Running a child care facility can be a rewarding and challenging endeavor. Due to the nature of the business, there are strict laws and regulations enacted by the state of North Carolina which govern child care licensing. These laws are in place in order to ensure that children are properly cared for. The North Carolina General Assembly enacted Article 7 section 110 to create a child care commission that is responsible for issuing, suspending and revoking licenses for child care facilities. The commission that currently regulates child care facilities, and their employees, is the North Carolina division of Child Development and Early Education. A child care facility is defined by NCGS § 110-86(3) as “child care centers, family child care homes, and any other child care arrangement not excluded by G.S. 110-86(2), that provides child care, regardless of the time of day, wherever operated, and whether or not operated for profit.
- A child care center is an arrangement where, at any one time, there are three or more preschool-age children or nine or more school-age children receiving child care.
- A family child care home is a child care arrangement located in a residence where, at any one time, more than two children, but less than nine children, receive child care.”
How are child care employees regulated?
Article 7 Section 110 also sets forth the following laws governing who may be employed at a child care facility. NCGS 110-105.3 to 110-105.5 govern employees at child care facilities and set forth the framework for unacceptable employee behavior towards children.
If there is an allegation of child maltreatment, a child care employee will receive a letter from the NC Division of Child Development. This letter, called a ‘Notice of Pending Placement on the NC Child Maltreatment Registry and Disqualification’, is accompanied by a disqualification letter. The disqualification letter prohibits a child care worker from working in child care as it’s defined under NCGS §110-105.6(g) until the allegation is resolved. If a child care worker is found to have committed acts under NCGS 110-105.3 that are defined as child maltreatment, then the employee will receive a ‘Notice of Pending Placement on the NC Child Maltreatment Registry and Disqualification’ letter from the NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Child Development and Early Education.
Does this letter mean that I am automatically on the child maltreatment registry?
Not necessarily. A petition for a contested case hearing must be filed within (30) thirty calendar days of the date on the letter. Once that is done the child care employee will be given a hearing date so he/she can be heard on the allegations brought forth by the Division of Child Development and Early Education. The employee will be prohibited from employment as a child care worker or otherwise be present in a child care facility when children are in care. That does not mean someone on the child maltreatment registry cannot drop or pick up their child from daycare. It just means he/she cannot be at a child care facility for non-parental reasons.
If you have received a letter from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services-Division of Child Development and Early Education, do not ignore it. You have a limited time to respond to the allegations against you and protect the license you worked so hard to obtain.
Contact us today for more information regarding child care licensing.