Do you have a family child care provider looking for a FCCERS-R class but not wanting to travel or find someone to watch their children in the evenings. There is a FCCERS-R Online course is being offered November 15, 22, 29, and December 6th from 7:00-9:00 p.m.!
Here is some of the feedback we are receiving about the online ERS courses:
“Very good information, glad I participated in this class to improve myself and my child care environment.”
“Thank you! The online set up was very much appreciated!”
“It’s almost like one-on-one learning. I like being able to ask questions as you go along.”
“It was nice to sit at home and not go anywhere.”
“I was great not having to travel! All of the instructors were very helpful and responsive, very high marks on customer service.”
Below are a few reminders about the online ERS courses offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Online courses are similar to face-to-face courses:
- Out-of-class activities
- Introduction to the Environment Rating Scales, scoring and practice using the tool
Participants must participate in polls and chat, submit the out-of-class activities, and attend all four sessions to receive the final certificate of completion.
Participants for an online course will have:
- some basics understanding of technology
- experience uploading and downloading documents
- familiar with Microsoft WORD, and Adobe PDF
- positive attitude about online course and a willingness to try new things
- Good internet connection for live session- hardwiring is recommended
- Mobile devices, like phones or tablets are NOT recommended
- Internet Explorer 6 or Firefox web browser
- Most recent version of Adobe Reader
- Must have in order to correctly fill out and submit out-of-class activities
- Flash Player installed and can view videos
Providers can sign up for the online course on the Iowa Child Care Provider Training Registry.
“How do I get a fire inspection?” “Who can I talk to about getting a fire inspection for my home?” These are common questions we hear from family child care home providers. FCCERS-R item 12, Safety Practices, indicator 5.3 can raise anxiety with providers, and, unfortunately in Iowa there is no clear answer for them.
Licensed center-based programs in Iowa must receive annual inspections by a state fire marshal. Iowa Child Development Home Registration guidelines state the need for posting emergency plans, practicing fire and tornado drills, and providing a safety barrier around any heating stove or heating element to prevent burns. Official fire inspections in child development homes are not required and are rare, thus indicator 5.3 in safety practices is often scored as a “no” on FCCERS-R score sheets.
Each town, county, rural district and fire department has their own policies regarding when and if fire inspections will be completed. Barriers providers have come across when asking for a fire inspection include: inspections provided only within city limits, department is made up of volunteer fire fighters and lacks the resources, inspections are only completed in larger businesses or businesses open to the public, and cost ($150).
One provider was able to receive a fire inspection through her insurance company. This is great, but we want to ensure all child development home inspections across Iowa are similar. Since there isn’t an official form for child development home fire inspections in Iowa, see North Carolina’s Child Care Fire Inspection report form as a guide. We would want to see similar criteria met in a fire inspection for Iowa child development homes.
Because a fire inspection would be an easy “yes” on the score sheet, many providers tend to focus heavily on it. However, it’s more important that they focus on the “big picture.” Some thoughts to keep in mind:
- Many providers who receive an overall score of 5.0 or higher do not have a fire inspection, and may have received a score of 4 or below in Safety practices.
- If a provider meets all other 5 indicators but not 5.3, (fire inspection) they would still receive a 4 in Safety Practices.
- In order to get through the Level 5 indicators, they would need a “yes” on 3.1 (No more than 3 safety hazards) and a “yes” on 5.1 (No safety hazards). These indicators are commonly marked “no,” even in high-scoring programs due to safety hazards such as lack of playground surfacing, a changing table without the 6” barrier, no fence surrounding outdoor areas, and choking hazards accessible to children under the age of 3 years.
State Fire Marshal’s Office http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/