We hope this booklet will be helpful to you while caring for children. If we can be of service to you, please feel free to call or come by our office.
Click here to download and print the Relative Provider Handbook
Requirements for Non-Licensed Relative Day Care Homes
Purpose and Policy of the Law
It is the declared purpose and policy of the Choctaw Nation Child Care Assistance Program to ensure maintenance of minimum standards for the care and protection of children away from their own homes, to encourage and assist the relative child care home in attaining maximum standards and to work for the development of sufficient and adequate services for child care. These requirements are presented as minimum requirements and safeguards to ensure the well-being of children. They have been developed from existing knowledge of child development and experience in child care.
The following words and terms have the following meaning, unless the content clearly indicates otherwise:
“Caregiver/Provider” means an individual who is registered with the Choctaw Nation Child Care Assistance Program as a relative child care home provider.
“Child” means an individual under the age of 18 years.
“Program” means Child Care Assistance (CCA).
“Relative Child Care Home” means a relative’s home which provides care and protection for seven or fewer children for part of the 24-hour day.
“Relatives” means persons in any of the following relationships whether by marriage, blood, or adoption: great grandparent, grandparent, great aunt, aunt, great uncle, uncle, or sibling who is over the age of 18 and does not reside in the home with the child.
Qualifications & Requirements
QUALIFICATIONS OF CAREGIVERS
General - The caregiver/provider shall be a responsible, mature, healthy adult, at least 18 years of age, who is capable of understanding and complying with minimum licensing requirements and of meeting the neHealtheds of children in care.
-The caregiver/provider and all members of the household shall be in good physical and emotional health. If it is reported or observed that the caregiver/provider or family member has a physical, mental, or emotional condition that could impact the care of children, a physician’s statement shall be requested.
Immunizations -The caregiver/provider’s children and all children living in the home shall have or be in the process of obtaining immunizations at the medically appropriate time.
Drug Testing - The caregiver/provider shall submit a drug test if there is any reason to believe that drugs are being used.
Separate Dwelling - The caregiver/provider must reside in a dwelling separate from child being cared for. (Check stub or rent receipt may be required.)
Criminal History - Any person applying to become a caregiver cannot be or have a person(s) living in the home who has been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to any crime involving conduct described in (1)-(5) of the following subparagraph and shall be restricted from the premises of the relative child care home. The person convicted of a crime cannot live, be on the premises, or take part in any activity of the relative child care home.
- Violence against a person;
- Child abuse or neglect;
- Possession, sale or distribution of illegal drugs;
- Sexual misconduct; or
- Gross irresponsibility or disregard for the safety of others.
Caregivers/providers shall provide documentation of criminal history investigations conducted through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for persons 18 and over that reside in the home.
Child Abuse - In the case of child abuse and neglect, when any person has been known to be a perpetrator in a juvenile court proceeding and/or has made an admission of guilt to a person authorized by state or federal laws/regulations to investigate child abuse and neglect, he or she shall be restricted from the premises while children are in care.
Endangerment of Children - A person whose health or behavior would endanger the health, safety or well-being of children shall not be permitted to live in the home or be on the premises when children in care are present.
REQUIREMENTS OF CAREGIVERS
- Care and Supervision - The registered caregiver/provider shall be directly responsible for the care and supervision of children
- Realistic Expectations - The caregiver/provider shall demonstrate a capacity for setting realistic expectations for behavior and performance based on the age, abilities and special needs of the children.
- Constructive Influence - The caregiver/provider’s family members and others living in the home shall accept the relative child care children and provide constructive influence. There must be indication of a stable and harmonious home life
- Child Abuse Reporting - The caregiver/provider shall immediately report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect to the local office of the Department of Human Services, the Choctaw Nation Child Care Assistance Program and the Statewide Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-522-3511). Upon conviction, failure to report is a misdemeanor offence and is punishable by law.
- Notification of Monitoring Services - The caregiver/provider shall notify the parent/guardian and the Monitoring Coordinator: Within 24 hours of any incident involving transportation or any injury requiring emergency medical attention; and within 24 hours of any remodeling, changes or damage to the physical facility that affects the amount of usable square footage or compliance with any requirement; and at least 30 days in advance, if the caregiver/provider moves from one residence to another unless an emergency exists. The new home shall comply with the requirements in this Part.
- General Training Requirements - The caregiver/provider is encouraged to complete 12 clock hours of training per year through workshops, formal training, audio-visual aids (filmstrips, video or cassette tapes, etc), or individual job-related readings. A monthly newsletter is mailed with child related information and training schedules.
- Health and Safety Training - The caregiver/provider is encouraged to obtain training in disease and accident prevention measures, first aid techniques which includes airway obstruction procedures for infants and children, and use of a fire extinguisher. (CPR & First Aid training every 2 years)
- Sign-In Sheet Policy - Parents are required to sign their children in and out daily at the provider’s home, and providers should check daily to ensure this is done. Our monitoring workers perform unannounced visits to the providers to check sign-in sheets and will document any violation of this policy. If your home is found to be in non-compliance of the sign-in sheet policy, the first occurrencewill be documented. If your home is found to be in non-compliance the second time you will be terminated from the Program.
- Ages and Numbers of Children - The total number of children in care shall be limited to seven. The number shall include the caregivers own preschool children under five years of age who live in the home. When only one caregiver is present the guidelines regarding the ages and total number of children in care that shall be complied with are as follows:
|Under 2||2 and Older||Total|
Alcohol, Drugs & Medication-No caregiver/provider shall be under the effects of alcohol or medication which impairs functioning when children in care are present.
Tobacco Products-During child care hours, tobacco products shall not be used in areas where children are in care. Adults cannot smoke in the outside play area.
Other Employment-The caregiver/provider shall not hold another job or conduct business in the home, either full-time or part-time, during the hours children are in care.
- General Requirements-It is the responsibility of the caregiver/provider to assure compliance with state construction and equipment codes.
- Apartments - If a provider resides in an apartment complex, care may be provided only in a ground level apartment.
- Mobile Home-Mobile homes shall be anchored and enclosed to ground level with a wind-resistant material. Documentation that a mobile home is in compliance with the current HUD Standards, manufactured after 6/25/76.
- Maintenance-The home shall be in a good state of repair and maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
- Toilet Facilities-The home shall have an operable toilet and sink available for children’s use with hot and cold running water.
- Lighting/Ventilation-Rooms used by children shall be well-lighted and ventilated.
- Indoor Temperature-The indoor temperature shall be maintained between 65° and 85° F.
- Water Supply/Waste Disposal-Water supply, sewage disposal and solid waste disposal shall meet local city ordinances and State Department of Health regulations.
- Water Testing-When not on a public water supply, water shall be tested initially for lead and annually for bacteria and nitrates. (For more information contact your local health department.)
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors-One (1) operable carbon monoxide detector is installed according to manufacturers instructions in the same room as the heat source if the heating system in use is not in an enclosed closet and is: an open flame, natural gas or propane water heater; or an open flame, natural gas or propane heating system, except for floor furnaces and heating systems located in the attic or garage. If the heat source is located in a room not used for child care such as the master bedroom or kitchen, the carbon monoxide detector is located in the main area used for child care.
- Smoke Detectors-There shall be at least one operable smoke detector in the home located at the top of any stairs. Any room used by children for playing or sleeping, except kitchens, must have a smoke detector.
- Fire Extinguishers-A portable UL approved fire extinguisher, Class ABC or BC, with a gauge shall be provided for the cooking area. It shall be properly mounted and accessible. Disposable fire extinguishers with a gauge are acceptable. All fire extinguishers shall be serviced and tagged by a competent authority or replaced every three years and/or when the seal is broken.
- Heating Equipment-Portable heaters, open-face heaters or unvented or vent free heaters shall not be used while children are in care. A guard shall be provided to protect children from hot surfaces and open flames. Fireplaces in use while children are in care shall have solid doors that are kept closed. A stove or combustion heater shall not be located so that it would prevent escape in case of malfunctioning of the stove or heater. Heating equipment not specifically designed or installed as normal heating sources cannot be used for that purpose.
- Electrical Services-The use of temporary wiring or extension cords as permanent wiring is prohibited. Electrical outlet covers shall be used in all areas occupied by children. An operable flashlight shall be available at all times.
- Doors-Every closet door latch shall be such that children can open the door from inside the closet. Every bathroom door lock shall be designed to permit opening of the locked door from the outside and have a readily accessible opening device.
- Exits-Each floor used for child care shall have at least two means of escape on opposite ends of the home, at least one of which shall be a door leading to an unobstructed path to the outside. The second means of escape may be an unobstructed, operable window not less that 820 square inches and large enough to allow all adults and children to escape.
- Stairs (within home)-Every stairway shall be maintained free of obstructions and provide safe passage. Stairways with more than 4 steps must have railing.
- Hand Washing Supplies-Soap and clean individual towels or paper towels shall be easily accessible to the caregiver/provider and children for hand washing.
- Screens-When windows or doors are kept open, screens shall be maintained to minimize the entry of insects.
- Outdoor Play Area-There shall be an outdoor play area. This area must be hazard free, away from traffic, water and other dangers. In most instances, a fence will be required. If a fence is not deemed necessary, the caregiver/provider shall: Be outdoors with children and provide constant supervision; and Submit a written statement that constant supervision will be provided.
- Play Equipment - There shall be a variety of indoor and outdoor play equipment that is clean, safe and maintained in good working condition. Equipment shall be readily accessible to children and meet the varied developmental needs and interests of children in care.
- Trampolines -The use of trampolines by children in care is prohibited.
- Tables and Chairs - Age appropriate tables and chairs, including high chairs, shall be provided for meals and snacks.
- Place to Rest - Each child shall have an appropriately-sized, individual place to rest, e.g., bed, cot, sofa, mat, with clean individual bedding. Waterbeds, fluffy blankets or comforters, pillows and other soft surfaces are not used for children under 12 months of age.
- Cribs, Playpens - The caregiver/provider shall use a crib, port-a-crib or playpen with a firm waterproof mattress or pad for each child under one year of age.
Equipment Provided by Choctaw Nation.
The Choctaw Nation Child Care Assistance Program will provide the following items if needed:
- First Aid kit
- Portable fire extinguisher
- Smoke alarms as needed (batteries included)
- Carbon monoxide detectors as needed (batteries included)
- Electrical outlet covers
- Cabinet door latches
- Refrigerator/freezer thermometer
- Emergency Procedures-The caregiver/provider shall be familiar with emergency procedures.
- There shall be a planned source of medical care: a hospital emergency room, clinic, or other medical facility or physician acceptable to parents
- The caregiver/provider shall have emergency transportation available.
- First aid procedures and supplies shall be available for quick reference
- Fire drill information shall be given to provider upon initial site visit
- Tornado drill information shall be given to provider upon initial site visit
- The home shall have an operable telephone with the address of the home and the following emergency number posted: physician or clinic, fire department, police department and poison control (1-800-222-1222).
Hazards - the premises shall be free of hazaards, indoor and out
- All flammable and/or toxic substances, hazardous items, and smoking materials shall be inaccessible to children
- Weapons are stored unloaded in a locked container, cabinet, or closet. Ammunition is stored in a locked area separated from weapons.
- Clear glass doors shall be plainly marked at the child’s eye level to avoid accidental impact
- All stairways with four or more steps shall have railings. Indoor stairways must be made inaccessible when infants and toddlers are in care.
- Crib Safety Features - The following safety features for cribs shall be complied with:
- A crib that is used for an infant under six months of age that has any space between slats or side and end panels that exceeds two inches is not allowed.
- Cribs with decorative cutout areas in crib-end panels or tall decorative knobs on the corner posts, which can entrap a child’s head or catch his clothing, are not allowed.
- Mattress must fit the crib snugly with no more than one inch between the mattress and crib.
- Drop-side latches hold sides securely and are not accessible by the child in the crib.
- Supervision – Any play activity which involves water shall be supervised constantly.
- Accessibility of Ponds, Pools and Hot Tubs – No ponds, pools or hot tubs shall be left accessible to children.
- Fencing – Pools shall be fenced to prevent unsupervised access and all doors and gates leading to the pool are to be locked. These shall be
- A sturdy fence at least four feet high that cannot be easily climbed and that is at least three feet from the pool; or
- A fence which connects to the top of an above-ground pool and extends two feet above the pool
- Wading Pools – The use of a portable wading pool is prohibitedSwimming – If children swim in a pool, the following requirements shall be met.
- The caregiver/provider shall be at or in the water and be appropriately dressed to enter the water at any time.
- A person with an Emergency Water Safety Certificate with CPR and First Aid shall be in attendance at all times when the children are swimming.
- Hot tubs shall not be used by children and must be equipped with a hard cover and locked.
- Swimming and wading shall not be permitted at a lake, pond or other body of water.
Caregiver/Provider Claim Process For Payment
Claims will be mailed to the providers about 1 week prior to the end of each month to commence the payment process for day care services. Providers must submit the following forms to the Child Care Assistance office for payment for services:
- Monthly Day Care Claims Cover Sheet: The cover sheet is a summary of the month’sclaims for the care of eligible children. This form must be completed, signed and submitted by the Provider.
- Day Care Claims: A claim for each eligible and approved child, along with the month’s sign in sheet for that child, must be completed by the provider and signed by the parent/guardian.
- Caregiver/Providers shall not “loan out” child(ren) for someone else to care for and collect monies from CCDF Funds. This constitutes fraud, and may result in termination from this program.
- Due Date: Claims should be submitted during the month after the day care services are rendered.
- When Will Payment be Received: We cannot guarantee an exact date for payment. However, if completed Claims are received in our office by the fifth (5th) of the month, you may expect your check for services usually by the 15th of the month. Holidays or incomplete claims may delay payment. Claims received after the 5th of the month will be processed as soon as possible, with no guaranteed payment date.
Parents are required to sign their children in and out daily at the provider’s home or center, and providers should check daily to ensure this is done. Our monitoring workers perform unannounced visits to the providers to check sign-in sheets and will document any violation of this policy. If your facility is found to be in non-compliance of the sign-in sheet policy, the first occurrence will be documented. If your facility is found to be in non-compliance the second time, your facility will be terminated from the Program.
Based on the parents/guardians income, they may be required to pay a co-payment to the provider for a portion of their child care expense. While the Child Care Assistance office encourages parents to make timely payments to their providers, we feel this is the responsibility of the parent and a business decision of the provider if payments are allowed to become delinquent. Therefore, our office will not assist in the collection of outstanding co-payments for the provider.
CLICK HERE to download and print the Relative Provider Handbook
Our monitoring workers perform unannounced visits to the providers to make sure the caregiver/ provider is abiding by all policies. All areas of the home shall be accessible to monitoring staff of Choctaw Nation. Site visits are attempted for up to a total of three (3) attempts. Every unsuccessful site visit shall be documented with a notice left at the door and the carbon copy kept on file. After the third attempt the applicant or current provider shall be denied approval.
Relative providers may choose to participate in our “Toy Lending Program”. The CN Monitoring Coordinator will deliver an assortment of age-appropriate education toys and books for the children in your home to use for a period of six weeks. After six weeks, the coordinator will return to your home and pick up the toys and leave a different set of toys for the children. This is a “free” program and you may participate for a long as you wish.
Fraud. In the event that fraud occurs and is substantiated, the participant will be terminated for one year, and until the dollar amount has been repaid to the Program. A re-payment agreement can be arranged by the parties. If the re-payment agreement is not maintained and payment has not been received within 60 days then further legal action may be required. Defrauding a Federal Grant Program is subject to Federal prosecution and potential jail time.