Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 2. LICENSING PROVISIONS [1200 - 1797.8]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

CHAPTER 3.5. Day Care Centers [1596.90 - 1597.21]

  ( Chapter 3.5 added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1615, Sec. 10. )

ARTICLE 2. Licensure Requirements [1596.95 - 1596.99]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1615, Sec. 10. )

1596.95.
  

Any person desiring issuance of a license for a day care center or a special permit for specialized services in a day care center under this chapter shall file with the department pursuant to regulations, an application on forms furnished by the department, which shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(a)  Evidence satisfactory to the department of the ability of the applicant to comply with this act and rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this act by the department.

(b)  Evidence satisfactory to the department that the applicant is a reputable and responsible character. This evidence shall include, but not be limited to, a criminal record clearance pursuant to Section 1596.871, employment history, and character references. If the applicant is a firm, association, organization, partnership, business trust, corporation, or company, evidence of reputable and responsible character shall be submitted as to the members or shareholders thereof, and the person in charge of the day care center for which application for issuance of license or special permit is made.

(c)  Evidence satisfactory to the department that the applicant has sufficient financial resources to maintain the standards of service required by regulations adopted pursuant to this act. The information shall be required only upon initial application for licensure, and when requested by the department, in writing, explaining the need for the evidence as part of the department’s investigative function.

(d)  Disclosure of the applicant’s prior or present service as an administrator, general partner, corporate officer, or director of, or as a person who has held or holds a beneficial ownership of 10 percent or more in any child day care facility or in any facility licensed pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1200), 2 (commencing with Section 1250), or 3 (commencing with Section 1500).

(e)  Disclosure of any revocation or other disciplinary action taken, or in the process of being taken, against a license held or previously held by the entities specified in subdivision (d).

(f)  Evidence satisfactory to the department that there is a fire escape and disaster plan for the facility and that fire drills and disaster drills will be conducted at least once every six months. The documentation of these drills shall be maintained at the facility on a form prepared by the department and shall include the date and time of the drills.

(g)  Evidence satisfactory to the department that the applicant has posted signs at the point of entry to the facility that provide the telephone number of the local health department and state all of the following:

(1)  Protect your child—it is the law.

(2)  All the information specified in Sections 27360 and 27360.5 of the Vehicle Code regarding child passenger restraint systems.

(3)  Call your local health department for more information.

(h)  Any other information as may be required by the department for the proper administration and enforcement of this act.

(i)  Failure of the applicant to cooperate with the licensing agency in the completion of the application shall result in the denial of the application. Failure to cooperate means that the information described in this section and in regulations of the department has not been provided, or not provided in the form requested by the licensing agency, or both.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 350, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)

1596.951.
  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to create a child care license that has individual program components that serve infant, toddler, preschool, and schoolage children. It is the intent of the Legislature that the department consider flexibility for child care providers, maximizing administrative efficiency, while supporting a continuum of services in a manner consistent with all respective health and safety requirements.

(b) The department, in consultation with stakeholders, shall adopt regulations on or before January 1, 2021, to create a child care center license to serve infant, toddler, preschool, and schoolage children with all respective health and safety requirements. Before January 1, 2024, all day care centers shall be licensed as child care centers pursuant to this section.

(c) The regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Components for serving infant, toddler, preschool, and schoolage children.

(2) Health and safety standards for children in care.

(3) Enhanced ability to transition children from one age group to the next.

(d) During the development and adoption of the regulations required by subdivision (b), the department shall consider best practices for continuity of care of the children and parents being served.

(e) The department may charge an applicant for a child care center license a fee commensurate with license fee schedules established for day care centers in Section 1596.803.

(f) The department may adopt emergency regulations in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to implement this section.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 574, Sec. 2. (AB 605) Effective January 1, 2019.)

1596.952.
  

(a)  A corporation that applies for licensure with the department shall list the facilities that any member of the board of directors, the executive director, or an officer that has been licensed to operate, been employed in or served as a member of the board of directors, the executive director, or an officer.

(b)  The department shall not issue a provisional license or license to any corporate applicant that has a member of the board of directors, the executive director, or an officer who is not eligible for licensure pursuant to Sections 1596.851 and 1596.8898.

(c)  The department may revoke the license of any corporate licensee that has a member of the board of directors, the executive director, or an officer who is not eligible for licensure pursuant to Sections 1596.851 and 1596.8898.

(d)  Prior to instituting an administrative action pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c), the department shall notify the applicant or licensee of the person’s ineligibility to be a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of the applicant or licensee. The licensee has 15 days to remove the person from that position if the person does not have client contact, or immediately upon notification if the person has client contact.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 311, Sec. 50. Effective August 19, 1998.)

1596.954.
  

Every licensed child day care center shall have one or more carbon monoxide detectors in the facility that meet the standards established in Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 13260) of Part 2 of Division 12. The department shall account for the presence of these detectors during inspections.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 503, Sec. 4. (AB 2386) Effective January 1, 2015.)

1596.955.
  

(a) The department shall develop guidelines and procedures to permit licensed child day care centers serving preschool age children to create a special program component for children between 18 months to three years of age. This optional toddler program shall be subject to the following basic conditions:

(1) An amended application is submitted to and approved by the department.

(2) Parents give permission for the placement of their children in the toddler program.

(3) A ratio of six children to each teacher is maintained for all children in attendance at the toddler program. An aide who is participating in on-the-job training may be substituted for a teacher when directly supervised by a fully qualified teacher.

(4) The maximum group size, with two teachers, or one fully qualified teacher and one aide, does not exceed 12 toddlers.

(5) The toddler program is conducted in areas separate from those used by older or younger children. Plans to alternate use of outdoor play space may be approved to achieve separation.

(6) All other regulations pertaining to preschool age children are complied with.

(b) The toddler program shall be considered an extension of the center license, without the need for a separate license.

(c) The department may extend the period for participation in the toddler program for a maximum of three months for a child in extenuating circumstances, on the request of a day care center, if the center can establish that it is unable to find an alternative placement.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 574, Sec. 3. (AB 605) Effective January 1, 2019.)

1596.956.
  

(a) The department shall develop guidelines and procedures to authorize licensed child day care centers serving infants to create a special program component for children between 18 months to three years of age. The optional toddler program shall be subject to the following basic conditions:

(1) An amended application shall be submitted to and approved by the department.

(2) A child younger than 18 months of age shall not be moved into the toddler program. A child who is older than 18 months of age shall not be required to be in the toddler program.

(3) Parents shall give permission for the placement of their children in the toddler program.

(4) A ratio of six children to each teacher shall be maintained for all children in attendance at the toddler program. An aide who is participating in on-the-job training may be substituted for a teacher when directly supervised by a fully qualified teacher.

(5) The maximum group size, with two teachers, or one fully qualified teacher and one aide, shall not exceed 12 toddlers.

(6) The toddler program shall be conducted in areas separate from those used by older or younger children. Plans to alternate use of outdoor play space may be approved to achieve separation.

(7) All other regulations pertaining to infants shall be complied with.

(b) The toddler program shall be considered an extension of the infant center license, without the need for a separate license.

(c) The department may extend the period for participation in the toddler program for a maximum of three months for a child in extenuating circumstances, on the request of the day care center, if the center can established that it is unable to find an alternative placement.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 574, Sec. 4. (AB 605) Effective January 1, 2019.)

1596.96.
  

(a)  The department and the licensing agencies with which it contracts for licensing shall review and make a final determination within 60 days of an applicant’s submission of a complete application on all applications for a license to operate a day care facility for children by an organization which possesses a current valid license to operate a day care facility for children at another site. Applicants shall note on the application, or in a cover letter to the application, that they possess a current valid license at another site, and the number of that license.

(b)  The department shall request a fire safety clearance from the appropriate fire marshal within five days of receipt of an application described in subdivision (a). The department shall request criminal records clearance within five days of receipt of an application described in subdivision (a), unless the clearance requirement has been otherwise satisfied by transfer of clearance under subdivision (g) of Section 1596.871.

(c)  If the department for any reason is unable to comply with subdivision (a), it shall, within 60 days of receipt of the application described in subdivision (a), grant a provisional license to the applicant to operate for a period not to exceed six months. While the provisional license is in effect, the department shall continue its investigation and make a final determination on the application before the provisional license expires. The provisional license shall be granted, provided the department knows of no life safety risks, the criminal records clearances, if applicable, are complete, and the fire safety clearance is complete. The director may extend the term of a provisional license for an additional six months at the time of the application, if the director determines that more than six months will be required to achieve full compliance with licensing standards due to circumstances beyond the control of the applicant, and if all other requirements for a license have been met.

(d)  If the department does not issue a provisional license pursuant to subdivision (c), the department shall issue a notice to the applicant identifying whether the provisional license has not been issued due to the existence of a life safety risk, lack of a fire safety clearance, lack of a criminal records clearance, failure to complete the application, or any combination of these reasons. If a life safety risk is identified, the risk preventing the issuance of a provisional license shall be clearly explained. If a lack of the fire safety clearance or lack of criminal records clearance is identified, the notice shall include the dates on which the department requested the clearance and the current status of those requests, the fire marshal’s name and telephone number to whom a fire safety clearance request was sent, and the names of individuals for whom criminal records clearances are lacking. If failure to complete the application is identified, the notice shall list all of the forms or attachments which are missing or incorrect. This notice shall be sent to the applicant no later than 60 days after the applicant filed the application. If the reasons identified in the notice are corrected, the department shall issue the provisional license within five days after the corrections are made.

(e)  The department shall, immediately after January 1, 1992, develop expedited procedures necessary to implement subdivisions (a), (b), (c), and (d).

(f)  The department shall, immediately after January 1, 1992, develop an appeal procedure for applicants under this section for both denial of licenses and delay in processing applications.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 867, Sec. 7.)

1596.97.
  

A license or special permit for a day care center for children may be issued providing the licensee has been found not to be in violation of any statutory requirements or rules or regulations pursuant to this chapter and Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 1596.70).

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1315, Sec. 30. Effective January 1, 1993.)

1596.98.
  

(a)  The department shall notify the day care center in writing of all deficiencies in its compliance with this chapter and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, and shall set a reasonable length of time for compliance by the center. Upon a finding of noncompliance, the department may levy a civil penalty which shall be paid to the department each day until the department finds the center in compliance.

(b)  In developing a plan of correction both the licensee and the department shall give due consideration to the following factors:

(1)  The gravity of the violation.

(2)  The history of previous violations.

(3)  The possibility of a threat to the health or safety of any child in the facility.

(4)  The number of children affected by the violation.

(5)  The availability of equipment or personnel necessary to correct the violation, if appropriate.

(c)  The department shall ensure that the licensee’s plan of correction is verifiable and measurable. The plan of correction shall specify what evidence is acceptable to establish that a deficiency has been corrected. This evidence shall be included in the department’s facility file.

(d) The department shall adopt regulations establishing procedures for the imposition of civil penalties under this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 291, Sec. 22. Effective September 25, 2008.)

1596.99.
  

(a) In addition to the suspension, temporary suspension, or revocation of a license issued under this chapter or Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 1596.70), the department shall levy civil penalties as follows:

(b) (1) The amount of the civil penalty shall be one hundred dollars ($100) per day for each violation of this chapter if a facility fails to correct a deficiency after being provided a specified length of time to correct the deficiency.

(A) If a licensee or a licensee’s representative submits evidence to the department that the licensee has corrected a deficiency, and the department, after reviewing that evidence, has determined that the deficiency has been corrected, the civil penalty shall cease as of the day the department received that evidence.

(B) If the department deems it necessary, the department shall inspect the facility within five working days after the department receives evidence pursuant to subparagraph (A) to confirm that the deficiency has been corrected.

(C) If the department determines that the deficiency has not been corrected, the civil penalty shall continue to accrue from the date of the original citation.

(D) If the department is able to verify that the deficiency was corrected prior to the date on which the department received the evidence pursuant to subparagraph (A), the civil penalty shall cease as of that earlier date.

(2) (A) If the department issues a notification of deficiency to a facility for a repeat violation of a violation specified in paragraph (1), the department shall assess an immediate civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per repeat violation and one hundred dollars ($100) for each day the repeat violation continues after citation. The notification of deficiency shall state the manner in which the deficiency constitutes a repeat violation and shall be submitted to a supervisor for review and approval.

(B) For purposes of this section, “repeat violation” means a violation within 12 months of a prior violation of a statutory or regulatory provision designated by the same combination of letters or numerals, or both letters and numerals.

(C) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A) and (B), the department, in its sole discretion, may reduce the civil penalty for the cited repeat violation to the level of the underlying violation, as applicable, if it determines that the cited repeat violation is not substantially similar to the original violation.

(3) If the nature or seriousness of the violation or the frequency of the violation warrants a higher penalty or an immediate civil penalty assessment, or both, as provided in this chapter, a correction of a deficiency shall not impact the imposition of a civil penalty.

(c) The department shall assess an immediate civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500) per violation and one hundred dollars ($100) for each day the violation continues after citation, for any of the following serious violations:

(1) Any violation that the department determines resulted in the injury or illness of a child.

(2) Fire clearance violations, including, but not limited to, overcapacity, inoperable smoke alarms, and inoperable fire alarm systems.

(3) Absence of supervision, including, but not limited to, a child left unattended, and supervision of a child by a person under 18 years of age.

(4) Accessible bodies of water, when prohibited by this chapter or regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter.

(5) Accessible firearms, ammunition, or both.

(6) Refused entry to a facility or any part of a facility in violation of Section 1596.852, 1596.853, or 1597.09.

(7) The presence of a person subject to a department Order of Exclusion on the premises.

(d) If the department issues a notification of deficiency to a facility for a repeat violation of a violation specified in subdivision (c), the department shall assess an immediate civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per repeat violation and one hundred dollars ($100) for each day the repeat violation continues after citation. The notification of deficiency shall state the manner in which the deficiency constitutes a repeat violation and shall be submitted to a supervisor for review and approval.

(e) For a violation that the department determines resulted in the death of a child, the civil penalty shall be assessed as follows:

(1) Seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) for a facility licensed to care for 30 or fewer children.

(2) Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for a facility licensed to care for 31 to 100, inclusive, children.

(3) Fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for a facility licensed to care for more than 100 children.

(f) (1) For a violation that the department determines constitutes physical abuse or resulted in serious injury, as defined in Section 1596.8865, to a child, the civil penalty shall be assessed as follows:

(A) Two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for a facility licensed to care for 30 or fewer children.

(B) Five thousand dollars ($5,000) for a facility licensed to care for 31 to 100, inclusive, children.

(C) Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for a facility licensed to care for more than 100 children.

(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “physical abuse” includes physical injury inflicted upon a child by another person by other than accidental means, sexual abuse as defined in Section 11165.1 of the Penal Code, neglect as defined in Section 11165.2 of the Penal Code, or unlawful corporal punishment or injury as defined in Section 11165.4 of the Penal Code when the person responsible for the child’s welfare is a licensee, administrator, or employee of any facility licensed to care for children, or an administrator or employee of a public or private school or other institution or agency.

(g) (1) Before the assessment of a civil penalty pursuant to subdivision (e) or (f), the decision shall be approved by the program administrator of the Community Care Licensing Division.

(2) (A) The department shall reduce the amount of a civil penalty due pursuant to subdivision (e) or (f) by the amount of the civil penalty already assessed for the underlying violation.

(B) If the amount of the civil penalty that the department has already assessed for the underlying violation exceeds the amount of the penalty pursuant to subdivision (e) or (f), the larger amount shall prevail and be due and payable as already assessed by the department.

(h) Notwithstanding any other law, revenues received by the state from the payment of civil penalties imposed on licensed child care centers pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 1596.70), shall be deposited in the Child Health and Safety Fund, created pursuant to Chapter 4.6 (commencing with Section 18285) of Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and shall be expended, upon appropriation by the Legislature, pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 18285 of the Welfare and Institutions Code exclusively for the technical assistance, orientation, training, and education of licensed day care center providers.

(i) (1) A notification of a deficiency written by a representative of the department shall include a factual description of the nature of the deficiency fully stating the manner in which the licensee failed to comply with the specified statute or regulation, and, if applicable, the particular place or area in which the deficiency occurred. The department shall make a good faith effort to work with the licensee to determine the cause of the deficiency and ways to prevent any repeat violations.

(2) The department shall adopt regulations setting forth the appeal procedures for deficiencies.

(j) (1) A licensee shall have the right to submit to the department a written request for a formal review of a civil penalty assessed pursuant to subdivisions (d) and (e) within 15 business days of receipt of the notice of a civil penalty assessment and shall provide all available supporting documentation at that time. The review shall be conducted by the deputy director of the Community Care Licensing Division. The licensee may submit additional supporting documentation that was unavailable at the time of submitting the request for review within the first 30 business days after submitting the request for review. If the department requires additional information from the licensee, that information shall be requested within the first 30 business days after receiving the request for review. The licensee shall provide this additional information within 30 business days of receiving the request from the department. If the deputy director determines that the civil penalty was not assessed, or the finding of the deficiency that resulted in the assessment of the civil penalty was not made, in accordance with applicable statutes or regulations of the department, he or she may amend or dismiss the civil penalty or finding of deficiency. The licensee shall be notified in writing of the deputy director’s decision within 60 business days of the date when all necessary information has been provided to the department by the licensee.

(2) Upon exhausting the review described in paragraph (1), a licensee may further appeal that decision to an administrative law judge. Proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the department shall have all the powers granted by those provisions. In all proceedings conducted in accordance with this section, the standard of proof shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.

(3) If, in addition to an assessment of civil penalties, the department elects to file an administrative action to suspend or revoke the facility license that includes violations relating to the assessment of the civil penalties, the department review of the pending appeal shall cease and the assessment of the civil penalties shall be heard as part of the administrative action process.

(4) Civil penalties shall be due and payable when administrative appeals have been exhausted. Unless payment arrangements have been made that are acceptable to the department, a civil penalty not paid within 30 days shall be subject to late fees, as specified by the department in regulation.

(k) (1) A licensee shall have the right to submit to the department a written request for a formal review of any other civil penalty or deficiency not described in subdivision (j) within 15 business days of receipt of the notice of a civil penalty assessment or a finding of a deficiency, and shall provide all available supporting documentation at that time. The review shall be conducted by a regional manager of the Community Care Licensing Division. The licensee may submit additional supporting documentation that was unavailable at the time of submitting the request for review within the first 30 business days after submitting the request for review. If the department requires additional information from the licensee, that information shall be requested within the first 30 business days after receiving the request for review. The licensee shall provide this additional information within 30 business days of receiving the request from the department. If the regional manager determines that the civil penalty was not assessed, or the finding of the deficiency was not made, in accordance with applicable statutes or regulations of the department, he or she may amend or dismiss the civil penalty or finding of deficiency. The licensee shall be notified in writing of the regional manager’s decision within 60 business days of the date when all necessary information has been provided to the department by the licensee.

(2) Upon exhausting the review described in paragraph (1), the licensee may further appeal that decision to the program administrator of the Community Care Licensing Division within 15 business days of receipt of notice of the regional manager’s decision. The licensee may submit additional supporting documentation that was unavailable at the time of appeal to the program administrator within the first 30 business days after requesting that appeal. If the department requires additional information from the licensee, that information shall be requested within the first 30 business days after receiving the request for the appeal. The licensee shall provide this additional information within 30 business days of receiving the request from the department. If the program administrator determines that the civil penalty was not assessed, or the finding of the deficiency was not made, in accordance with applicable statutes or regulations of the department, he or she may amend or dismiss the civil penalty or finding of deficiency. The licensee shall be notified in writing of the program administrator’s decision within 60 business days of the date when all necessary information has been provided to the department by the licensee. The program administrator’s decision is considered final and concludes the licensee’s administrative appeal rights regarding the appeal conducted pursuant to this paragraph.

(3) Civil penalties shall be due and payable when administrative appeals have been exhausted. Unless payment arrangements have been made that are acceptable to the department, a civil penalty not paid within 30 days shall be subject to late fees, as specified by the department in regulation.

(l) The department shall, by January 1, 2016, amend its regulations to reflect the changes to this section made by Section 8 of Chapter 813 of the Statutes of 2014.

(m) Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department may implement and administer the changes made by the act that added this subdivision through all-county letters or similar written instructions until regulations are adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.

(n) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2017.

(Repealed (in Sec. 13) and added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 823, Sec. 14. (AB 2231) Effective January 1, 2017. Section operative July 1, 2017, by its own provisions.)

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