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2.5: A Look at Standard Industry Practices

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    To legally operate a childcare program in California, a center must comply with certain licensing policies and procedures. These state regulations provide “a baseline standard and are primarily focused on protecting children from harm rather than on advancing child development and early learning,” (Workman & Ullrich, 2017, p. 3). In other words, Title 22 Regulations stipulate health and safety standards, space and square footage requirements, supervision standards, and teacher qualifications. Title 22 Regulations do not however, consider curriculum activities, age appropriate materials, or teacher-to-child interactions, nor does it address developmentally appropriate practices such as family culture and perspectives, child development theories, or principles and practices.

    To ensure early childhood education programs are compliant with all state policies and procedures, a licensing analyst will conduct an annual inspection, or will evaluate a program as needed. Typically, the analyst will look at the center’s overall cleanliness and they will inspect both the indoor and outdoor environment to certify that the center is safe for the children. The analyst will confirm that the ratios are met, and that there is proper space and square footage available for each child to play and nap. The analyst will also conduct a spot check of the employee files to confirm teacher qualifications, and they will look through the children’s files to validate that the proper paperwork is signed and in complete order. To comply with state regulations and policies, a center director will need to download the California Code of Regulations, Title 22 administered by CDSS (Divisions 12 only) and follow all the mandated requirements. If any criteria are not met, the analyst will cite the program. The program will then be given a certain timeframe to rectify and correct the concern. The analyst will return to verify the problem has been fixed. Families who are considering a program can check the Community Care Licensing website to see if a center has received any “substantiated citations.” [7]

    This page titled 2.5: A Look at Standard Industry Practices is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gina Peterson and Emily Elam.