Following the incident in northern Wichita where a toddler was severely hurt in a lawn mower incident at a home day care center, Eyewitness News worked to find out how someone can get licensed to be a home day care provider in Kansas.
The Program Director of Child Care Licensing for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Lori Steelman said KDHE works with local cities and health departments to inspect homes before a provider gets a license. Steelman said before a license can be granted, the applicant schedules an initial inspection where the applicant is required to be in full compliance with state regulations for child care services. The applicant must complete training within 30 days of the application that includes CPR certification, child development training, safe sleep training and First Aid certification among others.
Once a provider is licensed, Steelman said the entire premises is licensed, which can be different than a commercial facility. She said with home providers, there is a maximum of 10 to 12 children depending on the age of the youngest child.
Steelman said once a residence is licensed, surveyors will inspect the day care at least once a year unannounced. She said the surveyor will check for facility hazards for children, if the staff is trained properly, the number of kids, napping schedules and activities among many other regulations.
Steelman said all surveyors are required to be trained with KDHE and receive quarterly training updates.
The full list of regulations and restrictions home day cares must follow can be found here. If you are curious whether your child's care provider is in full compliance or has been in the past, you can search on KDHE's database here.
Steelman said as of August 22, there were 5,560 active licenses in Kansas, 573 of which are new. Steelman did clarify some of the "new" licenses could be a previous provider who has changed addresses, but for the most part, the new licenses are for new providers.
She also said there have been seven emergency suspensions so far in 2014. She said these numbers are normal for a typical year.
Eyewitness News is meeting with individuals this afternoon from Wichita who are in charge of child care licensing for additional information into the inspections.