Under a new state rule, Oregon officials are showing up unannounced at homes of certain licensed child-care providers.
The state is no longer announcing its visits to providers licensed as registered family child care, which must be in the living quarters of the provider and allows up to 10 children, reported The Bend Bulletin.
The state’s Early Learning Council approved the rule change earlier this year, according to the Early Learning Division’s legal and compliance director, Kathleen Hynes.
“It is very stressful,” said Brandy Mills. The 35-year-old woman opened Lollipop Kids Daycare in her Bend home in 2007. “The rules are getting stricter and stricter,” she said.Mills said she recently took an online safety course through the state that reminded her of how detailed the rules could be — such as placing infants in a crib with no crib bumpers, bottles or pacifiers allowed.
“Some of this stuff just isn’t realistic,” she said. “I don’t mind rules to a certain extent.”
The state only began licensing registered family child-care providers 15 years ago, according to Hynes.
There wasn’t any inspection before that, only paperwork.
The change, Hynes said, “is an opportunity really to see how the provider is doing and give some reassurance to parents.”
In-home-care businesses have fewer requirements, said Hynes, because they are on a smaller scale than a child-care center. The level above registered providers is certified family child-care providers, a designation that allows in-home care for more children but requires more training and a larger home. –
I understand surprise visits, and support them with the hope that staff and children ratios are being met, if not exceeded. I also hope that there are some serious checks and balances in place because minor things like showing up at the wrong time and finding a child with one sock on and a runny nose, or a hollering kid because he just fell down could lead to backlash. It’s a DAY-CARE. That’s what happens. What should not be happening is one overworked staff member with a dozen children, or kids not being changed in a timely fashion or going hungry.