Childcare licensing agencies face unique challenges—from public and government scrutiny to handling a system overburdened with a lack of providers. Along with this, agencies face a daunting list of childcare regulations they must ensure that providers meet. And most importantly these agencies must ensure the health, safety and well-being of children in childcare facilities. Some of the unique challenges of childcare licensing agencies include:
- Shortage of providers: The childcare licensing industry faces a tremendous shortage of providers—across the country. Providers must overcome strict barriers to entry, meeting multiple and varied requirements, depending on the type of specialized care they provide. In addition, all staff, from janitors to managers, must go through rigorous background checks to ensure a safe environment for the kids.
- Requirements for licensure: Each specialized license type must meet a rich source of requirements—or you place children at risk. As part of this, these providers go through in-depth inspections to ensure compliance with the many statutes.
- Speed of licensure: Childcare licensing agencies work quickly to authorize or decline childcare providers, as demand for their services remains high. Working efficiently helps children get the care they need as soon as possible—and with the right provider.
- Visibility of agency: Of any licensing agency, those that serve children see their names in the media when things go awry. Death and serious injury reports, for example, spotlight any weaknesses in the system—from missing children to child abuse.
Some of the unique functionalities for childcare licensing include:
- Background checks: Every single staff member at a childcare provider site needs a background check.
- In-depth inspections: The process of inspecting or surveying childcare providers sometimes means checking off hundreds of requirements. And these inspections sometimes take days. Remote off-line surveys must capture signatures, duration, as well as geo-tagging for locations.
- Corrective Action Plans (CAP): When providers fail the inspection process, they must tackle a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to make amends.
- Robust case management: Agencies require robust case management capabilities—from recording complaints to taking legal action.
- Provider portals: Portals enable agencies to support multiple forms of file and document uploads to meet requirements.
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS): GIS tools help track inspections/surveys for compliance and safety inspections.
- Powerful reporting: Accurate and intuitive reporting helps track providers.
Important functionalities and features that ensure a childcare licensing agency works best to protect the public include:
- Connecting an agency’s business process to the regulations they must meet.
- Integrating an agency’s workflow with a customer-facing portal.
- Measuring an agency’s performance and making needed changes process workloads.