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S.F. No. 2322 - Child care technical assistance notice establishment (1st Engrossment).
 
Author: Senator Bill Weber
 
Prepared By: Patrick Hauswald, Senate Counsel (651/296-5079)
 
Date: March 14, 2019



 

S.F. No. 2322 establishes a differential monitoring framework for inspections of family child care providers that incorporates a risk-based violations system, to be implemented July 1, 2020.

Section 1 (245A.04, subdivision 4) establishes that inspections of family child care providers shall follow the provisions of section 245A.055

Section 2 (245A.04, subdivision 18) directs the commissioner of human services to consult with relevant child care stakeholders to develop, publicly post, and distribute a plain-language handbook for family child care providers to understand the application and licensing process, and all applicable rules and statutes, by January 1, 2020.

Section 3 (245A.055) establishes the statutory requirements, procedures, and standards for inspections of family child care providers.

Subdivision 1 reiterates that family child care providers shall be inspected annually, as required under current law.

Subdivision 2 defines four types of inspections: initial inspection, full inspection, abbreviated inspection, and follow-up inspection. A full inspection covers all applicable rules and statutes for family care providers. An abbreviated inspection covers certain key indicators that statistically predict full compliance with all applicable rules and statutes. Providers qualify for abbreviated inspections by having a clean inspection history for at least three years. Failure to comply with any key indicator during an abbreviated inspection triggers a full inspection. A follow-up inspection is a full inspection that takes place within six months an inspection that finds a violation that warrants a correction order.

Subdivision 3 establishes that the risk of the violation determines the type of corrective action that may be issued by a county licensor, as follows:

  • Level 1: violation presents no risk of harm or a minimal risk of harm and warrants verbal technical assistance from the licensor
  • Level 2: violation presents a low risk of harm and warrants a written technical assistance notice from the licensor
  • Level 3: violation presents moderate risk of harm and warrants a fix-it ticket
  • Level 4: violation presents a substantial risk of harm and warrants a correction order or conditional license

By January 1, 2020, the commissioner is directed to consult with the relevant industry stakeholders to propose which rules and statutes, if violated, fall into each risk level, as well as which rules and statues may fall into multiple risk levels, depending on the nature of the violation. The commissioner is also directed to identify which violations must be enforced under federal law. By July 1, 2020, the commissioner must provide training to implement the risk-based violation levels during family child care inspections.

Subdivision 4 establishes that a follow-up inspection shall take place within six months of an investigation that finds more than one Level 4 violation. The follow-up inspection date does not alter the provider’s typical annual inspection date.

Section 4 (245A.06) amends the correction order statute to permit licensors to issue correction orders for Level 4 violations, or a failure to correct a Level 3 violation, found during an inspection of a family child care provider.

Section 5 (245A.065) amends the fix-it ticket statute to permit licensors to issue fix-it tickets for Level 3 violations found during an inspection of a family child care provider. The commissioner of human services may not publicly post a fix-it ticket unless required by federal law.

Section 6 (245A.066) establishes the authority for county licensors to issue verbal technical assistance for level 1 violations, and written technical assistance notices for Level 2 violations, found during an inspection of a family child care provider. The commissioner of human services may not publicly post a written technical assistance order unless required by federal law.

Section 7 (245A.16, subdivision 1) makes conforming technical changes.

Section 8 directs the commissioner of human services to consult with relevant industry stakeholders to develop the key indicators to be used during abbreviated inspections, and to report the proposed indicators to the legislature by January 1, 2020. The section also directs the commissioner to develop training to implement the abbreviated inspections beginning July 1, 2020.

Section 9 directs the commissioner of human services to develop and implement a process to review licensing inspection results at the county level, to identify trends of over- or under-enforcement and issue additional guidance and training as needed to correct any imbalance or inaccuracy in correction order enforcement. The commissioner shall include the results of this work in the annual report on child care.

Section 10 appropriates funds onetime in fiscal year 2020 to develop the key indicators and training to implement abbreviated inspections under the new inspection standards.

 
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