The Florida Department of Children and Families has ordered that a Waldo, Florida day care center shut down. According to an article in the Gainesville Sun newspaper website, Little People’s Palace has been shut down at the order of the Florida DCF. This day care center was previously operating for approximately one month without a license. The Florida DCF had cited with compliance violations. There were also concerns regarding criminal / employment background checks and the history of the owner and employees. In Florida, a day care center can operate under a regular license issued by the State of Florida or a religious exempt status if the day care center is part of a bona fide religious institution. Even religious exempt day care centers have employment screening and background checks as well as other requirements.
Day care licensing regulations are enforced and monitored by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Is it important for day care centers to follow the regulations? Absolutely. Many of the regulations involve staffing and safety measures which help promote the health and well being of the children. These regulations also help prevent the incidence of personal injuries to children in day care centers. Day care center operators who try to avoid regulations often times skip over other details as to safety. When enrolling a child in a Florida day care center, ask for documentation regarding licensure, staffing, and background checks. It is also helpful to contact the local office for the Department of Children and Families to get information on the facility and owner.