2006 Code of Virginia § 63.2-1716 - Child day center operated by religious institution exempt from licensure; annual statement and docu...

63.2-1716. Child day center operated by religious institution exempt fromlicensure; annual statement and documentary evidence required; enforcement;injunctive relief.

A. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, a child day center,including a child day center that is a child welfare agency operated orconducted under the auspices of a religious institution shall be exempt fromthe licensure requirements of this subtitle, but shall comply with theprovisions of this section unless it chooses to be licensed. If suchreligious institution chooses not to be licensed, it shall file with theCommissioner, prior to beginning operation of a child day center andthereafter annually, a statement of intent to operate a child day center,certification that the child day center has disclosed in writing to theparents or guardians of the children in the center the fact that it is exemptfrom licensure, the qualifications of the personnel employed therein anddocumentary evidence that:

1. Such religious institution has tax exempt status as a nonprofit religiousinstitution in accordance with 501 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code of1954, as amended, or that the real property owned and exclusively occupied bythe religious institution is exempt from local taxation.

2. Within the prior 90 days for the initial exemption and within the prior180 days for exemptions thereafter, the local health department and localfire marshal or Office of the State Fire Marshal, whichever is appropriate,have inspected the physical facilities of the child day center and havedetermined that the center is in compliance with applicable laws andregulations with regard to food service activities, health and sanitation,water supply, building codes, and the Statewide Fire Prevention Code or theUniform Statewide Building Code.

3. The child day center employs supervisory personnel according to thefollowing ratio of staff to children:

a. One staff member to four children from zero to twenty-four months.

b. One staff member to ten children from ages twenty-four months to six years.

c. One staff member to twenty-five children ages six years and older.

Staff shall be counted in the required staff-to-children ratios only whenthey are directly supervising children. In each grouping of children, atleast one adult staff member shall be regularly present. Staff members shallbe at least 16 years of age. Staff members under 18 years of age shall beunder the supervision of an adult staff member. Adult staff members shallsupervise no more than two staff members under 18 years of age at any giventime.

4. Each person in a supervisory position has been certified by a practicingphysician or physician assistant to be free from any disability which wouldprevent him from caring for children under his supervision.

5. The center is in compliance with the requirements of:

a. This section.

b. Section 63.2-1724 relating to background checks.

c. Section 63.2-1509 relating to the reporting of suspected cases of childabuse and neglect.

d. Chapter 3 ( 46.2-300 et seq.) of Title 46.2 regarding a valid Virginiadriver's license or commercial driver's license; of Article 21 ( 46.2-1157et seq.) of Chapter 10 of Title 46.2, regarding vehicle inspections; ensuringthat any vehicle used to transport children is an insured motor vehicle asdefined in 46.2-705; and Article 13 ( 46.2-1095 et seq.) of Chapter 10 ofTitle 46.2, regarding child restraint devices.

6. The following aspects of the child day center's operations are describedin a written statement provided to the parents or guardians of the childrenin the center and made available to the general public: physical facilities,enrollment capacity, food services, health requirements for the staff andpublic liability insurance.

B. The center shall establish and implement procedures for:

1. Hand washing by staff and children before eating and after toileting anddiapering.

2. Appropriate supervision of all children in care, including daily intakeand dismissal procedures to ensure safety of children.

3. A daily simple health screening and exclusion of sick children by a persontrained to perform such screenings.

4. Ensuring that a person trained and certified in first aid is present atthe center whenever children are present.

5. Ensuring that all children in the center are in compliance with theprovisions of 32.1-46 regarding the immunization of children againstcertain diseases.

6. Ensuring that all areas of the premises accessible to children are free ofobvious injury hazards, including providing and maintaining sand or othercushioning material under playground equipment.

7. Ensuring that all staff are able to recognize the signs of child abuse andneglect.

C. The Commissioner may perform on-site inspections of religious institutionsto confirm compliance with the provisions of this section and to investigatecomplaints that the religious institution is not in compliance with theprovisions of this section. The Commissioner may revoke the exemption for anychild day center in serious or persistent violation of the requirements ofthis section. If a religious institution operates a child day center and doesnot file the statement and documentary evidence required by this section, theCommissioner shall give reasonable notice to such religious institution ofthe nature of its noncompliance and may thereafter take such action as hedetermines appropriate, including a suit to enjoin the operation of the childday center.

D. Any person who has reason to believe that a child day center fallingwithin the provisions of this section is not in compliance with therequirements of this section may report the same to the local department, thelocal health department or the local fire marshal, each of which may inspectthe child day center for noncompliance, give reasonable notice to thereligious institution, and thereafter may take appropriate action as providedby law, including a suit to enjoin the operation of the child day center.

E. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a child day center operated by orconducted under the auspices of a religious institution from obtaining alicense pursuant to this chapter.

(1979, c. 425, 63.1-196.3; 1989, c. 258; 1993, cc. 730, 742; 2000, c. 283;2002, c. 747; 2004, c. 113; 2006, c. 396.)

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