Child Care (Early Learning) Division
Faith Based Child Care Facilities in Florida may exempt from obtaining a license from the Department of Children and Families (DCF), if they choose to and become a Religious Exemt Child Care Facility through an approved agency.
The FCCPSA is recognized by the State of Florida Department of Children and Families as a Religious Exemption certification agent for child care facilities.
The statutes provide the religious exemption for programs to be certified by an approved agency provided they are an integral part of a church or parochial school, meet the level two background screening requirements of DCF, local health requirements in addition to the on-site evaluation process of the agency to ensure compliance with its standards for health, safety and sanitation.
"The provisions of ss 402.301-402.319, except for the requirements regarding screening of child care personnel, shall not apply to a child care facility which is an integral part of church or parochial schools conducting regularly scheduled classes, courses of study, or educational programs accredited by, or by a member of, and organization which publishes and requires compliance with its standards for health, safety, and sanitation. However such facilities shall meet minimum requirements of the applicable local governing body as to health, sanitation, and safety and shall meet the screening requirements pursuant to ss 402, 305 and 402, 3055. Failure by a facility to comply with such screening requirements shall result in the loss of the facilities exemption from licensure."
The Florida Legislature established the Gold Seal Quality Care program to acknowledge child care facilities and family day care homes that are accredited by nationally recognized agencies and whose standards reflect quality in the level of care and supervision provided to children.
Accreditation as a Gold Seal Quality Care program demonstrates a level of educational professionalism and committment to quality standards that surpass the broad benchmarks of health and safety. These programs go beyond the required standards that all Child Care Facilities must comply with as they continue to pursue excellence. The FCCPSA joins with the Child Care Program with an in depth Self-Study program based on established national standards, combined with a detailed inspection process that will guide the center to meeting the high standards necessary to become a Gold Seal Quality Care program.
Effective afterschool programs offer a different environment from the regular school day and differ significantly from child care services for younger children. That's why the guidelines and certification for any before or after school program must be inspected and evaluated using those unique standards.
After school programs differ geatly from traditional classroom and or child care centers therefore the standards and inspection process it tailored to that component of an institutions ministry.