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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Citation when no children are in care
Unregistered 05:27 PM 04-23-2014
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Has anyone in California received a citation when children were not in care. I am appealing one right now. It was 'cleared' the following week when children were in care, but I want it removed.... and more then that I'm not okay with them doing this in the future.

I am in the middle of the appeal and quoted the regulations
Section 102392a SITE VISITS under Health and Safety Code Section 1597.55a
(g) An unannounced site visit shall adhere to both of the following conditions:
-The visit shall take place only during the facility's normal business hours or at any time family day care services are being provided
-The inspection of the facility shall be limited to those parts of the facility in which family day care services are provided or to which the children have access

This was not during my normal business hours, family day care services were not being provided, and in addition they wanted to see rooms the children do not have access to, so it seems very clear in my situation.

I'm wondering if anyone has been visited and received a citation when children were not in care (even if it was during business hours), and what was the result if they fought it.
For me I recognize that they can do a visit during normal business hours, and verify that you are closed, but I just don't think most site related citations would apply when there are no children in care (providers own children excluded). They do not have access to something if they are not there!

Anyone else have thoughts on this.
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sharlan 05:32 PM 04-23-2014
I would definitely appeal that. Obviously I'm wrong, but I thought they couldn't inspect if you didn't have children in care. I also thought they couldn't inspect areas off limits to the kids. I know that they've never inspected my upstairs since the inital inspection.

Are you in NoCal or SoCal?
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Heidi 05:41 PM 04-23-2014
Not in CA, but...

If it was during licensed hours, whether or not children were in care, then they are ok. Why? Because you could be hiding children (it's been done) and claim you have none.

Not that you would do that!

If it was outside of your licensed hours, like during the evening or on a weekend, then they cannot have access. You can say "I am not licensed, therefore, I am not granting you access"/

If it was a holiday, then it's a gray area. Good Friday, for instance, you may have been closed, but technically, you are licensed.

In WI, we are supposed to notify our licenser if we are not open during our licensed hours. In theory, that would save us a non-compliance if they show up and no one is home, or we deny them access.


As far as going into an area of the home that is not licensed, they should not do that, other than to check for hidden children, perhaps. They cannot, however cite you for having a lighter out, or such a thing.

You can appeal it, but if CA is like WI, you're wasting your time. Either way, good luck!
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Michelle 07:51 PM 04-23-2014
what did you get a citation for?
this doesn't seem fair at all!
was it a complaint or a routine inspection?
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Second Home 06:20 AM 04-24-2014
Not in CA but I have had an inspection when I had no children in care , I did not even have any enrolled at the time since the dcks all moved up to k . I did have to allow them in to inspect since I still had my lic .
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Unregistered 09:30 AM 04-24-2014
It was a regular licensing visit. I know the rules are a bit different for some complaints.

I was considering arguing the merit of the individual citations (items are not accessible when day care children are not there), but just went with the strongest argument of the site visit being invalid due to what is clearly spelled out in the regulations. I still would really like to let the children have access to small gardening tools, and the wood that the children used for stacking and exploration (my previous inspector did not have a problem with these items)... but that's open to interpretation and a discussion for another time.
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Unregistered 09:53 AM 04-24-2014
Originally Posted by Second Home:
Not in CA but I have had an inspection when I had no children in care , I did not even have any enrolled at the time since the dcks all moved up to k . I did have to allow them in to inspect since I still had my lic .
Did they cite you for having anything out. I'm assuming something was out that says 'keep out of reach of children' on the back... dish soap, toothpaste, lotion, and that you didn't have the home in 'day care ready' state.

I am okay with the visit, and even checking all of the rooms to verify 'no children are in care'... which I know they wanted to do because I told them I was closed (it was not even in my listed hours of care) and wanted to turn them away at the door (apparently reason enough to suspect children are in care, and that I'm hiding them). That was my understanding of the regulations (but I didn't have it memorized or the section tagged to pull out and show them). As soon as he said they could come in anyway I let them in. As soon as they verified children were not in care, that's when the visit should have ended.

I'm not okay with being cited for things being out when no children are in care... during business hours or otherwise.... I will be changing my business hours to the actual time I provide care, instead of the window of time I am willing to provide care. Who doesn't pull out their cleaning supplies, or possibly knifes for cooking after children leave for the day.
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Michelle 09:56 AM 04-24-2014
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
It was a regular licensing visit. I know the rules are a bit different for some complaints.

I was considering arguing the merit of the individual citations (items are not accessible when day care children are not there), but just went with the strongest argument of the site visit being invalid due to what is clearly spelled out in the regulations. I still would really like to let the children have access to small gardening tools, and the wood that the children used for stacking and exploration (my previous inspector did not have a problem with these items)... but that's open to interpretation and a discussion for another time.
Oh, ok
are the gardening tools sharp or something? are they kids tools? I am assuming they are having trouble with the claw type tools.
is the wood old and splintery, or nails in it?
take pictures of everything and maybe send it to your other licenser.. maybe she can overrule this current citation.
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Oss_cc 10:00 AM 04-24-2014
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Did they cite you for having anything out. I'm assuming something was out that says 'keep out of reach of children' on the back... dish soap, toothpaste, lotion, and that you didn't have the home in 'day care ready' state.

I am okay with the visit, and even checking all of the rooms to verify 'no children are in care'... which I know they wanted to do because I told them I was closed (it was not even in my listed hours of care) and wanted to turn them away at the door (apparently reason enough to suspect children are in care, and that I'm hiding them). That was my understanding of the regulations (but I didn't have it memorized or the section tagged to pull out and show them). As soon as he said they could come in anyway I let them in. As soon as they verified children were not in care, that's when the visit should have ended.

I'm not okay with being cited for things being out when no children are in care... during business hours or otherwise.... I will be changing my business hours to the actual time I provide care, instead of the window of time I am willing to provide care. Who doesn't pull out their cleaning supplies, or possibly knifes for cooking after children leave for the day.
Agreed. I'm in a different state, but I was told by my licenser that she doesn't care what I do if daycare children are not in care. The regs just have to be followed anytime I have a daycare child in care. I don't see how you could be cited for things like that on a day you were closed.
What if you decided to take the long weekend to renovate your kitchen? Would you be cited for "unsafe flooring" or whatever else, even though you are clearly closed?
The only case I can see them making is that they were not notified of the closure if it wasn't a federal holiday.
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Play Care 10:15 AM 04-24-2014
My thought is the same as yours - once it was verified that no children were in care (hiding in the bathrooms and all) that should have been the end of it. In my state we do not have to notify licensing when we are closed. So if I take a Friday off and am on the back deck drinking sangria at 2:00 and my licensor shows up, she can't cite me for drinking during day care.
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Second Home 10:18 AM 04-24-2014
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Did they cite you for having anything out. I'm assuming something was out that says 'keep out of reach of children' on the back... dish soap, toothpaste, lotion, and that you didn't have the home in 'day care ready' state.
I was actually napping on the couch when the doorbell rang . They did a walk through of the whole house confirmed that there were no kids present , asked to see my current files ( there were none for dck's) .
She was going to write me up for not being up to date on my training which I disputed , the visit was in Aug and my lic expired in Oct . So she did not write me up she just made sure to get a copy as soon as the training was completed and a dated certificate before Oct.
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daycarediva 10:34 AM 04-24-2014
Originally Posted by Play Care:
My thought is the same as yours - once it was verified that no children were in care (hiding in the bathrooms and all) that should have been the end of it. In my state we do not have to notify licensing when we are closed. So if I take a Friday off and am on the back deck drinking sangria at 2:00 and my licensor shows up, she can't cite me for drinking during day care.
Yup. I do notify CACFP and licensing as a courtesy. I am WAY out of the way for both programs to make a wasted trip. I started doing that after I closed for a long weekend over 4th of July one year, and my registrar showed up at 4 that Friday. We had friends and family over, there was alcohol and hot tubbing, guys playing poker inside and horseshoes outside, cooking on the grill, etc. She did her walk through, looked at my paperwork, was off the clock at 5 and stayed for a beer. Still miss that registrar!!!!
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MarinaVanessa 11:07 AM 04-24-2014
I know that things vary from inspector to inspector but I'll give you my take on the following as I have understood it from my licensing rep and from licensing meetings/workshops.


-The visit shall take place only during the facility's normal business hours or at any time family day care services are being provided


A facility's "normal business hours" are the hours that you normally have children in care. If you normally have a client that arrives at 7am 3 days a week and the rest of the week you don't have a client until 10am then your normal starting time can be considered as 7am because that's when you are open the majority of the time regardless of whether or not children are actually present. The time that licensing shows up depends on what you put on your application when you turned everything in. Mine had a sheet where I listed my business hours. You can change that by calling your licensing rep or the Rep of the Day.

If just for the day your client that was scheduled ends up calling out and you end up not having to work until later that day then you have the option of calling licensing to tell them that you will be closed until then but they may and can still conduct an inspection even if you don't have children at the time. One way to put it is to think about Target, they have normal business hours and are open even if there are no customers in the store. I know that it's not the same thing as family daycare but that's the way licensing sees it. They'll go by the hours that they have as your business hours. The best thing to do is update these hours with licensing based on your contracted schedules with your clients. If a client has a variable schedule then you go by their earliest drop off and latest pick up and extend that to the entire week.

So the question is did the visit happen during a time that they have listed as your business hours? If not then they had no business being there. If yes then they can conduct an inspection even if there are no children. Licensing may even do visits on days that you claim you are closed if only to check to make sure that you are closed and not simply saying that you are to avoid a visit.

-The inspection of the facility shall be limited to those parts of the facility in which family day care services are provided or to which the children have access.

Having access means can they reach it so had you had any children in care would they have been able to reach whatever it was you were cited for?

I think the best angle you have is the fact there were no children present and you knew that no children would be present until a certain time and that at that time whatever violations they cited you for would have been put away and inaccessible.

I personally think that licensing did have the right to come in and do an inspection to at least check to make sure no children are present, which they usually do check for, but it does seem ridiculous that you were cited for something when no children were present.
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mom2many 01:08 PM 04-24-2014
I've never had licensing come out when I was closed...but last time when my LPA was here to conduct an unannounced visit, it was just two days after my daughter's wedding. We had the ceremony and reception in our backyard and I told her it was a good thing she hadn't come the week before! I was closed for part of the week in preparation for the wedding and would have told them to come back! Things were definitely NOT up to "licensing standards", since we'd removed our pool gate and were in the process of covering a portion of our in ground pool to accommodate 150 people here!

I would have been livid if they tried to cite me for anything when I was clearly closed!

However, when I did open everything was 100% back in place and there were no issues or citations.

I understand this is a business...BUT this is also my home! If they don't want to take a provider's word that they are closed, then I think it's fine to make sure and inspect the facility...I would be annoyed, but would be ok with it.

I don't think it's okay though for a provider to be cited for something if no children are present though. That isn't right and goes against Ca regs.
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