Tag Archive for licensing regulations

Need Help with the New Oklahoma Childcare Regulations?

It’s a bit overwhelming to receive this letter about a ton of new requirements for childcare licensing in Oklahoma. and not know what a lot of these things mean. Oklahoma childcare has been changing for a while and will continue to do so in the future. First, take a step back and realize you have a free visit to learn about them. Second, we can break it down in small bites and it will be just fine.

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Policies

There are a ton of new policies that you’ll have to write for Oklahoma childcare providers. That’s the biggest, most time-consuming part. If you would like to use my handy template, you’re welcome to click on the link below to download it and then make changes as you see fit for your own use. You may have to click enable editing to edit. That will take a lot of the guess work out of making sure you have everything included.


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I already had policies in place, so I added mine to these so I’d only have one booklet. This document will be your own to use however you see fit, so change and tweak away. I hope it saves you a ton of time. You’ll need to print out a copy to keep on site, one for your go bag, and one for each daycare family. It’s not required to have them sign it but it is required to make sure they read and understand it so they will be aware of your plans.

You will need to review these policies yearly AND after drills and after an event occurs to see what you could do better next time. 

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Contract Update

You will also need to add a place in your contract that tells parents you are a reporter of sex trafficking behaviors. How a parent would not already know you would turn them in for human trafficking is beyond me. You can bet your butt I would turn someone in long before my policy was in place. My contract states I am a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse, so I just added and sex trafficking behaviors. You don’t have to add this here, but since you have to report, I would recommend it. 

Two things already handled. You got this!

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Training

Let’s talk about the trainings that are required:

Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases

Use of a Fire Extinguisher

Prevention of Shaken Baby

Prevention of SIDS

Safe Sleep

Car Seat Safety

Physical Premise Safety

Handling/Storing Hazardous Materials

Emergency Preparedness

Immunizations

Medication Administration

Prevention and Response to Emergencies/Food Allergy Situations

Behavior and Guidance

These are the trainings required. Talk to your worker to see what trainings you already have. You may only need to add Safe Sleep if you have been in business. You can give them a call and see what you still need to get or wait until your visit and ask. Also, DHS will be providing an updated healthy and safety DVD that we will be required to view within 90 days of receipt.

Go bag


You don’t have to have your supplies in a bag, but i would totally recommend it so it would be ready in your emergency.

Your go bag should include:

First and last names of all your kids and yourself

Emergency contact numbers for emergency personnel

Emergency contact numbers for your kid’s families

I included a copy of my child information forms in my bag so their first and last names, emergency contact numbers and medical/allergy/medication needs would all be right there. That was an easy way to do it. I’m going to attach a photo of each child as well in case I need information for a missing child situation. I will already have a photo and info ready to go in the bag. I can grab it for law enforcement in no time.

A copy of your emergency policies

Lifesaving medications for any children in care

The other required item for your bag is a first aid kit.

This kit has to include:

Thermometer, disposable gloves, blunt tipped scissors, tweezers, bandage tape, gauze, adhesive strips and a first aid guide. Click the picture below for a great kit that has everything needed but a thermometer. Click the picture of the thermometer if you want to go straight to one that would work but is not too expensive.

Other things I put in my go bag are:

Diapers for each child

Wipes

Water

Snacks

Flashlight

Hand Sanitizer

Ponchos

Blankets

Click on the pictures to purchase. Easy peasy

Any post on this blog may contain affiliate links which pay me a very small commission for items you purchase using the links but costs you nothing extra. I can help defray a small percentage of the cost of producing the blog to share information with you.

You can print out the emergency personnel numbers from the policy link above and add your first and last name and any emergency info to the bottom or back of this sheet to meet all the requirements.

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Forms to post

You’ll need to take down your old Notice to Parents and Insurance Forms and print out the new ones. You’ll also need to print a copy of each one that parents fill out. You’ll need one of each for each family and they must be resigned every year.

Click here for the Notice to Parents to post

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Click here for Insurance Form to post

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Click here for Notice to Parents for each family (they’ll have to sign yearly)

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Click here for Insurance Form for each family (they’ll have to sign yearly)

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You’ll also need a new drill form that includes the new drills you’ll have to perform yearly. Those include:

Monthly Fire Drills

Monthly Tornado Drills

Monthly Smoke Detector Test

Monthly Carbon Monoxide Detector Test

Expiration of Fire Extinguisher

Yearly Lock Down Drill

Yearly Shelter in Place Drill

Yearly Evacuation Drill

Yearly Relocation Drill

Click here to print out a copy of mine

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The last thing you’ll need to post is emergency numbers. I used the same sheet at the beginning of the policies and added all my parents numbers at the bottom. Make sure it has your address on it. I guess that’s for when you call 911 and forget where you are. 😉 I printed that out and laminated it and posted it by the phone as required. Once you do that, you’re good to go!

These Oklahoma childcare regulations include a ton of busy work and a little nonsense, but it’s good to be thinking about these things. We need to be prepared for emergencies. I like the idea of parents knowing how I plan to react. Let me know if you have any questions about any of the things listed. I hope this has made the process a little less painful for you!

Stay tuned for a contracts and policies post coming soon!

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Why Do I Need a Childcare License?

Do you think childcare providers should be licensed? Are you thinking of taking care of children and wondering if you should get a license first? Are you a parent looking for care and wondering if you need to find a licensed provider?

Think it through. A license doesn’t guarantee children will be safe. It doesn’t make you a good provider. It won’t make you get tons of calls and be full of kids all the time. But a license does offer protection.

You can be fined for not having a childcare license in Oklahoma.

Licensing is a big old pile of paperwork and lots of hoops to jump through. It’s the government for goodness sake. BUT! Licensing requirements are there for a reason, and they are meant for the good of the children. The state of Oklahoma has one of the most stringent set of licensing requirements in the country, but I think it’s good for the children, providers, and parents.


Our licensing requirements have a lot of unnecessary guidelines and ideas. You can definitely tell a person who does NOT provide childcare in the trenches wrote these rules and regulations, but that’s inherent in any government run situation. They pay the big bucks to the people with the degrees that have never actually TRIED to stay in a house for 10 hours with 7 children and NO help!

Yes, these rule makers may have done a practicum where they observed a classroom in a daycare center, but almost never is there a real family childcare provider making rules or governing them.

Childcare licensing can be a pain

The situation being as it is, the basic ideas the licensing requirements give us are good ones. These regulations make us think, they make us aware of dangers that could be present. They are not there to annoy us or put us out of business with expense, even though they do sometimes.

Childcare is not a lucrative job. Most of the money we bring in is spent on food, art supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, wipes, toys, puzzles, games, PAPER, printers, ink, water, electricity, and general business expenses that go on and on. I spend over $7,000 a year on food every year, just for my daycare kids? That does not include food for my family. And that’s just food, that’s one expense. We do this job because we LOVE it. We care about kids. We love sharing our home with them and caring for families.

Licenses cost money. In Oklahoma, there is not a fee to apply, but there is a mountain of paperwork, which requires a computer, printer, ink, paper, pens, postage, etc. There is also a fee we have to pay to CECPD to keep track of our training hours. (Extortion if you ask me). There is a fee we have to pay to get a back ground check, and now we are required to get FBI fingerprints as well for not just us, but our substitutes, and ANY family that lives in our homes. At $53 a pop plus all the paperwork involved, plus traveling at least an hour to a certified center and taking a day off to get them done, is one big expense.

Childcare license can cost money

We have to pay for trainings, our time to get to them, and of course wear and tear on our vehicles and gas which we don’t get reimbursed for. There are some free trainings available, but you will have to pay for some each year.

In addition to that, we have to pay for required equipment such as toys, art supplies, high chairs, bibs, cups, flatware (that gets thrown in the trash by accident weekly), mats, cots, beds, swings, playground equipment and on and on to meet licensing requirements. Then there is the safety equipment, plug covers, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, flash lights, thermometers for the refrigerator, smoke alarms and BATTERIES for all of this stuff.

The expenses go on and on. Having a license is expensive, but it’s also worth it.

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Did you know that licensed providers are REQUIRED to be properly trained in CPR and First Aid? What if you chose an unlicensed provider and something happened to your child during the daycare day. Wouldn’t you want them to know what to do? What if you are providing care unlicensed and something happens? Will you know what to do to save a child?

Childcare license can offer protection for providers and children

Licensed providers aren’t allowed to let babies sleep on the couch, we have to buy approved baby furniture for them, but it’s a whole lot safer than a couch or the bed they could roll off of and get hurt. Licensed providers aren’t allowed to let kids under 3 play outside alone, but don’t you think that’s best? Personally, I don’t let kids go outside without me until they are 6. I think 3 is WAY too young.

Licensed providers aren’t allowed to leave their kids with anyone unless they have a back ground check, are trained in CPR and First Aid, and are on the list of subs the provider has filled out paperwork on. Don’t you think it’s good to know who will be with your child?

Did you know that licensed providers have unannounced visits for the safety of the kids quarterly? It’s good to have someone with the kid’s best interest at heart dropping by your child’s daycare. And if you are the provider, it’s good for you too. It’s good to be doing the right thing all the time because that’s what’s best for the kids! My licensing worker works hard to help me and provide me with all the information to be my best. She also wants the best for me and cares about the safety of my kids.

Rules can be good

Obviously, I am a rule girl, but I think it’s good to have rules for children’s safety. Some people just don’t think without them. For me, some of the rules are pointless, and some of the rules are not strict enough, but the basic idea behind the rules and the basic structure of the rules has a lot of value. I think we all need guidelines.

I know there are good providers who are not licensed and there are terrible providers who are. That’s just the reality in any job in the world. When my daughter was young, I used an unlicensed provider for her and she was absolutely WONDERFUL! I would NOT go back and change a thing. But I feel the license protects the provider, the kids and the families. I would recommend getting one if you don’t have one and are providing care for children.

In Oklahoma if you are caught providing care without a license for even one child over 15 hours per week there are large fines and even jail time. I have seen over and over again, people using unlicensed childcare homes and when they get turned in, their kids suddenly have nowhere to go. Mom and Dad still need to go to work, right?

I have also seen things happen in unlicensed care, such as a recent SIDS death of an infant and the provider did nothing wrong but was in deep hot water without the protection of the license. Obviously the police were involved in the death of a precious baby, but she didn’t have the licensing agency to back her up or provide guidelines for her AND she was in trouble with the law for providing unlicensed care. I hate to see this happen to another person who I know just loves kids and was trying to care for them.

Check out the regulations for your state online. Click here to see the requirements for Oklahoma.

Childcare license can get you more business

Another perk of having a license is getting business. Your name and contact information will be listed on the DHS website. Here in Oklahoma, the website for finding licensed providers is OKDHS.org. Then just click on the childcare locator and you can put in what you’re looking for. If you decide to do childcare illegally, you won’t be able to advertise anywhere because that will get you caught. It’s not any fun to live worrying about getting caught for doing something wrong.

Being a licensed provider will allow you to be contacted with opportunities for training. You will learn to provide better care through training whether you take it online, in a college classroom, or in two hours blocks where it’s offered around your area. Training helps you learn and grow as a parent and a provider.

Generally speaking, a license will help you attract a better quality of clients for your business. Most parents understand the importance of being regulated and how it can effect quality. In addition, parents will see you in a more professional light and treat you in a more professional way.

Childcare is not for everyone

Childcare is a super hard job. Not everyone can do it. You have to be a special person to deal with the spit up and personalities of other people’s kids. You have to love them as if they were your own, with your whole heart, but know the parents get to make choices about their own children. You also have to say goodbye to them when they leave you and grow up. It’s not for the weak.

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Society sees the work, in general, with little importance, but it is the number one most important job in the entire world! We are shaping the future. We are supporting families. We are spreading love and teaching children to be quality people for the future of the world. Most people think we do it because we can’t do anything else, but providers know we do it because we are the only ones who can.

If you use childcare, make sure your provider knows how important she (or he) is to you. Make sure you treat them respectfully and appreciate their efforts to be consistently there for you. Click here to see how to appreciate your provider. If you do childcare, make sure YOU know how important YOU are. Treat yourself respectfully and require your parents to do so as well. You are an asset to their family, not a servant. Behave as such and make sure your families know you believe in what you are doing.

Make sure for the safety of everyone, if you are using childcare or providing it, you go with a license. It’s good for everyone. If you are doing what’s best for the kids, you won’t have to worry about your licensing worker, she (or he) will be an asset to you in your business. If you are a parent, you will know your child is getting the safest care you can provide for them. 

The bottom line is, if you are working with children in any capacity, make sure you are doing your best. Make sure you care about what you are doing. Make sure if you don’t enjoy it, you do something else. Kids deserve the very best of us. If you don’t want to be awesome at childcare, please choose another vocation. It will be better for you and the kids. If there are regulations in your state for childcare, follow them. Then you won’t have to worry about getting caught. Be awesome, the kids deserve it!

Click here to see what steps you need to take to become licensed in Oklahoma.

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