New Health and Safety Requirements
for School Readiness Providers
Dear Providers:
Florida's State Board of Education has approved a new Health and Safety Checklists and Inspections rule requiring at least one inspection each year for all child care providers offering the School Readiness (SR) Program.  Although most Pinellas County child care licensing regulations exceed the minimum SR standards, there are some new requirements that SR providers will have to meet.  The new SR health and safety requirements include:
Group Size
  • Two year olds: 22
  • Three year olds: 30
  • Four to Six years old: 40
  • School-age: 50
  • Active credential required for at least one staff member
  • Active credential requirements do not apply during nap time, provided     supervision requirements are maintained.
  • Parent/Guardian received written notification of an Expulsion Policy.
  • The program's transportation log needs to be maintained for 15 months.
Field Trips
  • Written parental permission must be obtained and documentation maintained for 15 months.
Staff Training Requirements
  • Pre-service: within 90 days of employment; no unsupervised contact with or care of children prior to completion of pre-service training:
Record Keeping
  • Children's Files, Attendance, Background Screening, Personnel Records.
  • All records maintained minimum of 15 months.
  • Attendance records - in accordance with contract.
Fire Drills/Emergency Preparedness
  • 12 Fire Drills
  • Fire Drill records must be kept for 15 months.
  • Emergency plan must include parent/guardian reunification and how you will meet the needs of children with special needs.
  • Emergency Drill, 1 for each type
  • Emergency Drill records must be kept for 15 months.
Incident Reports
  • Must be kept for 15 months
Medication records
  • Must be kept for 15 months
We anticipate these monitoring visits to be part of your annual renewal licensing inspection starting in March 2017, however, the actual start date has not yet been determined.  We will send out additional information as we learn more.
Please note that ALL School Readiness providers, including school age only and licensed exempt providers, will receive an annual health and safety monitoring and must meet each requirement in order to deliver a SR program.
GOOD NEWS!  There are time frames built into the rule text to help current providers initially come into compliance.  Corrective action will not be issued prior to the established deadlines. Any issues of non-compliance identified prior to the following established timelines will be provided technical support and assistance:
  • March 30, 2017 - Training Requirements
  • June 30, 2017 - All other standards
  • October 25, 2018 - Active Credential Requirements

If you have questions, please call 
your SR/VPK Contract Specialist

Sponsorship by Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County., Florida's Office of Early Learning, 64% Federal Funds