New Law for Child Care Providers — Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training

Parents have many fears when it comes to their children. But the worst nightmare a parent can have is finding out that his or her child is being abused while in the care of someone else. Each year, nearly a million cases of child maltreatment, which includes both abuse and neglect, are confirmed, and many more probably go unreported. If you are a child care provider who suspects that a child in your care has been abused or neglected, it is essential that you report your suspicions. Child care providers are mandated reporters of abuse and neglect, and all mandated reporters should have training to help identify child abuse and neglect and learn the procedure for reporting.

Beginning January 1, 2018, AB 1207 (Mandated child abuse reporting: child day care personnel: training) requires all licensed providers, applicants, directors, and employees to complete a mandated reporter training. Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training – California as it’s called is designed to give child care professionals, including caregivers and administrators, the tools to prevent, identify, and report child abuse and neglect among the children in care.

The deadline for licensed providers to comply with the training is March 30, 2018. The new employees have up to 90 days to complete their training. New applicants must receive their mandated reporter training prior to becoming licensed.

This FREE training is self-paced and will provide an overview of the significant definitions, requirements and protections of the California Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA). In this training, you will learn about the roles and responsibilities of child care providers in preventing, recognizing, reporting, and responding to child abuse and neglect within and outside early childhood programs and child care settings. It also gives an overview of prevention efforts, reporting laws, and the ways child care providers can talk to children about suspected abuse and support maltreated children and their families.

At the conclusion of the training you will take a final test that requires an 80% or higher score to pass. Upon passing the test you will be e-mailed a Certificate of completion.

Sign up and take this valuable training today!

When you report day care violations and suspicions of abuse, you not only help protect your own child, but other children as well.

How to Spot the Signs of Child Abuse: Information for Child Care Providers

Protecting Children

By Freelance Contributor Jane Sandwood

A new child abuse case is reported every 10 seconds. The United States has one of the worst child abuse and maltreatment records among all industrialized nations. As child care providers, we deal with children each and every day, who may be among these numbers. Therefore, it is important that child health and safety programs include information on the signs of domestic child abuse.

Here is a guide on how to spot domestic child abuse and your duties as a child care provider to protect the children in your care.

TYPES OF CHILD ABUSE AND HOW TO SPOT THEM

Child abuse can take many different forms and sometimes can be hard to spot. To provide some education on the domestic violence of children, it is important to recognize the various types of child abuse and neglect. By understanding what the signs are, you will be able to better recognize if a child in your care is being abused.

Physical Abuse means causing injury or pain to a child, which includes beating, slapping, pushing, kicking, biting, pinching, and severe physical punishment. Even if the injury was not intended, the aggressive act can still be defined as physical abuse. Some signs of physical abuse include markers such as burns, cuts, and bruises, as well as a fear of adults, wearing long sleeves during abnormal occasions, and/or a fear of going home.

Sexual Abuse is any sexual act between an adult and a child to include penetration, intercourse, rape, oral sex, fondling, child prostitution, and performing sexual acts in front of the child. Some signs of sexual abuse include an inappropriate interest or knowledge of sexual acts and information, seductiveness, excessive aggression, and/or a fear of a particular person in the child’s life.

Emotional Abuse is an attitude, behavior, or lack of behavior that interferes with a child’s mental health and/or social development. Although emotional abuse is nearly always present with other types of abuse, it can also occur on its own. Emotional abuse can include name-calling and acts that make children feel useless or threatened. Signs of emotional abuse include low self-esteem, isolation from parents, a lack of social skills, strong emotions or outbursts, and/or using language that is inappropriate for their age.

Child Neglect is a common form of abuse and is defined by the failure to provide a child’s basic, medical, and educational needs. Some signs include wearing clothing that doesn’t fit the weather, bad hygiene, and/or extreme hunger.

YOUR DUTY TO PROTECT

If you notice any of these signs, it is required by law that you report them as soon as possible. A child care provider is a mandated reporter, which means you must report any signs and incidents.

To report any suspicious cases, you can call the Alameda Child Abuse Hotline at 510-259-1800. It is available 24/7 and in addition to being a resource for reporting abuse, it can be used as a resource for any questions you may have.

  • Jane Sandwood, a former teacher, has worked as a freelance writer for the last 10 years across many fields. Jane has a particular interest in issues relating to child welfare.

Community Care Licensing: Child Safety

CCL Updates 2017

As child care providers and parents, we all want to keep children safe and to ensure their environments are set up to prevent accidents. The California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division is responsible for promoting the health, safety, and quality of life of each person in community care through the administration of an effective and collaborative regulatory enforcement system. They offer quarterly updates on safety laws for children and child care facilities as well as important tips for anyone caring for young ones. Here is the most recent roundup:

CHILD SAFETY LAWS

Car Seat Requirements: Effective January 1, 2017, children under two years old must ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches tall. For more information about car seat safety, visit the First 5 California website.

Vaccines: As of September 1, 2016, all licensed child care employees and volunteers must show proof of immunity to pertussis (whooping cough), measles, and influenza. Contact the Alameda County Public Health Department with questions.

Earthquake Preparedness Checklist and Emergency Disaster Plan: For licensed child care facilities, the Health and Safety Code requires an Earthquake Preparedness Checklist to be included as an attachment to the Emergency Disaster Plan, which needs to be made accessible to the public. The checklist will include information on eliminating potential hazards, establishing a coordinated response plan for children and parents, and local agencies who can provide assistance and training of staff.

New Child Abuse Reporting Law: Effective January 1, 2018, new child care providers need to show that they have gone through Mandated Reporter Training, which is available for free here. It requires six hours of training in total and can be taken online. Existing employees have until March 2018 to complete it and new hires (after January 2018) will have to complete the training within 30 days of their hire date.

GENERAL SAFETY

Child Care Videos: Community Care Licensing now offers dozens of informational videos on opening and operating a licensed child care program as well as educational videos for parents. To find answers to your questions, visit their website here.

Securing Furniture: To keep kids safe indoors, be sure that furniture is anchored and remove tempting items (such as remote controls or toys) from the top of any large furniture. Anchor top-heavy furniture to the wall with anti-tip devices like brackets, braces, and wall straps. Get more safety information here.

Recall Information: It is the responsibility of child care providers to ensure that recalled products are not in use in their child care facilities. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues approximately 300 product recalls each year, including many products found in child care settings. Visit the CPSC website or call 1-800-638-2772 for updated recalls.

Criminal Clearance Transfers: A clearance can remain active as long as an individual is associated to a licensed child care facility. If someone is disassociated from a facility, he or she must be associated to another facility or be rehired within two years or the clearance will become inactive. To reactivate a clearance, people have to be fingerprinted and cleared before they can work, reside, or volunteer in a licensed child care facility.

Most Commonly Cited Deficiencies 2016: To learn what common mistakes were found in California child care facilities last year, visit the Community Care Licensing website. It’s a great reminder of licensing requirements!

 

Take Action for Children!

Right now there are three pieces of legislation that have the power to positively impact the lives of children, families, and child care professionals. BANANAS is part of the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, a system of nonprofit agencies that serves every region in the state with important child care and parenting resources. As part of this network, we encourage you to take action today by sending three letters of support to government officials who can make sure that California’s Education Code is up to date (SB 1154), that low-income families have access to a year of child care (AB 2150), and that parents are informed about background checks and safety measures when hiring a caregiver (AB 2036).

Below you will find details of each bill and information on how to take action today.

SB 1154 – The Patricia Siegel Child Care Resource and Referral Memorial Act of 2016 This update will preserve quality consumer education and provider support in California and at the same time will identify components of the recently reauthorized federal CCDBG Act where the state already complies.

To learn more, click this Fact Sheet and then send your letter of support using this Sample Letter.

AB 2150 – The Child Care Continuity Act: 12 Month Eligibility That Supports Families AB 2150 is an extraordinary opportunity to remove unjust and unjustified, red-tape reporting rules that cause eligible families to churn in and out of child care programs; put their jobs at risk; disrupt children’s school readiness and development; force them to turn down job promotions, make it impossible for child care providers to balance ledgers or plan for quality investments while accepting subsidized children; and burden employers and education providers who are required to sign off on endless paperwork.

If you would like to send a letter of support, view this Sample Letter.

AB 2036 – Online Care Job Postings: Consumer Education This bill would require online companies that advertise child care services provided by license-exempt child care providers (ex. babysitters and nannies) to post a statement about the California Trustline registry and, if the service provides access to a background check, a written description of the background check provided to it by the background check service provider.

Here is a Sample Letter as well as a Fact Sheet if you would like to learn more.

Thank you for your support!

If You See Something, Say Something

When it comes to young children, safety is the number one priority. Whether you are a parent or a child care provider, you know how important it is to always be aware of children’s surroundings and actions. In addition to ensuring that our homes and programs are safe, clean, healthy environments, it’s also extremely essential to keep an eye out for anything that seems suspicious. This might mean recognizing an item that shouldn’t be where it is, noticing someone’s behavior that doesn’t seem quite right, or seeing an interaction between an adult and a child that is inappropriate or dangerous.

You may have heard this saying before: If you see something, say something. It is used by the U.S. government to encourage people to stay vigilant of their environments. Now it is also being encouraged by Community Care Licensing and the Centralized Complaint & Information Bureau (CCIB). When you notice something that troubles you or anything that seems like a child care violation or danger to children, report it to 1-844-LET US KNOW (1-844-538-8766). Your complaint can be anonymous unless you authorize your name to be used and the CCIB will investigate the claim within 10 days. You will be notified of the results.

Please be aware that Community Care Licensing requires that all licensed child care facilities hang this poster next to their license in clear view of parents. Together, we can make sure our children are safe at all times!

BANANA Bites: How Can I Protect My Kids from Measles?

Welcome back to this week’s edition of BANANA Bites, where we answer YOUR questions about parenting and early childhood education. Today we’re addressing the very important subject of measles and how to prevent it from spreading to children. This is a must-read for parents and child care providers!

Dear BANANA Bites, 

I run a family child care here in Oakland and I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to keep the kids in my program safe from the spread of measles. What are the best ways to do this and where can I find more information about this topic? Thanks in advance. 

– Provider Who Wants Measles Prevention

Dear PWWMP,

We absolutely agree about the importance of measles prevention and are so happy to address this topic. According to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF), childhood diseases like measles can cause children pain and discomfort. These diseases can lead to doctor visits, hospitalization, and even death. The ACF recognizes immunizations as the best way to protect young children from 14 serious diseases, including measles. A recent announcement in conjunction with the California Department of Education, Early Education Support Division, notes, “Measles can be dangerous—especially for babies and young children. Measles spreads very easily, so it is important to protect against infection. To prevent measles, eligible children should be vaccinated with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The measles vaccine has been used for years, and it is safe and effective. The ACF’s Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care consider it critical that children in programs are vaccinated according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) immunization recommendations.”

Recommendations from the CDC can be accessed here. This document includes guidance for child care programs to follow state and local immunization requirements and also discusses what to do if a case of measles occurs in your program.

One of the most important contributions child care programs can make is to reach out to parents. The CDC has also provided sample materials and articles to share with parents in newsletters, web pages, or other publications.

·       Immunization Protects Us All 

·       Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child 

·       Easy-to-read vaccination schedules in English and Spanish

Please share this information with friends and family members to help ensure all children are kept safe and healthy!

-BANANA Bites

If you have a question for the Bunch, please email elyce@bananasinc.org.

Measles in Child Care Facilities: From the City of Berkeley Health Officer

As the measles outbreak continues to spread, the City of Berkeley Health Officer, Janet Berreman MD, is encouraging child care providers to take immediate action to prevent health risks to children. Please read this important message for child care directors that includes specific actions for child care facilities.

“As the City of Berkeley Health Officer, I urge you to ensure that all children and staff are vaccinated against measles due to a statewide and very serious outbreak that has now reached Alameda County. A measles outbreak in your childcare facility would be extremely disruptive. If there is measles in a childcare facility, Berkeley Public Health will direct all unvaccinated children and staff to stay home for at least 21 days, the length of the incubation period. Measles is a highly infectious, airborne disease that spreads rapidly and can lead to hospitalization and even death. Vaccination is very effective: two doses of MMR (measles- mumps-rubella) vaccine provides measles immunity to 99% of those vaccinated. A single dose protects 95% of those vaccinated.”

Berkeley Public Health advises each child care facility to:

  • Review children’s immunization records and establish a list of children who have not received 2 doses of MMR.
  • Advise all staff to check with their healthcare provider if they are not sure of their immunization status, and to obtain an MMR if indicated.
  • Tell anyone with a fever and rash to NOT come to child care facility and to call their healthcare provider immediately. Individuals with fever and rash should be sent home immediately if they are on campus.
  • These measures will decrease the risk of measles disrupting attendance at child care facility, and enable us to work promptly with you to limit the impact of measles should a case occur in the childcare facilities.

For additional resources, please see this fact sheet and visit the websites for the California Department of Public HealthAlameda County Public Health, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.