This post is a part of our series on Vermont family child care licensing. For more on licensing in Vermont, see the following posts:

Vermont Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
Types of Licenses
Eligibility
Training Requirements
Home Requirements

Once you have looked at the different types of family child cares you can open in Vermont, you are ready to get started on the licensing process. There are many pieces to the licensing process and it will likely take some months to get a license. Here we break down what that process looks like so you can get started becoming an in-home childcare provider. Below are some important steps you must take:

Initial Licensing Process for Registered and Licensed Family Child Care Homes

Step 1: Complete the application

  • Registered Family Child Care Home (FCCH): complete the application by applying online on the Bright Futures Information Systems website.
  • Licensed FCCH: complete the application by applying online on the Bright Futures Information Systems website. A licensing field specialist will deliver a licensing portfolio to you. At that time, the licensor will explain the process and define each of the components in the portfolio and the timeframe necessary for completion.

Step 2: Send any additional paperwork that’s required to your licensing technician

  • Census form: Complete a census form on all people who are in the home and are 15 years or younger;
  • Background check: All persons 16 years and older who reside with you or assist you in providing care must complete and sign the Record Check Authorization Form;
  • Qualifications: Prior to initial licensure the prospective FCCP shall provide written documentation of education, training and experience in his/her BFIS Quality and Credential Account. This documentation shall demonstrate how he/she meets the minimum requirements for qualifications. To become registered or licensed, you must be at least 18 years of age, a high school graduate or have completed a GED, and meets or exceeds certain training and experience requirements.
  • Insurance coverage: The FCCP shall carry liability insurance of a reasonable amount for its own protection and for the protection of children attending the FCCH. Evidence of insurance coverage shall be provided to the Division. Transportation insurance, if applicable, shall cover property damage, bodily injury, and liability.
  • Lead poisoning prevention: If the facility to be licensed was constructed prior to 1978 and has not been determined to be lead free by an inspector licensed by the Vermont Department of Health, the prospective FCCP shall comply with the 15 requirements of Vermont Lead Law prior to licensure and shall ensure that Essential Maintenance Practices (EMP) have been performed. Information from the EMP shall be included in the initial application for licensure. An application may be denied on the basis of children potentially exposed to lead as a health hazard.
  • Heating system inspection: The FCCH heating system shall be inspected by a qualified person and found to be properly installed and operational. Evidence of a satisfactory inspection, within the 6 months prior to initial application, shall be supplied to the Division.
  • Fire safety and disabilities act: The prospective FCCP shall meet all applicable requirements of the Vermont Division of Fire Safety and the United States Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Tax compliance: As of the date of the application, the prospective FCCP shall certify that he/she is in compliance with 32 V.S.A. § 3113 by being in good standing with respect to, or in full compliance with a plan approved by the Commissioner of Taxes, to pay any and all taxes due to the State of Vermont.
  • Child support dues: As of the date of the application, the prospective FCCP shall certify that he/she is in compliance with 15 V.S.A. § 795 by being in good standing with respect to, or in full compliance with a plan approved by the Vermont Office of Child Support, to pay any and all child support due to the State of Vermont.
  • Drinking water compliance
    • The prospective FCCP shall ensure that the drinking water system complies with the testing requirements in the Vermont Water Supply Rule and have a first draw test for lead analyzed by a Drinking Water Laboratory certified by the State of Vermont. Results shall meet Vermont standards. Water may be remedied and retested to ensure potability if any test(s) are elevated. Bottled water for drinking shall be provided until such time as the drinking water system meets Vermont standards. Information from this water test shall be included in the initial application.
    • The prospective FCCP shall ensure that a drinking water system serving less than 25 persons daily, served by a well or spring, is maintained as a drinking water system of potable water. Potable water testing shall include bacterial (presence/absence of total coliform), and chemical screening (arsenic, uranium, nitrate, manganese, nitrate, and fluoride). This testing shall be analyzed by a Drinking Water Laboratory certified by the State of Vermont. Results shall meet Vermont standards. Water shall be remedied and retested to ensure potability if any test(s) are elevated. Bottled water for drinking shall be provided until such time as the drinking water system meets Vermont standards. The sample shall be a representative sample from the tap most frequently used for drinking after any treatment (for example a UV light system, a softener or charcoal filter). Information from this water test shall be included in the initial application.

Additional Requirements for Licensed Family Child Care Homes

  • Zoning and Approvals for licensed FCCH
    • A prospective licensed FCCP shall meet all applicable requirements of the applicable municipal zoning bylaws;
    • Zoning approval for a licensed FCCH shall be properly recorded in the municipal office in which the licensed FCCH is located and a copy provided to the Division in the initial application;
    • The prospective licensed FCCP shall ensure that the licensed FCCH is constructed, furnished, maintained and equipped in compliance with all applicable requirements established by Federal, State, local and municipal regulatory bodies.
  • Approved water system
    • The prospective licensed FCCP shall ensure that the water and wastewater system used by the licensed FCCH if required by the Vermont Water Supply Rule and/or Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Rules, as determined by the Department of Environmental Conservation, obtains required permits. Required permits or documentation of an approved water system shall be submitted with the initial application.
    • If a prospective licensed FCCH is not required to have a drinking water permit related to the Vermont Water Supply Rule, the prospective licensed FCCP shall ensure a system of potable water is maintained. Potable water testing shall include bacterial (presence/absence of total coliform), and chemical screening (arsenic, uranium, nitrate, manganese, nitrate, and fluoride). This testing shall be analyzed by a Drinking Water Laboratory certified by the State of Vermont. Results shall meet Vermont standards. Water shall be remedied and retested to ensure potability if any test(s) are elevated. Bottled water for drinking shall be provided until such time as the drinking water system meets Vermont standards. The sample shall be a representative sample from the tap most frequently used for drinking after any treatment (for example a UV light system, a softener or charcoal filter). Information from this water test shall be included in the initial application.

Step 3: Inspection and application processing

  • Registered FCCH: Once CDC receives your completed application, it is entered into the data system and the required criminal record checks are processed. If this initial step is approved, a licensing field specialist will visit your home to discuss your application. You may need to complete additional steps identified during the visit and notify the specialist who visited you. Your application will then be processed.
  • Licensed FCCH: Once you complete all the information, contact the licensor. They will set up an appointment to review your completed portfolio and conduct a final inspection of the space. Once the portfolio is sent to the central office, the information is entered into the data system and your application for a licensed is processed.

The application processing may take 12 weeks or longer to complete.

Annual Licensing Process

Family Child Care Homes Chart for Program Related Requirements and Deadlines

What By Whom When FCCH Rules
Evacuation drills FCCP Monthly 3.6.2.2
Evacuation drills during rest/nap FCCP Annually 3.6.2.3
Lead water testing if original results equaled or exceeded acceptable limits Vermont Certified Drinking Water Laboratory Annually 2.3.8.7
Essential Maintenance Practice (EMP) assessment (when FCCH built prior to 1978) Certified EMP Assessor Annually 2.3.8.5
Inspection of fire system (when one exists) Certified Inspector Annually Licensed FCCH rule 5.10.1.2.1
Fire extinguishers Certified Inspector Annually 5.10.1.2.5
Liability insurance renewal FCCP Annually 2.3.8.6
Annual Program Assessment Licensed FCCP Annually Licensed FCCH rule 3.8
Written policies and procedures reviewed and updated as needed (see guidance manual Appendix IV) FCCP Annually 3.2.4, 3.3.2, 3.6.1.3 4.7, 5.6.1, 5.8.1, 5.11.1.1, 6.2.5.1 and 7.1.3
Vermont Child Care Immunization Report FCCP Filed by December 31 5.1.4
Replenish playground cushioning FCCP As needed 5.10.3.3
Heating inspection Certified Inspector Every 2 years 2.3.9.5.2
Chemical water testing Vermont Certified Drinking Water Laboratory Every 6 years 2.3.9.5.4
Background clearance FCCP Within 6 months of 5-year anniversary. See due date in BFIS 2.3.8.3
Submit a complete license renewal application FCCP Prior to the License expiration date 2.3.9.2

 

  • Annual requirements: 60 days prior to the anniversary of the FCCH current license, the Division shall send the licensee electronic notice of the annual licensing requirements.
  • Deadline: The FCCP shall complete all annual licensing requirements by the anniversary date of the FCCH current license.
  • Ongoing background check: The FCCP shall ensure that the FCCP; all individuals residing in the home; staff; and any individuals who are left alone with children have met ongoing background check requirements by submitting at least once every five (5) years a Records Check Authorization form to the Division and as required shall submit to fingerprinting.
  • Annual Professional development: The FCCP shall ensure that the FCCP and all staff have met ongoing Annual Professional Development requirements.
  • Insurance: The FCCP shall maintain on-site evidence of continuous liability insurance coverage.
  • Compliance with Vermont Lead Law: If the licensed facility was constructed prior to 1978 and has not been determined to be lead free by an inspector licensed by Vermont Department of Health, the FCCP shall comply with the requirements of Vermont Lead Law and shall ensure that Essential Maintenance Practice (EMP) has been performed and documented.
  • Drinking water: If the results of the test for lead in the drinking water equaled or exceeded acceptable limits at the time of initial licensure, the FCCP shall ensure that a flush sample is analyzed once every 365 days by a Drinking Water Laboratory certified by the State of Vermont. Documentation from this water test shall be maintained on site.
  • Annual Program Assessment (Licensed FCCP only): The licensed FCCP shall conduct a thorough assessment of the program that includes input from staff and parents at least once every 365 days.
  • Vermont Child Care Immunization Report: The FCCP shall submit a Vermont Child Care Immunization Report at least once every 365 days to the Vermont Department of Health, Immunization Office as required by 18 V.S.A. §§ 1120 ‐ 1129. The FCCP shall maintain documentation in the child’s file of each child’s current immunization status. Immunization records shall include the immunization administered and the date of each immunization. The immunization record should be updated after each additional immunization has been received. If an enrolled child is in the process of complying with immunization requirements in accordance with the Vermont recommended immunization schedule, documentation in the child’s file shall include the required Vermont Department of Health form. If a child has not had a required immunization due to a Vermont allowed an exemption, documentation in the child’s file shall include the required Vermont Department of Health form.

Forms for child care providers: At this link you can access various forms required for use with the Child Development Division.

Full License

A full license is issued when the Division determines that the Family Child Care Provider is in full or substantial compliance with regulations. A full license is effective for 3 years from the date of issuance, unless it is modified to a provisional license, revoked, surrendered prior to the expiration date, suspended.

Provisional License

  • A provisional license may be issued when the Division determines that there is no risk to the health, safety, and well-being of the children, and
    • An emergency occurs that affects an FCCP’s ability to be in substantial compliance with regulations;
    • The FCCP has applied for approval of a change that impacts their license;
    • The FCCP has applied for renewal and is not in substantial compliance with regulations; or
    • An individual has submitted a new application for licensure or registration and full compliance has not been determined.
  • A provisional license is effective for a period determined by the Division and specified on the license, not to exceed 1 year from the date of issuance, unless it is modified to a full license, revoked, surrendered prior to the expiration date, or suspended.
  • During the provisional period, the FCCP must implement a written regulatory compliance plan that has been submitted to and approved by the Division.
  • A provisional license may be replaced with a full license when the Division determines that the FCCP has come into full or substantial compliance with applicable provisions of these rules in advance of the expiration date of the provisional license.
  • If the FCCP is not able to come into full or substantial compliance with applicable provisions of these rules in advance of the expiration date of the provisional license, the license expires and the FCCP must reapply and meet all requirements for the issuance of a full license in order to provide care for children in more than two families other than their own.

Sources: Vermont Agency of Human Services Department for Children and Families, Becoming a Provider, Child Care Licensing Regulations: Registered and Licensed Family Child Care Homes, FCCH Chart of Deadline Dates

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