Embarking on the journey to become a licensed Family Child Care Learning Home (FCCLH) provider in Georgia is both rewarding and fulfilling. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning has outlined specific steps that aspiring providers must follow to ensure compliance with regulations and deliver high-quality care for children. In this detailed guide, we will walk you through the entire process, emphasizing key milestones and providing clear steps to successfully navigate each stage.
Step 1: Licensure Orientation Meeting (LOM)
Before initiating the application process for an FCCLH license, attendance at a mandatory Licensure Orientation Meeting (LOM) is required. This meeting imparts essential information tailored to the type of program you intend to operate.
- Express your interest in operating a Family Child Care Learning Home.
- Attend the relevant Licensure Orientation Meeting to gain valuable insights into the licensing process.
Step 2: Pre-Service Training for FCCLH Providers
New FCCLH providers must undergo 20 hours of pre-service training approved by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. This training is a crucial prerequisite before obtaining a certificate of registration.
- Early Learning Standards and Developmentally Appropriate Practices
- Professional and Leadership Development
- Business Management
- Advocacy for Parents, Children, and Staff in the Family Child Care Home
Enroll in the FCCLH Pre-Service Course offered by ChildCareEd to meet Georgia's licensing requirements.
Step 3: Familiarize Yourself with Rules and Regulations
Before submitting your application, thoroughly read and understand the Rules and Regulations for Family Child Care Learning Homes. Ensure compliance with all guidelines, as you will be accountable for meeting these standards.
- Answer all questions on the “Rules Checklist” for Family Child Care Learning Homes.
- Contact the local fire marshal to determine any local ordinances applicable to operating a Family Child Care Learning Home in your area.
Step 4: Submit Online Application via DECAL Koala
Applications must be submitted online through DECAL Koala. Postal mail and walk-in applications are no longer accepted. Establish a DECAL Koala account by following the provided link and instructions on the webpage.
- Create a DECAL Koala account by visiting DECAL Koala.
- Upload all required documents to the online application before submission.
- Ensure completion within the minimum 45-day timeframe for Family Child Care Learning Homes.
Step 5: Background Check
Applicants must undergo a background check through Bright from the Start. Register for fingerprint processing via https://www.decal.ga.gov/CCS/CriminalRecordsCheck.aspx. All adults (17 years and older) residing in the home or present during child care hours must be fingerprinted.
- Register for the fingerprint processing through Bright from the Start.
- Maintain record checks in the home for all applicable individuals.
Step 6: Annual Training Requirements
After obtaining the initial certificate of registration, both new and existing FCCLH providers must engage in ongoing professional #development. Completing 10 hours of annual training related to child care is mandatory to maintain registration.
Becoming a licensed Family Child Care provider in Georgia demands a systematic approach and adherence to guidelines. From pre-service training to background checks and ongoing professional development, each step plays a crucial role in establishing a safe and enriching environment for children. Seize the opportunity to positively impact the lives of young learners by registering for the FCCLH Pre-Service Course today and embarking on the fulfilling journey of running your own Family Child Care business in Georgia.