other daycares within a mile of me so I know they would probably hit us all up on the same day. And while people are supposed to be inspected every 3yrs, that just doesn't seem to happen here because our city, for whatever reason, doesn't have an analyst. My neighbor hasn't been inspected for over 4yrs, and according to the last call I made, another provider nearby hasn't been inspected in almost 4yrs either. Last visit was Oct 2009 to follow up on a major violation. So while its not likely that licensing is going to come here soon, I never know when they'll show up! That's the whole point of "unannounced" visits. So if I'm closed because there's no kids on Monday, licensing can still come here but would probably prefer to come when kids are present. Leaving a note that "I'm closed on Tuesdays until further notice" isn't going to risk being robbed. That's what I was referring to! I added that a previously licensed provider who now teaches classes at our R&R agency recommended we do that and if a business card is left to call back ASAP! I didn't say leave a note and unlocked door!
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
In CA if you state you're open Mon thru Fri 8am to 5pm on your license application then they can come inspect anytime during those hours. This is not a new concept, this is on their main page. You must be willing to open your doors at any time during your stated business hours. If the OP didn't notify licensing that she's currently closed on Tuesdays then how could they possibly know she's closed when her license states she's open? That's the problem here. She was supposed to be open for business according to her license but her current work load allowed her to be closed but not for licensing. I know providers who close on Fridays so on their license it says that and they wouldn't be subject to inspection on those days.

I didn't say leave a note and unlocked door!
IMO that doesn't mean the OP is in the wrong because she was out on a day the inspector happened to drop in, or the day she was sleeping in. It simply means that *if* she is home/awake, she needs to let the inspectors in. I didn't see anything from the OP stating she didn't think she needed to let the licensor in? Simply that she had told her because she was low on kids she was (for now) not open Tuesdays. Yes she could go through and change her license, but why? I understand it's annoying for the licensor but really, too bad so sad. My licensor pops in unannounced at least once every three months. And for some reason, I'm usually closed. She hands me her card and says she'll come back another day. No snotty "decide if you want to work" comments. IMO, that's where the inspector was wrong. It's one thing to point out that "per CA regs, if these are your operating hours you need to allow inspections" another entirely to be snippy because the provider was out. That's all I'm saying.
As for the latter part - I never said you did, simply passed on what was told to us when we were looking at home security systems. If we are being realistic, locks only keep the honest people out.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:58 PM
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But that's the whole point here, licensing did tell her that because she's been gone or unavailable the last 2 attempts at an inspection. If she doesn't want to deal with this, go license exempt! But otherwise when you get your license you're at the mercy of these analysts when it comes to this. Would she rather get cited or follow the rules? And you agree to let them know if your business days/hours change for this exact reason! All she's doing at this point is irritating the lady and I believe rightfully so. It's pretty cut and dry. I understand the dilemma but either you're licensed and ready for inspection during your stated hours or you risk being cited. As someone said, this isn't about HER this is about the safety of kids in daycare.
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:11 PM
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I live in California and just leaving a note on the door would not be good enough where I am licensed.
We are suppose to send licensing and the food program a copy of our field trip schedule. They can and will come and inspect during your regular business hours but if they come by when you are on a field trip and you covered yourself in writing... you probably won't get cited.
We usually get a phone call the week before asking if we are still doing business, they ask us our hours, etc.

We can be gone for emergencies but that's the only exception.
Now this is what I have been told buy my rep and I am sure someone will say I'm wrong but that's the way California is... every county, city, rep, and regulation is different for everyone
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:26 PM
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I've been licensed here in California since 1986 and I've never heard of having to report to licensing or put a note on my door when I'm out.......and I used to take the kids on field trips almost daily.

My licensing worker came by a few months ago and I was not home. She left a card on the door and a message on the answering machine. I called her back and told her sorry that I had missed her but I was out with the kids. She said no problem, she would make another visit. She came back a month later.

You didn't do anything wrong. Don't let her upset you just because she was in a mood or doesn't like her job. And telling you to make up your mind??? She can't say that to you. But I agree with the others, if she's that rude to you, then make sure you have everything in order when she does show backup. She's likely to try and find something to write you up for.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:29 PM
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I live in California and just leaving a note on the door would not be good enough where I am licensed.
We are suppose to send licensing and the food program a copy of our field trip schedule. They can and will come and inspect during your regular business hours but if they come by when you are on a field trip and you covered yourself in writing... you probably won't get cited.
We usually get a phone call the week before asking if we are still doing business, they ask us our hours, etc.

We can be gone for emergencies but that's the only exception.
Now this is what I have been told buy my rep and I am sure someone will say I'm wrong but that's the way California is... every county, city, rep, and regulation is different for everyone
Wow. That would really irritate me. Having to report when I am coming and going. To me, and this is just IMO, the parents are the only ones that need to know if we are taking their child anywhere.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:39 PM
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I think the analyst was saying to make up her mind as to whether she wants to be license exempt and avoid these inspections or not since she only has 1 kid in care and doesn't "need" to be licensed and has been unavailable the last 2 attempts. But, as we all know, it would be a PITB to go back and change it again if you want more kids but are just in a lull. I get it, really. I was LE for the last 7yrs and was only licensed when I started having more than one family inquire about care and it made sense. Before that it would be a waste of my time and energy and their's as well. I think the analyst was honestly just peeved to go out a 2nd time and have the same result and then to find out she was there but asleep. Fair? No! But I promise when she comes back she will be going through things with a fine tooth comb to find something to cite for. Every analyst is different, every county, state, individual is as well. I'm not saying OP is a bad person or did something "bad", I'm just saying looking at it from an official POV I can see why she's irritated.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Play Care View Post
When we looked into purchasing and home security system, one of the techs told us specifically that they tell clients to never put a note on the door saying they are not home.
As for being available for inspections - yes that is a part of it. But no provider should be penalized for being closed - especially if there are no regulations stating they need to notify the licensing agent when they are off.
I make choices & conduct myself in a manner that works best for me. I respect others' choices to do what is best for their lives. Different strokes for different folks.

We agree I don't think a provider should be penalized for closing within regulations.
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