Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet: www.okdhs.org
 
340:110-1-20. Professional development of OCCS staff
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Revised 7-1-11

 

(a) Licensing staff training.  All Oklahoma Child Care Services (OCCS) licensing staff are required to receive job-related training on an annual basis.  This includes the new worker licensing training required for all new licensing staff.  An annual training plan is developed for each employee with the employee's supervisor.  • 1

(b) Professional development of OCCS staff.  OCCS may award scholarships for coursework leading to a master's degree in early childhood education at an Oklahoma public university.  The program may be discontinued at any time based on unavailability of funding. 

  • (1) Scholarships are awarded to employees based upon supervisory recommendation and selection by the OCCS Education Assistance Committee.  • 2  Preference is given to staff who have three years of Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) employment. 
  • (2) Applications are not accepted for participants while in probationary status or a trial period or during any level of corrective discipline.  Once approved, any continued participation is based upon supervisory approval, satisfactory job performance appraisal, and OCCS Education Assistance Committee approval.
  • (3) Participation is limited to two courses per semester per person.

(c) Scholarship requirements.

  • (1) Mandatory service requirement.  The OCCS Education Assistance Committee establishes conditions of a mandatory service requirement for participants in the scholarship program.  The service requirement is included in a written contract between OCCS and the participant.
  • (2) Grade report.  At the end of each semester, scholarship recipients submit a copy of their grades to their supervisor and to the OCCS Education Assistance Committee. 
  • (3) Reimbursement requirement.  Exceptions to the reimbursement requirement may be granted, at the discretion of the OCCS Education Assistance Committee, for serious illness, injury, or a personal situation requiring the recipient to withdraw from school.  The OCCS Education Assistance Committee specifies and includes the terms of reimbursement in a contract between OCCS and the participant.  Unless an exception is granted by the OCCS Education Assistance Committee, reimbursement to OKDHS for the cost of tuition, books, fees, and other expenses incurred is required and a recipient is not permitted to enroll in further courses until the debt is paid in full when a recipient:
    • (A) withdraws from a class; 
    • (B) earns a grade below "C" in any class;
    • (C) receives a grade of "incomplete" that is not converted to an acceptable grade during the next semester; or 
    • (D) is removed from the program by the university.
  • (4) Use of leave.  With supervisory approval, scholarship recipients may use educational leave up to 160 hours per year.  Such requests are submitted and approved in accordance with OKDHS:2-1-42.  Attendance at night or weekend classes does not qualify the recipient for compensatory time.
  • (5) Application.  Applications and supporting documentation for the scholarship program are submitted within the designated time frames.  Upon scholarship award, a contract is signed by the recipient to indicate an understanding of and commitment to the scholarship requirements.  • 3

INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:110-1-20

 

Revised 7-1-11

 

1.   (a) New worker training for new licensing staff.  All new licensing staff are enrolled in the next available new worker training following their assignment to Oklahoma Child Care Services (OCCS), Licensing Services (Licensing).  Knowledge and skill competencies presented in the new worker training are foundation level skills that are needed by all licensing staff regardless of prior education or experience.  New worker training includes classroom, field placement practicum, and on-the-job training as determined by a licensing training specialist, statewide licensing coordinator, the licensing regional programs manager, and the licensing supervisors. It is completed within 12 months of employment and is documented on Form 07LC068E, Licensing Specialist Training Checklist.  The training checklist is completed by the licensing staff and licensing supervisor.  Supervisors evaluate the new worker's ability to assume responsibility for cases during new worker training, assigning first family child care homes, then child care centers, school-age programs, and part-day programs.  New worker training consists of the major categories of training listed in (1) through (7) of this Instruction.

(1) New worker overview.  New worker overview is designed to familiarize new licensing staff with a history, philosophy, and review of the licensing law.  Participants are introduced to administrative staff from OCCS who explain their roles and responsibilities.

(2) Family child care home review.  This training includes observation of family child care home monitoring visits with a fully trained licensing staff, a review of Licensing Requirements for Family Child Care Homes and Large Child Care Homes, Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) publication no. 86-104, and a review of related rules, policy, and forms.  Initial visits conducted by new staff are observed by experienced licensing staff and supervisors.  The licensing supervisor reviews and discusses the completed monitoring reports with the worker.

(3) Child care center review.  This training includes observation of child care center monitoring visits with a fully trained licensing staff, a review of licensing requirements for child care centers, school-age programs, and part-day children's programs, and a review of related rules, policy, and forms.  Initial visits conducted by new staff are observed by experienced licensing staff and supervisors.  The licensing supervisor reviews and discusses the completed monitoring reports with the worker.

(4) Complaint investigations.  This training reviews the process of receiving, prioritizing, and investigating complaints of licensing violations.  It includes information on responding to allegations of child abuse and neglect, criminal activity, and the investigation of unlicensed facilities.

(5) Review of work tasks.  This review provides staff with general information regarding:

(A) receiving and responding to inquiries;

(B) office procedures;

(C) letters to facilities;

(D) case management;

(E) assisting the public with child care referrals, including the preparation of cases for public viewing;

(F) technical assistance and consultation;

(G) community involvement and public awareness activities;

(H) contacts with related agencies such as fire and health departments, Child Care Food Program, resource and referral agencies, and training sponsors; and

(I) certification of child care facilities to receive increased reimbursement rate for the care of children with disabilities.

(6) Computer training.  Office automation training includes the basic skills necessary to use the word processing program and specific computer training on licensing input documents and reports.

(7) Stars training.  This training reviews OAC 340:110-1-8.3 on the certification of facilities to receive a differential quality rate.

(b) Training for new licensing supervisors.  The training requirements for new supervisors are listed in (1) and (2) of this subsection.

(1) Within the first year of employment in a supervisory position, new supervisory staff attends the Supervisor Academy offered through OKDHS to obtain training in leadership and management skills.

(2) Regional programs managers ensure that supervisors receive training in specific knowledge and skills required of a licensing supervisor, including:

(A) roles and responsibilities;

(B) case review process;

(C) consultation with licensing regional programs managers;

(D) staff field observation;

(E) conducting staff meetings and office conferences;

(F) utilizing computer reports to track caseloads;

(G) training new staff;

(H) use of a licensing specialist III; and

(I) community relations.

(3) Within the first two years of employment in a supervisory position, licensing supervisors serve as members of a quality assurance audit team.

(c) Licensing staff annual training requirements.  The annual training requirements for licensing staff are described in (1) through (4) of this subsection.

(1) Licensing staff.  In addition to new worker training, licensing staff completes a minimum of 40 hours of job-related training annually.  This includes at least one specialized licensing workshop through OCCS. OCCS provides information to staff throughout the year on relevant conferences, workshops, and videotapes.

(2) Supervisory staff.  Division staff with supervisory responsibility completes a minimum of 40 hours of job-related training annually.  Of this 40 hours, 20 hours is approved supervisory and management training hours as required for all OKDHS supervisors per OKDHS:2-17-2.

(3) OCCS staff without supervisory responsibility.  All State Office OCCS staff without supervisory responsibility complete a minimum of 40 hours of job‑related training per individual evaluation year.

(4) Clerical staff.  Clerical staff assigned to and supervised by licensing staff and OCCS completes 16 hours of job-related training per individual evaluation year.

(5) All OCCS staff are required to attend mandated training as determined by OCCS State Office.

(d) Qualified training courses.  The training described in (1) - (5) of this subsection counts toward the annual training hour requirements.

(1) Licensing training.  All licensing new worker training, specialized ongoing training, rules and policy training, and the annual statewide licensing conference offered through the licensing training program as well as any training determined mandatory for licensing staff are considered job-related and count toward training hour requirements.

(2) Staff meetings.  Portions of staff meetings devoted specifically to formalized training qualify as job-related training if they exceed one hour in length.  Review of various documents such as memorandums, statistical reports, case reviews, and project updates are considered program maintenance and do not count as training.

(3) Quality assurance audit participation.  Hours spent participating on a quality assurance audit team provide a review of rules, policy, procedures, and requirements, and are approved as supervisory and licensing training.

(4) Other training courses and workshops.  Training courses and workshops approved by the licensing supervisor as job-related count toward meeting the training hour requirement.  Other approved sources for training include, but are not limited to:

(A) SATTRN broadcasts for staff or child care providers;

(B) the OKDHS Center for Professional Development;

(C) the Office of Personnel Management;

(D) early childhood conferences or seminars;

(E) the Center for Early Childhood Professional Development (CECPD); and

(F) job-related college or university courses.

(5) External training approval procedures.  Staff are encouraged to attend trainings for facilities when offered in their areas.  External training requests require supervisor approval based upon workload, amount of training already received, and relevance of the training to the staff's professional development.  If training is approved, staff are eligible for mileage and work week adjustment, if applicable.  OKDHS training codes are not available for trainings not offered through OKDHS.  Staff register for trainings with:

(A) CECPD by indicating on the training registration, "fee waived per CECPD"; and

(B) other OCCS approved voucher conferences by using the license number K8999999 on the registration.  Staff are responsible for paying and filing reimbursement for additional conference registration over the value of the voucher.

(6) Request for any other external training is submitted to state office along with training information, including cost, date, and topic information.  Request is reviewed by statewide licensing coordinator for approval.

(e) Staff meetings.  Staff meetings are designed to share information, keep lines of communication open, and maintain a support system for staff.  The licensing training and policy specialist staff from OCCS are available to attend staff meetings to provide specialized training or updates on policy, licensing requirements, and federal funding initiatives.

(1) Supervisory staff meetings.  All supervisors and licensing regional programs managers meet on at least a quarterly basis with the statewide licensing coordinator and OCCS.  Supervisors may meet in smaller groups by area to discuss specific cases and areas of concern.

(2) Local staff meetings.  Individual supervisors meet with their staff or join with another supervisory group on at least a quarterly basis.

(f) Specialized ongoing training.  Specialized training that addresses licensing issues is offered throughout the year and is appropriate for experienced workers and new workers who have completed new worker training.  Participation in specialized workshops is determined through needs identified in discussion between the licensing staff and the immediate supervisor.  Workshops may be adapted to address the specific needs of a supervisor and his or her staff.  Primary responsibility for scheduling and facilitating the workshops is with the licensing training specialist who utilizes other staff and professionals with proven experience and expertise in each area of knowledge.  Topics include:

(1) complaint investigations.  This training reviews in depth the process of receiving, prioritizing, and investigating complaints of licensing violations.  It includes information on responding to allegations of child abuse and neglect, criminal activity, and the investigation of unlicensed facilities;

(2) interviewing.  This training emphasizes basic interviewing skills, with special consideration given to interviewing children;

(3) enforcement strategies.  This course reviews the skills, methods, and strategies needed to effectively enforce licensing requirements, including:

(A) how to write clear and detailed documentation for the case record;

(B) the process of evaluating situations and determining a course of action;

(C) the use of a plan of correction, non-compliance letter, and Form 07LC037E, Notice to Comply; and

(D) how to conduct an effective office conference;

(4) influencing quality of care.  This training reviews opportunities to influence the quality of care including:

(A) consultation with providers;

(B) consultation with parents seeking child care or filing a complaint;

(C) community presentations and displays;

(D) media contacts;

(E) facilitating or offering training; and

(F) involvement in professional organizations;

(5) child development overview.  This training includes an overview of normal child development, birth through school-age, which will assist staff in consulting with child care providers regarding age-appropriate behavior, guidance techniques and when to seek other resources;

(6) trends and issues in early childhood education.  This training includes updates on emerging issues, such as brain development, credentialing of directors and teachers, accreditation systems, diversity issues, multi-age grouping, and kith and kin care;

(7) negative actions.  This training provides the licensing staff with the skills required to evaluate the need for a negative action.  The sections of rules and policy outlining the procedures required to properly prepare a case for a negative action are reviewed.  Negative actions that are discussed include Emergency Order, denial of application, revocation of license, and injunctions;

(8) rules and policies review.  This training provides an overview of licensing rules and policies that have been recently revised or that are more complex or problematic for staff.  Participants may request inclusion of specific rules and policy sections in the training;

(9) human relations and communication skills.  Understanding the relationship between licensee and licenser and strategies to better communicate and work together for a common goal is discussed;

(10) ethics.  Ethical questions and dilemmas, standards of behavior for state employees, and the National Association for Regulatory Administration Code of Ethics for Regulators are reviewed; and

(11) personal safety.  Methods to identify, avoid, and diffuse dangerous situations and improve the physical safety of licensing staff are addressed.

(g) Documentation of training.  When training is provided by OCCS or other licensing staff, the trainer provides documentation of training or initials and dates the new worker training checklist.  Licensing staff is responsible for maintaining documentation of all training received, including the date, hours of training, and content.

(h) Annual training plan.  An annual training plan is completed for each staff person by the immediate supervisor and is documented on Form OPM-111, Performance Management Process.  The annual training plan includes those job-related training needs identified through discussion between the staff member and his or her supervisor.

(i) Support services for licensing staff.  These services are available for licensing staff upon the death or serious injury of a child in a child care facility with whom licensing has been involved or any other type of critical incident, including violence in the workplace.  Debriefing services are provided promptly wherever needed across the state.  The licensing supervisor or licensing regional programs manager contacts the licensing training specialist to arrange for these services.

2.  OCCS Education Committee members consist of the OCCS director, statewide licensing coordinator, and three OCCS designees determined by the OCCS director and licensing coordinator.

3.  The applicant submits, within the designated time frames, to OCCS, Education Assistance Committee:

(1) a completed application;

(2) a letter of recommendation from the applicant's immediate supervisor;

(3) a letter from the applicant addressed to OCCS, Education Assistance Committee explaining why the applicant requests to be considered for a scholarship; and

(4) a copy of the applicant's three most recently completed Form OPM-111.

Last Updated:  6/28/2011