New DELACARE: Regulations for CENTERS

10/9/20: New DELACARE: Regulations for Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers for 2020

Good Afternoon Child Care Community,

The revised DELACARE regulations can be read from the link are below:

10.9.20_OCCL_New DELACARE Regulations for CENTERS

The changes are as follows:

  • Programs that offer school-age care on a limited basis in order to meet an emergency need or special need, or only during school in-service days, school holidays, or school vacations are now exempt from being licensed;
  • To comply with the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, proof of a blood lead test was added as a required component for each child age 12 months and older when enrolled in child care. (This regulation will not be enforced until 12/1/21);
  • All licensed child care programs, including school-age programs operating in a public school, are required to have a lead-risk assessment when operating in a building that was built before 1978 and must remedy any identified lead-paint hazards;
  • School-age programs operating in a public school must have radon testing performed;
  • The radon testing requirements were revised to state that testing must be performed in each room used for child care;
  • Substitutes who work less than 25 hours per week are exempt from annual training requirements and from having a professional development plan;
  • The provision allowing 15-passenger vans that were leased or purchased before 1998 to be used is no longer permitted;
  • OCCL moved from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families to the Department of Education on July 1, 2020. Therefore, the definition of department was changed as well as references to the division director and the division’s role; and
  • References to Title 31 were stricken and replaced with Title 14 due to the change in departments.
  • Radon testing requirements and mitigation if necessary were added to the relocation procedures;
  • Verbal requests for appeals of warning of probation or probation are permitted and written requests are required for all other appeal requests;
  • Warning of probation may initially last up to six months and may be renewed;
  • Probation may initially last up to one year and may be renewed;
  • Written evidence of follow-up of any known health condition of the staff member affecting or potentially affecting his or her ability to care for children is required to be on file before the staff member returns to work;
  • If a person is determined ineligible, the licensee shall make the final determination on whether to hire or retain the person;
  • Attendance for staff members and children must be documented at the time of arrival in and departure from the classroom;
  • Due to travel distance that may be required by licensing specialists, the 9 AM delivery deadline for suspension orders was changed to 11 AM;
  • The center’s phone must be on-site;
  • Volunteers for field trips and routine program outings may not be left alone with children other than their own children, unless they had a comprehensive background check and were determined eligible;
  • Files for volunteers must be on-site;
  • All the policies and procedures required for the employee handbook were grouped together;
  • Participation in supervised experience must be approved by OCCL in advance;
  • Disputes over noncompliance cited at visits or complaints may be handled via telephone;
  • Juice may not be fed to infants;
  • School buses may be used to transport children;
  • Requirements for employees or volunteers who transport children on the center’s behalf were made clear;
  • Gates on outdoor fencing must move freely when opened and not be hindered by scraping the ground;
  • In emergency situations when a child needs a prescribed Epipen or Diastat medication, administer the medication before calling 9-1-1 or have someone call 9-1-1, while it is being administered; and
  • An eye patch or eye pad is required in the first aid kit, rather than an eye patch or dressing.

If you have any questions, please contact your licensing specialist.  For currently licensed providers, these new regulations take effect on March 1, 2021, except for the proof of a blood lead level test for children older than 12 months; that takes effect 12/1/2021.

We hope that things are back to normal long before then,

Kelly McDowell

Resource and Development Administrator

My Child DE is a user-friendly website that brings together resources to help families, providers and other caretakers make informed choices for the children of Delaware. The goal of My Child DE is to help these groups feel welcome, informed and empowered to engage, learn and take the next steps needed to support children.