Yesterday I had an unannounced visit from licensing.
Ever since I opened my daycare five years ago I have had an unannounced visit from licensing every year. So I was expecting one soon since my last visit was on October 28th of last year. Sure enough there was a knock at the door at 1:47 PM, yes I looked at the clock. It never fails, every single unannounced visit has been at naptime which is when I least expect it. I opened the door to greet her. She had on a purple floral dress which color coordinated with her purple briefcase on wheels along with her purple thermos. Normally when I see my analyst I get this nervous, anxiety feeling that creeps up on me. But this time was different as I didn’t get that feeling when I saw her friendly face.
The program analyst was polite and apologized for coming during naptime. I told her it was not a problem as she was just doing her job. She asked how many kids were in my care at the time and I responded with four. Two were in pack-n-plays in the playroom as I am trying to give my thirteen year old daughter her room back. And two were in pack-n-plays in my daughter’s room. The analyst could visually see the two napping in the playroom and she asked to see the other two kids in my care. I took her to my daughter’s room where she quickly peeked in hoping that the little ones would go back to sleep but no such luck. They were up and there was no way they were going back to sleep.
My daycare kids don’t like unannounced visits.
My daycare kids are not use to strangers coming and going in my home. So of course they are startled when they see an unfamiliar face. I lifted all the kids out of the pack-n-plays. They clung to me, each wanting me to hold them. I gathered them all in the playroom and turned on some music, got down on the floor, and sang phonic songs to them in an effort to settle them down. Thankfully it was working! The analyst was thoughtful enough to go in to another room, out of sight, and conduct her inspection. Conveniently we were still able to speak to each other even though she was in the adjoining room.
We went through the drill as usual.
For the most part the inspections have been pretty standard so I know what to expect. She went through the typical inspection of checking the fire extinguisher, checking the fire drill log, asking about the pool fence, etc. She did happen to ask about the extra cage (chicken run) in our backyard that we use for our hens. I told her that when we introduce new hens we have to keep them separated from the other hens until they figure out their pecking order otherwise the hens will attack each other. I know shocking, I raise backyard chickens in Thousand Oaks, California.
There was one topic however that hadn’t been asked before on previous inspections.
It was in regards to the new California SB 792 bill effective September 1, 2016. This bill requires child care providers to be immunized against influenza (option to opt-out), pertusis, and measles. Thankfully I was aware of the bill and had recently received a signed copy of my immunization records from my nurse practitioner. For the influenza I told her I was currently opting-out because my doctor’s office did not have the vaccine until recently. Last week to be exact.
She was happy to inform me that I was the first provider she came across that was not cited because of this new bill. I wanted to inform any California daycare providers reading this that they are checking and they are citing any violations. She did mention there was no leniency.
And with that she said her goodbyes and was out the door. Until next year!