Exemptions Should be the Exception
Keeping children safe should be one of the first considerations for both parents and providers. Unfortunately, many parents are under the false assumption that any business that works with young children must certainly meet health and safety standards to protect children. This cannot be further from the truth.
Thousands of camps and "after-school programs" in our state have applied to be"exempt" from licensing or in other words, to be excused from any rules, regulations and oversight from the state that are in place to keep children safe.
GCCA strongly advocates for a reduction to existing exemption categories and increased enforcement for those that may be allowed to operate.
- To Search For a Licensed Program in Your Area Click Here
- To Search to See What Programs Are Exempt to Regulations Click Here
Recent Articles and Papers on Unlicensed Care
In the Media
- WSB TV Hundreds of Camps Operating Without a License
- Channel 13 WMAZ Macon: What to Ask Before Leaving Your Child In Summer Camp
- DECAL Summer Camp PSA
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Other Early Education Professional Organizations
- Federal Policy Can Impact Unlicensed Care (New America.org)
- Unlicensed Child Care Puts Children at Risk (Early Learning Policy Group, LLC)
The Difference Between Licensed and Exempt Programs
The information provides a clear picture of requirements set by Bright from the Start regarding child care programs
BRIGHT FROM THE START REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSED CARE
Criminal Background Checks: EVERY employee, volunteer, and vendor MUST complete a Comprehensive Criminal Back-ground Check that ensures that those working with your children do not have a history that can endanger children.
Teacher Student Ratios: Providers must provide a minimum number of qualified teachers and staff for each group of children, dependent on the ages of the group as well as the activity.
Supervision Guidelines: Specific guidelines regarding proper supervision must be followed throughout a group’s day to ensure a teacher is present and aware of children’s activities.
Health and Safety Guidelines: Specific steps must be followed in diapering, food preparation and serving, hand washing, and cleaning to minimize illness; expectations on facility and equipment maintenance and emergency processes are established to reduce injuries.
Transportation Safety: Vehicle safety guidelines and additional checks for children loading and off loading the vehicle are mandated to prevent accidents and children being left on the vehicle.
Lead Teacher Qualifications: The Lead Teacher of each class must hold minimum qualifications in credentials and/or experience to provide a safe nurturing classroom that facilitates children’s development.
First Aid/CPR Training: A minimum number of First Aid/CPR certified staff must be available when children are present to handle medical emergencies that may occur.
Ongoing Training: ALL staff must have minimum state-approved training requirements upon orientation, assumption of specific roles, and ongoing annual training. These are in addition to any company trainings.
Curriculum: Teachers are expected to observe your children to plan and implement activities to help them achieve milestones as appropriate for their development.
Accountability: Provider is subject to regulatory visits and monitoring to hold centers to minimum expectations for children’s safety, well-being, and development. Parents have recourse to resolve safety concerns not handled by the center.
Licensed Child Care & After School Programs
Licensed programs are REQUIRED to meet all BFTS Requirements
Unlicensed/Exempt Child Care & After School Programs
Unlicensed and Exempt programs are NOT REQUIRED to meet any BFTS Requirements