Tag Archive for oklahoma childcare

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!

Don’t forget to pin for later!

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Preparing for your Childcare Licensing Visit from DHS

In Oklahoma, DHS does quarterly, unannounced visits to check for licensing requirement compliance for family childcare homes. If you have been licensed for a number of years, these visits are old hat, but if you are new, it can be intimidating. If you live in a state that doesn’t require licensing, it’s a good idea to follow most of these guidelines anyway. One of the best ways to be prepared is to keep your paperwork organized. Click here to see how to organize all the papers you need to run your business.

Children’s safety is so important.

DHS licensing staff must be allowed to access all areas of your home. This may seem like an invasion of privacy, but DHS is charged with the safety of children in childcare. They need access to all areas to ensure there are not extra children or dangerous items being hidden by providers. You may think that’s ridiculous but people have done some ridiculous things to make this a requirement. In any event, it’s not your Licensing specialist’s fault there are rules, it’s because of poor choices providers have made in the past. They are just trying to do their job of ensuring children have safe places to receive care.

For my DHS visits I have two notebooks and my licensing specialists I’ve had over the years have LOVED them! They have even used them to teach classes on this subject, so they are very effective. I have one notebook for attendance records, my calendar, waiting list, and other daily information I need. The other notebook is for my registry, certificates, enrollment forms, shot records, medication information, and food program paperwork.


Keeping all your paperwork straight for your licensing visit.

In addition to the notebooks, there is a place by the front door for my required postings and my bulletin board for other things we are required to post but don’t have to be in the entry way.

The purpose of licensing is to ensure safety for children. In my opinion this is a good thing. Rules help keep people safe. Children deserve the very best.

My licensing worker is very nice and really wants children to be in quality environments. She knows when people are doing their jobs and when they are trying to skirt the rules. She has been my worker for many years now and she’s seen a lot and can tell when someone is trying to get over. The bottom line is, if you are trying to be a really good provider, your licensing worker is an asset to you and part of your team to get there. Think of them as your partner.

Some of the rules DHS has for providers seem silly and some are obviously necessary. The ones that seem ridiculous to you are there because they were needed at one time. It’s hard to keep up with the new rules that pop up all the time. The licensing reps have a big job in spreading the news about all of that.

Here is a cheat sheet checklist to help you get ready for your visits:

Adult-Child Ratios

Postings:

Notice to Parents

Emergency Info-Contact for: Physician, police, poison control, sub, and parent contact.

Insurance Info

License

Fire/Tornado Drills and Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector checks

Compliance file:

                Most recent monitoring visit sheet

                Notice to comply

                Licensing complaints

Fire extinguisher with Expiration Date

Working and accessible flashlight

First Aid Kit Including:

                Scissors

                Tweezers

                Thermometer

                Tape

                Gauze

                Band Aids

                Gloves

                First Aide guide

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Records:

                Attendance

                Child info card

                Immunizations

                Medication Permissions/dosages recorded

                Transportation permission

                Liability insurance information

                Policies

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Training records including ELG within one year of opening business

CPR/First Aid Certificate/Card

Water Testing if rural water

Weapons (you must claim and store weapons properly)

Animals including rabies vaccination records

Menu posted and followed

Transportation:

                License

                Insurance verification

                Car seats

                First Aid

                Emergency contacts for children

                (these are only required if you transport)

Bathroom:

                Toilet paper

                Individual towels

                Soap

                No hazards

                Doors unlock easily from outside

                Safe water temp.

Resting:

                Bedding

                Cribs meet standards (certificate required)

                Mats are 2 inches thick

Diapering:

                Diapers

                Non porous, sanitized surface

                Soiled diapers in covered container

Outside:

                Proper fencing

                Free of hazards

                Free of animal waste

Other:

                Clear glass doors marked at child’s eye level

                Covered outlets

                Thermometer in fridge registering at 41 or below.

                Frozen items in freezer.

Areas of improvement:

 

Let’s explain a few of these further:

  • Adult/Child Ratios for a family child care provider are:

7 kids over the age of 2

Up to 2 children under the age of two with 5 children over the age of 2 for a total of 7

Up to 3 children under the age of 2 with 3 children over the age of 2 for a total of 6

Up to 4 children under the age of 2 with 1 child over the age of 2 for a total of 5

Up to 5 children under the age of 2 with 0 children over the age of 2 for a total of 5

  • Notice to Parents:

This notice is required to be posted at the entrance of the facility in a noticeable place. It informs parents about the compliance file and what records are accessible for parents to review. Click here to print out a copy for your facility. 

  • Emergency Contact Info:

You should have these numbers posted in a visible area such as your bulletin board for easy access in an emergency.

  • Insurance Info:

If you do not carry liability insurance for your childcare facility, you must inform parents and post the notice at the entrance of the facility in a noticeable place. Click here to print out a copy for your facility.

  • Your License must be posted in a visible area such as your bulletin board.
  • Your compliance file must be accessible for parents who wish to view it and should contain the items listed on the checklist.
  • Bathroom:

Hazards that should be out of children’s reach include; razors, shampoo, conditioner, perfumes, lotions, shaving cream, toothpaste, and other body products or cleaning products.

Safe water temp is 120 degrees or less. Warm water must be available for hand washing.

  • Resting:

Cribs or pack and plays for infants should be totally empty except for a firm mattress with a tight fitting sheet. No pillows, blankets, toys or stuffed animals for any child under the age of 1 and they should be place on their backs to sleep. Check the sticker on your sleeping furniture to make sure it is safe, it should show a manufacture date of June 28,2011 or later. If it’s before that, don’t use it. Click here for more information on safe sleeping for infants.

  • Areas of Improvement:

When improvements are made to the childcare facility, it’s best to write them down and store them in your notebook. When my licensing worker is here, I can never remember what improvements I have made.

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.

Childcare licensing is for your good.

All of these rules and hoops to jump through are for the good of the provider, children and families we serve. There are many things you get with a licensed provider that may not be as safe in an unlicensed home. Click here to see why you need a license or should be using licensed care for your child.

There are a lot of other requirements for the family childcare home, click here to see the entire book. Note, rules are added and you will be informed by your licensing rep or by letters in the mail from DHS, so this rule book is not all inclusive. 

 

Don’t forget to pin for later.

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