Department of Children and Families
David E. Wilkins
February 21, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Child care licensing counselors from the Department of Children and Families regularly inspect more than 7,000 homes and facilities annually that care for hundreds of thousands of children statewide.
A recent survey of child care providers showed the highest rating ever for DCF child care staff who help ensure these facilities are safe for Florida’s children.
"Our child care staff are constantly and diligently looking at homes and child care facilities where children spend the majority of their day," said Secretary David Wilkins. "These survey results show we are able to work collaboratively with thousands of providers while we keep child safety as our top priority."
More than 95 percent of all respondents agreed that the licensing counselor conducted a through inspection, fairly applied laws and regulations, was courteous and respectful during the process, and provided clear, helpful information.
Child care licensing staff inspect homes and facilities for a myriad of issues; from health and safety factors to compliance with documentation, background screening and training of employees. In addition, in the past year, our counselors took on the difficult and time-consuming task of monitoring food safety. Most centers will fall out of compliance on minor issues from time to time. This survey showed that when there was an issue of noncompliance, the facility scored our counselors at 95 percent for clearly explaining the issue and 93 percent for providing technical assistance to correct the issue at hand.
Only 8 percent of respondents had concerns about the licensing and registration process, and of those, 85 percent were resolved to the client’s satisfaction. This is a major improvement from 2008 when only about 50 percent of concerns were happily resolved.
The survey began in 1998 and was mailed to a randomly selected sample of child care providers. In 2008, we began offering the survey online to every provider in order to increase the number of responses. This year, the survey was offered to 7,475 child care homes and facilities. Responses were returned by 884, about 20 percent.
The survey also gave providers a place to write in concerns and those issues have been shared with the child care staff in each region. The Department’s website has information available to the public on child care regulations and also posts inspections for each licensed program.
For information on any child care home or facility, please visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/childcare.