Provider FAQs

FAQs - Homes and Centers

How long will it take to get licensed? 
 

Family and Group Child Care Homes Group child care home applicants must submit a complete application, attend an orientation session and be in full compliance with Child Care Organizations Act (1973 PA 116) and the Licensing Rules. A licensing consultant will determine compliance based on an on-site inspection and review of all required written materials. The area manager then reviews and approves the original inspection report prior to the license being issued. The time frame will vary depending on how long it takes the home provider to come into full compliance with the act and the licensing rules.

Child Care Centers Child care center applicants must submit a complete application and complete all required inspections (e.g., fire safety, fuel-fired furnace/water heater, environmental health, lead hazard risk assessment, playground safety, etc.). The applicant must also be in full compliance with Child Care Organizations Act (1973 PA 116) and the Licensing Rules for operating a center. A licensing consultant will determine compliance based on an on-site inspection and review of all required written materials. The area manager then reviews and approves the original inspection report prior to the license being issued. The time frame will vary depending on how long it takes the center to come into full compliance.

If I move or my center moves to a new location, can I transfer my license to my new location?   

No, you must apply for a new license. It is important to notify your licensing consultant prior to moving so you can continue uninterrupted child care. If you move without notifying your licensing consultant, your license will be closed until you complete the licensing process at your new location.

Who needs to be fingerprinted? 

For family and group child care homes, the licensee must be fingerprinted.

In centers, the licensee, licensee designee and the program director must be fingerprinted. The licensee designee and the program director may be the same person.

If I have already been fingerprinted, do I need to be fingerprinted again? 

If you have been fingerprinted and continue to have an active license or work as a program director for a center with an active license, then new fingerprints are not required.

If your license/registration has been closed for any length of time or if you have not been continuously employed as a program director at a center, you will likely need to be fingerprinted again. Fingerprints can possibly be used if the previous registration/license has been closed less than a year or your break in service has been less than a year and it can be verified that the fingerprints are still active.

How often do I have to do CPR and first aid training? My first aid card states that my training expires after two years, but the state is saying that I need the training every three years. Who is right? 

Centers, Family, and Group Child Care Homes

First aid and CPR certification is required for all home child care providers before licensure. Assistant caregivers for child care homes are required to have CPR certification within 90 days of hire. Providers, Program Directors, Lead Caregivers, and Assistant Caregivers must maintain current certification while working in/or being associated with a Child Care home or center.

Child Care Centers

NOTE: Child care centers must have at least one person on duty at all times who has current certification in CPR and first aid when providing care to one or more children.

Can I do my CPR and first aid training on-line? If so, what websites are approved? 

First aid and CPR training must be received from a person certified as a Red Cross instructor or a trainer from another organization approved by the department. See the department's website (www.michigan.gov/michildcare) for the current list of approved organizations. If first aid or CPR training is completed online, an in-person skills test must be completed for the training to be valid. The in-person skills test must be administered by one of the approved organizations.

Can I do my annual training hours on-line? If so, what websites are approved? 

Family and Group Child Care Homes

Video, distance learning, correspondence, and online trainings must be facilitated and validated by a trainer/facilitator and include a feedback component. See the Technical Assistance and Consultation Manuals on the department's website (www.michigan.gov/michildcare) for examples of facilitated and validated training - Rule 400.1905(5).

Child Care Centers

Video and distance learning, correspondence courses, online trainings, and webinars count toward the annual clock hours of professional development if these types of trainings/courses have an assessment of learning. Note: By including video and distance learning, corresponĀ­dence courses, online trainings, and webinars on a training log to count toward the annual clock hours of professional development, the careĀ­giver is certifying that the training had some type of assessment of learning.

See the Technical Assistance and Consultation Manuals on the department's website (www.michigan.gov/michildcare) for examples of assessment of learning - Rule 400.8131(6).

How do you calculate when training hours need to be completed? 

Previously, licensing required that the hours be taken during the license/registration cycle. To simplify both assessing compliance by licensing and tracking hours for licensees/registrants, as of April 1, 2013, licensing began to assess compliance based on the calendar year.

Note: Training records of caregivers employed less than 1 year will not be reviewed at licensing inspections.

Example 1: Your family/group home license expires 5/01/2013. At your renewal inspection on 4/20/2013, you will provide documentation of your annual training based on your license cycle for 5/10/11 to 4/30/12. Since the second year of your license cycle (5/1/2012 to 4/30/2013) covers part of 2013, your licensing consultant will just review the clock hours you took in 2012 at your renewal inspection. You will not be cited if you did not take all 10 hours in 2012. (The training hours you took in 2013 will not be evaluated at this time.) When your home license expires 5/02/2015, you must provide documentation of 10 clock hours of training in 2013 and 10 clock hours of training in 2014 to comply with R 400.1905(1).

Example 2: Your center license expires 8/01/2013. At your renewal inspection on 07/20/2013, you will provide documentation of annual training based on your license cycle for 8/01/2011 to 07/31/2012. Since the second year of your license cycle (8/1/2012 to 7/31/2013) covers part of 2013, your licensing consultant will just review the clock hours taken in 2012 at your renewal inspection. You will not be cited if all 12 hours were not taken in 2012. (The training hours taken in 2013 will not be evaluated at this time.) When your center license expires on 8/02/2015, you will be required to provide documentation of training hours from calendar years 2013 and 2014.

How often do I have to have a physical and Tuberculosis (TB) test completed? 

Family and Group Child Care Homes 

Caregivers are required to have a physical report from a licensed physician (or their designee) on file within one year before issuance of the license and at the time of subsequent renewals.

Assistant caregivers are required to have a physical report from a licensed physician (or their designee) on file within one year prior to caring for children and at the time of subsequent renewals

Caregivers are required to have TB test results before issuance of the initial licensure. No subsequent TB test is needed.

Assistant caregivers are required to have TB test results prior to caring for children. No subsequent TB test is needed.

Household members 14 years of age and older are required to have TB test results before issuance of the initial licensure or when a new household member moves in or when a household member turns 14 years of age. No subsequent TB test is needed.

Child Care Centers 

Physical reports for staff members and volunteers from a licensed physical (or their designee) are not required.

All staff members and any volunteers who have contact with children at least four hours per week for more than two consecutive weeks must have test results on file indicating that he/she is free from communicable TB, verified within one year before employment/volunteering. No subsequent TB test is needed.

How often do I have to have my furnace and water heater inspected? 

Family and Group Child Care Homes 

Fuel-fired furnace and water heater inspections must be conducted before the initial license issuance and every two years thereafter at the time of license renewal.

Child Care Centers

Fuel-fired furnaces and water heaters must be inspected prior to issuance of an original license and every two years at renewal. New furnace and water heater installations must be inspected and approved by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs inspectors or local mechanical inspecting authorities at the time of installation.

If I have a court order stating that one parent cannot pick up their child and that parent comes to my facility to get their child, what do I do?    

A child must be released to either parent unless a court order prohibits release to a particular parent. A copy of the court order should be kept on file at the home and must be kept on file in the center. If there is no court order, you must release the child to the parent.

What do I do if a parent arrives to pick up their child and they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs? 

If you are uncomfortable in releasing a child to a parent who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may offer to:1. Keep the child in your care for an extended period of time.2. Drive the parent and child home.3. Drive the child home or to the home of a relative.4. Call the parent's backup or someone you know who can drive or a taxi at the parent's expense. If the parent refuses any of these offers:5. Tell the parent that you feel it is not safe for the child to ride with him/her at this time and you will notify the police as soon as they leave your home.6. If he/she drives away from your home with the child, call the local law enforcement unit in your area. Tell them why you are concerned for the safety of the child, the general area the driver will be traveling and a description of the car. It is important when you talk with the parent that you focus on the child's safety.

Stay away from value judgments on the substance abuse. Look for facts such as slurred speech, lack of coordination or other evidence of impairment that cause concern for the safety of the child.

Please note that you have no legal right to keep the child from his/her parent and your only recourse, if suggestions 1, 2, 3, and 4 fail, is to involve law enforcement. The goal is to minimize risk to children. You risk alienating the parent, but you may save a child's life. 

I am allergic to bleach. What else can I use as a sanitizer? 

Quaternary ammonia is one safe and commonly used alternative. It is the active ingredient in many widely sold sanitizing wipes and can also be used purchased from food or restaurant suppliers. Commercial sanitizers (products labeled as a sanitizer purchased at a store) may also be used.

With any sanitizing agent, it is important to use it in proper concentration and carefully read labels to assure the product is safe for use on food contact items (or toys children may put into their mouths) and soft surfaces, such as diaper mats and are used according to the manufacturer's instructions.

When mixing a sanitizing solution, test strips can be purchased to assure proper concentration. Additional sanitization questions should be directed to the local health department sanitarian.

Is there a specific temperature range required for children to play outdoors? 

While licensing rules do not identify specific temperature range for outdoor play, steps should be taken to prevent children from becoming excessively cold or hot. It is recommended that the following be taken into account when making a decision about outdoor play:

  • The temperature outdoors including the wind chill factor and the heat index. 
  • Severe weather conditions (e.g., lightning, heavy rain or snow, tornado watches/warnings).
  • Appropriate clothing for conditions. The center may want to have extra clothing available for children who do not come with appropriate clothing for conditions.
  • Ages of the children.
  • Degree of sunshine or available shade.
  • Length of time of the play period.
  • Play activities planned.
  • Local community practices, health department advice, local school weather guidelines.
  • Public announcements of hazardous air quality conditions.
  • Note: Exposed skin will freeze in a few minutes at temperatures below -13 degrees F or the wind chill falls to -18.4 degrees F. Heatstroke, heat exhaustion, burns from hot objects such as metallic playground equipment, sunburn and excessive thirst, etc. can occur at 95 degrees and above.

It is also recommended:

  • That children wear child-safe sunscreen all year round, even in winter. 
  • That children are dressed appropriately for activities - long-sleeved and -legged items protect from sunburn; full jacket, snowsuit, mittens, scarf, hat, and boots for snow play; etc.
  • That children are adequately hydrated during both hot and cold weather.

Caregivers should also have knowledge of the weather related symptoms children may exhibit such as heat or sunstroke, sunburn, dehydration, frostbite, hypothermia, etc. It may be helpful to provide parents with your guidelines regarding the impact of weather conditions on outdoor play.

What type of ground cover can I put under my outdoor play equipment and how much do I need? 

Wood chips are the most commonly used surfacing material. Other acceptable surfacing materials include sand, shredded rubber and pea gravel. The appropriate depth depends on the height of the equipment and the type of surfacing material used. Centers must follow the depths outlined in rule 400.8110(11). The rules for homes do not require a certain depth, but usually six to twelve inches is adequate depending on the height of the piece of the equipment. 

How far out around my play equipment does the ground cover have to go? 

The ground cover needs to go out far enough to cover the surface under and around a piece of equipment onto which a child falling from or exiting from the equipment would be expected to land. Typically, a minimum of six feet in all directions from the perimeter of the equipment. Some play items, like swings, require a larger area.

Licensing rules require centers to comply with recommendations in the CPSC's 2010 Edition of the Handbook for Public Playground Safety, Publication 325.

I only have Little Tykes play equipment, do I still need ground cover or can it be placed on top of my grass? 

Family and Group Child Care Homes

If the play equipment has a designated play surface above 30 inches, it cannot be placed on grass without ground cover.

Child Care Centers

If obtained prior to January 2, 2014, any equipment manufactured for and used by children under the age of 2 is not addressed in CPSC's 1997 Edition of the Handbook for Public Playground Safety and is not inspected. Equipment manufactured for and used by children under the age of two may be residential climbing equipment. This type of equipment is often made in one piece, is portable and can be used indoors or outdoors. It is recommended that shock-absorbing materials be placed under equipment used by children under the age of two.

What records do I need to keep for four years? 

Home providers must keep all of the following records for a minimum of four years:- All records on the caregiver and each assistant caregiver (required by 400.1906).- A record of the dates of caregiver absences.- All children's records, including attendance records (required by 400.1907).- Medication records.- Tornado and fire drill records.

Centers must keep the records required by the Child Care Organizations Act (1973 PA 116) and the Licensing Rules for operating a child care center for 2 years, except the following must retained for longer:

  • The name, address, and telephone number for each child enrolled and each employee for at least 2 years after he or she has left the center.
  • Staff and volunteer health records as required by R 400.8128 and documentation of qualifications must be retained until that person has left the center.
  • The licensing notebook must be maintained and retained until the license is closed.

I have a problem with DHHS payments, who do I call? 

You can call the local DHHS office closest to your address for information or you may call 866-990-3227.