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Bureau of Child Care Licensing

Facility Survey Process Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

All licensed child care facilities and group homes are inspected regularly to ensure compliance with health and safety regulatory requirements. The following will provide a general overview of the inspection survey.

NOTE: It is important to understand that an inspection report shows only a one-time "snapshot" of a child care provider's compliance with State rules and statutes. To more fully assess the quality of care provided by a facility, it is important to review both current and past survey reports. The Bureau of Child Care Licensing maintains a public file for each child care provider which contains survey reports and the provider's Written Documentation of Corrections for the past three years. These are edited to protect children's confidentiality. In addition, all licensed child care providers are required by State law to make these reports available for review by the public.

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What is a survey?

A survey is an inspection of a facility.

Why are surveys performed?

State law mandates the Department to conduct surveys to determine whether child care providers are meeting minimum State standards.

Who performs the surveys?

Survey inspections are performed by Licensing Surveyors. Surveyors have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, with backgrounds in child development, business, education, or social work. Each Surveyor is responsible for a specific caseload of centers and homes. Surveyors may conduct surveys alone or in teams.

How often are surveys conducted?

All facilities (child care centers, public school child care programs, and child care group homes) are required by State law to be inspected using State standards. Child care centers and public school child care programs are to be inspected at least once a year. Child care group homes are to be inspected at least twice a year. Other surveys, such as complaint investigations, change of capacity/services, etc., may also be conducted when required.

How do surveys occur?

Prior to a survey, the Surveyor reviews information from the provider's public file. The facilities are not notified in advance of a survey unless it is for a new provider or involves an addition or modification of services for the building or home.

How do surveyors conduct their work?

Surveyors observe the day to day operations in the facilities. They also review staff and children's files and facility records. Additionally, they meet with the Director/Provider to ask questions and discuss observations. The surveyors summarize their observations for the Director/Provider or person in charge at the facility and leave a copy of the survey at the end of the inspection.

What happens after a survey is completed?

The surveyor prepares and sends a Statement of Deficiencies to the facility. The Director/Provider receives the Statement of Deficiencies and has 10 days to respond with a Written Document of Correction to inform the Department of how the deficiencies were corrected.

What is a deficiency?

A deficiency is a determination by the Bureau of Child Care Licensing that the child care provider has violated one or more specific regulations. Deficiencies range in scope and severity from isolated violations with no actual harm to children to wide spread violations that cause injuries or put children in immediate jeopardy or harm. Major deficiencies that jeopardize a child's health, safety or welfare may be referred to the Department's Enforcement Team for further action, which may range from payment of monetary penalties to revocation of the provider's license.

What should I do if I have concerns about a child care center or child care group home?

Talk to the Director/Provider first about your questions or concerns. If the concern or question is not answered to your satisfaction, the Bureau of Child Care Licensing has a Surveyor on duty each day to answer questions. The Surveyor is also available to take complaints. Complaints can be filed in person, or by phone, fax, mail, or email.