Updates to Health and Safety Training and Professional Development Requirements (Announcement C-22-02)

Front page of Announcement C-22-02Subject: Updates to Health and Safety Training and Professional Development Requirements

To:

  • Department of Human Services (DHS) Certified Child Care Facilities
  • Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs)
  • Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) Staff

From: 

Tracey Campanini
Deputy Secretary, Office of Child Development & Early Learning

Issue Date: Jan. 24, 2022
Effective Date: Jan.24, 2022
End Date: N/A

View full announcement as a PDF. >

Purpose

The purpose of this announcement is to issue updated policy on federal requirements for Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and the expectation for all certified child care facilities operating under 55 Pa. Code Chapters § 3270, § 3280, and § 3290 for compliance.

The following appendices are included in this announcement:

Background

The reauthorized CCDBG states all staff in certified child care programs must have preservice or orientation training (to be completed within three months) and ongoing professional development in each of the health and safety requirements outlined in § 98.41. Ongoing health and safety professional development must be maintained and updated at the discretion of the lead agency.

As such, changes have been made to the following Department of Human Services (DHS) child care regulations, 55 Pa. Code Chapters § 3270, § 3280, and § 3290, which now require all child care staff persons to complete pre-service training within 90 days of hire (55 Pa.§ 3270.31, § 3280.31, § 3290.31). In addition, all child care staff must obtain an annual minimum 12 clock hours of professional development (55 Pa.§ 3270.31, § 3280.31, § 3290.31).

This announcement addresses new certification requirements for child care providers to complete pediatric first aid and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); safe sleep practices, including risk reduction of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)/ Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID); prevention and control of infectious diseases (including immunizations); prevention of and response to emergencies due to food and allergic reactions; prevention of shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma/child maltreatment; and mandated reporter training before child care staff can care for children unsupervised. This means untrained child care staff must be supervised at all times by a trained, qualified child care staff person (at a minimum assistant group supervisor or primary staff person) until the untrained staff have obtained the required trainings.

Additionally, this announcement also serves to advise child care providers that all child care staff must complete any additional health and safety professional development requirements as prescribed by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).

Discussion

Pre-Service Training for all Child Care Staff

All child care staff in a certified child care program must complete pre-service training including all federal requirements for Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) health and safety trainings topics, outlined below, within 90 days of hire:

  1. Prevention and control of infectious diseases (including immunizations)
  2. Prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) & Use of Safe Sleep Practices
  3. Administration of Medication, consistent with standards for parental consent
  4. Prevention of and Response to Emergencies due to Food and Allergic Reactions
  5. Building and Physical Premises Safety, including Identification of and Protection from Hazards, Bodies of Water and Vehicular Traffic
  6. Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome, Abusive Head Trauma, and Child Maltreatment
  7. Emergency preparedness and response planning for emergencies resulting from a natural disaster, or a man-caused event (such as violence at a child care
    facility), within the meaning of those terms under section 602(a)(1) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C.
    5195a(a)(1)) that shall include procedures for evacuation, relocation, shelter-inplace and lock down, staff and volunteer emergency preparedness training and practice drills, communication and reunification with families, continuity of operations, and accommodation of infants and toddlers, children with disabilities, and children with chronic medical conditions
  8. Handling and Storage of Hazardous Materials and the Appropriate Disposal of Bio-contaminants
  9. Appropriate precautions in Transporting Children
  10. Pediatric First Aid & Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  11. Recognition and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect (Mandated Reporter Training)

NOTE: All child care staff and volunteers must comply with the Child Protective Service Law (CPSL) and Chapter 3490, which includes completing Recognition and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect (Mandated Reporter Training) and renew it at least every five years. Non-compliance will result in violation of regulation § 3270.32(a); § 3280.32(a) & § 3290.32(a).

NOTE: The Pediatric First Aid and Pediatric CPR training must be conducted by an approved Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System (PQAS) Instructor using an OCDEL recognized PQAS curriculum (see Appendix B – Pediatric First Aid and Pediatric CPR Courses table) for compliance with certification regulations.

The pre-service training is available on the Better Kid Care (BKC) website. The BKC’s online pre-service training courses meet the CCDBG health and safety required training topics and are the only modules that meet the pre-service training requirements for all child care staff. The citations for non-compliance with the pre-service health and safety training requirement will be issued under 55 Pa. Code § 3270.31(f), § 3280.31(f), and § 3290.31(g).

Completion of Required Health and Safety Training Topics Before a Child Care Staff Can Care for Children Unsupervised

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced Caring for Our Children Basics (CFOCB): Health and Safety Foundations for Early Care and Education which represents the minimum health and safety standards experts believe should be in place where children are cared for outside of their homes.

CFOCB is the result of work from both federal and non-federal experts and is founded on Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, Third Edition, created by the American Academy of Pediatrics; American Public Health Association; and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education with funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The Office of Child Care, Office of Head Start, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau were instrumental in this effort.

According to CFOCB, child care providers should not care for children unsupervised until they have completed training in:

  • Pediatric First Aid & Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR);
  • Safe sleep practices, including risk reduction of Sudden Infant Death
  • Syndrome/Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SIDS/SUID);
  • Standard precautions for the prevention of communicable disease;
  • Poison prevention; and
  • Shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma.

Although pre-service training must be completed within 90 days of hire for all child care staff, the following required health and safety training topics must be completed before a child care staff can care for children unsupervised. This means untrained child care staff must be supervised at all times by a trained, qualified child care staff person (at a minimum assistant group supervisor or primary staff person) until the untrained staff have obtained training in the following areas:

  • Pediatric First Aid & Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR);
  • Prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) & Use of Safe Sleep Practices;
  • Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (including immunizations);
  • Prevention of and Response to Emergencies due to Food and Allergic Reactions;
  • Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome, Abusive Head Trauma, and Child Maltreatment; and
  • Recognition and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect (Mandated Reporter Training)

Health and safety training topics can be found on the Professional Development (PD) Registry. Recognition and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect (Mandated Reporter Training) is available through Keep Kids Safe. Additional training options include: PA Child Welfare Resource Center and Pa Family Support Alliance. Keep Kids Safe offers a list of additional approved courses for child abuse recognition and reporter training.

All child care staff, who have not already completed the required health and safety trainings, will be expected to show completion and documentation by April 29, 2022.

Beginning April 29, 2022, the citations for non-compliance with the required health and safety trainings that must be completed before caring for children unsupervised will be issued under 55 Pa. Code § 3270.14, § 3270.21, § 3280.14, § 3280.20, and § 3290.18, all pertaining to compliance with “pertinent laws and regulations” and “general health and safety.”

On-Going Annual Professional Development Training for all Child Care Staff

All child care staff in a certified child care program must complete an annual minimum of 12 clock hours of child care training. Professional development training in federal requirements for CCDBG health and safety trainings topics, outlined in section “PreService Training for all Child Care Staff,” must be obtained first prior to obtaining any other professional development training. The required pre-service training can be used only once toward the annual minimum 12 clock hours. Pediatric First Aid & Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Recognition and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect (Mandated Reporter Training) can also count towards the annual minimum 12 clock hours based on the renewal of the training certificate. Within the annual minimum 12 clock hour professional development training requirement, it is at the program’s discretion as to how they would like to address which health and safety professional development training topics their child care staff will obtain.

Health and safety professional development training topics can be found on the PD Registry. OCDEL recommends completing health and safety professional development training through the PD Registry.

The citations for non-compliance with the annual minimum of 12 clock hours of child care training requirement will be issued under 55 Pa. Code § 3270.31(e); § 3280.31(e); and §3290.31(f). The citations for non-compliance with the obtaining health and safety professional development training prior to any other professional development training will be issued under 55 Pa. Code § 3270.31(j); § 3280.31(j); § 3290.31(k).

In addition, OCDEL will notify the child care community of any health and safety professional development training updates listed at 55 Pa Code § 3270.31(f); § 3280.31(f); § 3290.31(f), and all child care staff will be required to take the updated professional development within a prescribed timeframe. Even if child care staff have obtained their annual minimum 12 clock hours of professional development training, they will still be required to complete any updated health and safety training topics defined by OCDEL and within the appropriate timeframe.

The citations for non-compliance with any requirements to obtain health and safety professional development training updates required by OCDEL within the prescribed timeframe will be issued under 55 Pa. Code § 3270.14, § 3270.21, § 3280.14, § 3280.20, and § 3290.18, all pertaining to compliance with “pertinent laws and regulations” and “general health and safety.”

Documentation and Verification of Pre-Service and Ongoing Professional Development Training

All child care staff must have documentation and verification of completion of preservice training and on-going annual professional development retained in the facility person’s file or maintained in an electronic PD Registry. The documentation must include, but is not limited to:

  • Signature of representative or trainer of the professional development entity;
  • Title of a representative or trainer of the professional development entity; and
  • Date professional development training was completed

The citations for non-compliance with documentation and verification of pre-service and ongoing professional development training will be issued under 55 Pa. Code § 3270.31(g), § 3280.31(g), § 3290.31(h).

Next Steps

Certified child care facilities must:

  1. Read this Announcement and share with appropriate staff.
  2. Develop, communicate, and implement policies and procedures to adhere to regulations regarding professional development in health and safety topics.
  3. Ensure all child care staff have completed and documented the required health and safety trainings outlined in section “Completion of Required Health and Safety Training Topics Before a Child Care Staff Can Care for Children Unsupervised” by April 29, 2022.
  4. Ensure current and newly hired child care staff complete annual professional development in the required health and safety topics as stipulated in the child care regulations.
  5. Appropriate documentation and verification of pre-service and ongoing professional development training of all child care staff is retained in the facility person’s file or maintained in an electronic system, the PD Registry.