One of the most important things we can do as directors and owners is to know our rights. In this world of regulations and oversight, it is imperative that we know that we can advocate for our businesses. This means being aware that there are times that we need to speak up and stand firm when licensing is involved.
Often times, licensing visits can be a stressful process for programs because we all know that there are times that reps enforce their interpretation of the rule rather than enforcing what the language of the rule truly represents. Not to mention that what one rep enforces often does not match what another rep enforces. This can mean a long list of violations for a program that truly is doing their best for children and just trying to follow the regulations to the best of their ability.
This process becomes even more stressful in the midst of the staffing crisis. Many centers are struggling to find qualified staff and doing their best to keep rooms operational for families who need to work. We are left with the choice between allowing the QUALITY assistant to run the room for the day or having to close the room and force a room full of families to miss out on a day of pay. This means running the risk of receiving a violation from licensing if they come in and find a room without a qualified teacher.
This is why it is important that you know your rights when it comes to receiving violations from licensing. When a center receives a violation, they have 90 days to complete a corrective action plan (Part 383, Licensing Compliance, Monitoring, and Enforcement).
This means that when a rep issues a violation to your program, you legally have 90 days to correct this. Reps do not hold the authority to close down rooms immediately for not having qualified staff, and they do not have the right to expect you to respond to a violation that could cost you a lot of money immediately.
In response to any violation you receive, you also have the right as a business owner to request a supervisory review within 10 days of receiving the violation. This means that if you disagree with a violation, you can request for a supervisor to investigate the situation and review if the violation is correct. This can ensure that you are not receiving violations based off the reps interpretations of the rule and it can also give you some time to come up with a plan.
These are our businesses, and if we do not fight for them, no one will.
If you are not familiar with the Part 383 – Licensing Compliance, Monitoring, and Enforcement, I encourage you to take some time to review it. Each center should have a copy on hand and know their rights!