The state of Arizona defines a child care center as a place where five (5) or more children receive care in exchange for compensation. Managing permits, licenses and certifications for your daycare, preschool, or child care center staff? Keep realistic expectations, and you will find the process a lot simpler.
Expectation: Child Care Permits Are Easy To Get
The reality is, Arizona has many permit and license requirements, all of which are very seriously honored . According to Child Care Aware, your facility and your child care staff could need most or all of the following permits:
- A full child care facility license, complete with facility inspection, provided by Department of Health Services
- A full background check with fingerprints for all owners
- A business license
- A kitchen plan review to certify your facility kitchen
You must also provide a schedule for approval that includes supplies, meal planning, and activities. Gathering all your licenses and going through the entire inspection and approval process can take up to 90 days.
Expectation: Applicants Are Fully Trained And Ready For Hire
Due to the comprehensive nature of certifications needed, even formally educated applicants with relevant degrees such as the A.C., C.D.A., C.C.P. or C.P.C. may still not have all the necessary permits. Hiring facilities require daycare workers to have:
- Current immunization records
- Background check and fingerprint cards
- First Aid Cards
- CPR Training
- Food handler permits for all food servers and handlers
Certifications such as those above must be obtained from official providers only. The reality is, you will likely run into educated and experienced applicants who still lack all of the state-mandated permits.
An easy solution: Gather information on what permits are needed and which providers you can use to get those permits, then put it in a packet with relevant website and contact information. Whether or not a future staff member thinks they have everything, hand it to applicants just to make sure. You can even sign your business up with a permit provider and get a special link to give to your employees, or pre-pay for them to get certifications.
Expectation: Your Staff Will Make Sure Their Licenses Stay Current
Continuing education is an important part of every job, yet with so many permit, license, certification and education requirements, keeping current can slip through the cracks. Considering the everyday demands of daycare and child care workers, letting a license expire doesn't a bad employee make- but it does make your daycare center non-compliant.
How can you make sure this doesn't happen? Wherever possible, find a way you can independently monitor an employee's or applicant’s progress/results through the official provider, so you can be sure your staff is taking the necessary action to stay current.
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