Child Care Licensing Specialist
Positions in this job family are assigned responsibilities involving providing professional services to child care facilities, families and children. Services include on-site monitoring of child care facilities to ensure compliance with licensing requirements; reviewing and recommending/approving case actions; and investigating complaints involving violations of the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act and violations of licensing requirements, including abuse and neglect of children in both licensed and unlicensed facilities; and assisting child care providers in meeting minimum requirements and attaining optimum quality by providing ongoing technical assistance and consultation to the facility.
The functions within this job family will vary by level, but may include the following:
- Manages a caseload and monitors and assesses child care facilities to ensure compliance with licensing requirements and certification criteria for the differential quality rate and special needs rate for children with disabilities; collaborates with various Indian Tribal licensing units to jointly monitor facilities licensed by DHS.
- Investigates complaints involving violations of the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act and violations of licensing requirements; coordinates with child welfare to jointly investigate complaint allegations of physical abuse and/or neglect of children in both licensed and unlicensed facilities.
- Assists child care providers in meeting licensing requirements and attaining optimum quality through on-going technical assistance, consultation and training.
- Evaluates case history and recommends issuance or denial of initial license or the renewal or revocation of an existing license; may recommend an injunction or emergency closure order based on degree of risk to children; prepares and coordinates legal documents for administrative and court hearings and may appear as an expert witness.
- Provides information and consultation regarding licensing services and child care options to individuals, groups and families seeking child care; prepares facilities records for viewing by the public in accordance with the Open Records Act.
This job family consists of four levels which are distinguished by the level of complexity and diversity of the specific job assignments, the extent of responsibility assigned, the expertise required for the completion of the duties assigned, and the responsibility assigned for providing leadership to others.
Level I: Code: H24A Salary Band: H
This is the basic level where employees are assigned beginning level child care licensing activities in a training status to build their knowledge and abilities in providing licensing services to clients. In this role they will be assigned tasks which involve managing a caseload of moderate complexity, learning to conduct on-site monitoring of facilities to evaluate compliance with licensing requirements for children in child care, approving plans of correction with supervisory review and consultation, and working cooperatively with state and local fire, health and zoning officials and federal food program sponsors. Employees at this level receive complaint intakes and complete complaint investigations under the direction of Level IV Licensing Specialists and learn to initiate procedures to close a child care facility if children are at imminent risk. Employees learn procedures for issuance or denial of initial license, renewal or revocation of a license. With Level IV guidance, employees initiate procedures and work with the district attorney and law enforcement entities when children are at imminent risk. Additional duties include preparation of reports pertaining to emergency closure orders and/or injunctions for closure of unlicensed facilities; participation in training sessions, individual conferences, case staffings and group meetings; attending workshops to stay abreast of current trends in child care services; and reading and maintaining reference materials such as professional publications and handbooks to remain current in job practices.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures as they pertain to the administration of the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act; of social work and early childhood theory and practice; of case management methodology; of emotional, physical and mental needs of children and families; of community resources; of complaint investigation techniques; and of sensitivity to cultural diversity. Ability is required to make decisions based on available data and adopt appropriate courses of action; to develop, evaluate and modify a plan of correction on an ongoing basis; to establish and maintain uniform, accurate and timely case records; to write reports; to interpret and apply policies and procedures, rules and regulations; and to react promptly and appropriately in any instance of reported or suspected violation of child care licensing requirements.
Competencies required at this level include oral communication, written communication, flexibility and adaptability, ethical concepts, customer service, legal concepts, time and goal management, conflict resolution, problem solving/objectivity, using technology to communicate, interpersonal relationships, stress management and negotiating.
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a bachelor’s degree.
Level II: Code: H24B Salary Band: I
This is the full performance level where employees perform Child Care Licensing Specialist duties which include receiving complaint intakes and completing investigations of violations of licensing requirements, assessing conditions of facilities, making decisions on degree of risk of harm to children in care with supervisor consultation, initiating procedures to close the child care facility if children are in imminent risk, and coordinating with law enforcement entities and the district attorney’s office regarding criminal activity. Employees recommend issuance or denial of an initial license, the renewal or revocation of a license or temporary permit, and emergency closure order based upon an evaluation of the record, compliance history and degree of risk to children. Additional duties include preparing and coordinating reports and legal documents for presentation to the court; attending court hearings and providing testimony; informing a court of agency policies and procedures; and possibly being an expert witness in certain situations. Employees develop, provide and arrange training or services to child care facilities to assist them in meeting licensing requirements. Employees assist in the planning of statewide professional conferences. Employees coordinate training or services in response to special circumstances such as SIDS death, a natural or man-made disaster, or other crisis; represent the agency in the community including public speaking or participation on committees, task forces, or advisory boards, and promote public awareness of quality child care and the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified at level I.
Competencies required at this level include those identified in level I.
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a master’s degree in early childhood education, child development or social work; or a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, child development or social work and one year of professional level experience in child care licensing, early childhood education or social work; or a bachelor’s degree and two years of professional experience in child care licensing, early childhood education, social work, or in a licensed childcare or formal early childhood setting.
Level III: Code: H24C Salary Band: J
This is the specialist level where employees are designated as lead workers or back-up supervisors to Level I or Level II employees. Responsibilities include assigning caseloads, providing training in caseload principles and practices and ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations and agencies policies, procedures and practices. Employees at this level will provide casework services at all levels of difficulty and complexity.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities required at this level include those listed at Level II plus the ability to organize, monitor and direct the work of others.
Competencies required at this level include those identified at level II plus setting standards and direction, organizational awareness, developing others, and delegation.
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level II plus one year of professional experience in child care licensing.
Level IV: Code: H24D Salary Band K
This is the leadership level where employees provide direct supervision to lower level licensing specialist. Positions at this level hold individual conferences with staff, review case records and correspondence to verify compliance with agency policies and procedures, and give final approval for permit and license issuance, or make recommendations to State Office on license denial or revocation. Positions interview and hire child care licensing specialists; maintain personnel records and complete performance evaluations, orient new staff, develop and administer in-service training programs, and conduct staff meetings. Positions will also review and analyze statistical reports, participate in the ongoing development of division and program policies and procedures including the implementation and evaluation of pilot programs, and communicate policy changes to staff. Employees prepare correspondence and reports; monitor and analyze information in case records and other records as designated; and answer inquiries from individuals, agencies and the general public. Employees may assist in development and implementation of child care requirements.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities required at this level include those identified at level III plus the knowledge of supervisory principles and practices. Ability is required to provide crisis intervention and respond to volatile situations; and to mediate with providers in order to resolve problems.
Competencies required at this level include those identified at level III plus sustaining high team performance and human resource concepts.
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level III plus two years of professional experience in child care licensing.
Applicants must be willing and able to perform all job-related travel normally associated with this position.
Applicants must be willing to work nights and weekends when required.