Whether you maintain a dedicated child care facility or provide child day care services in your home, the state of Maryland requires that you be licensed and comply with numerous regulations. Failure to comply with those regulations or other violations can lead to enforcement action or disciplinary proceedings. Ultimately, failure to comply with these regulations can result in the suspension or revocation of your license. In addition to the potential embarrassment you may face, you could lose your ability to make a living. If you have been cited with a violation, a Maryland child care administrator license defense attorney can help you resolve this issue quickly and protect your right to work in the child care industry.
Common Issues That Child-Care Administrators Face
Complaints get filed against child care facilities for a variety of reasons, some of which are without merit. Regardless, a complaint can trigger an investigation that can lead to larger problems. As a result, any complaint received should always be taken seriously. A Maryland child care administrator license defense attorney can help if you have been cited with one of the following violations:
- Inadequate supervision
- Occupancy violations – the number of children under your care exceeds the number of children permitted by your license or exceeds the number appropriate for your facility
- Failure to meet dietary needs, including inadequate food and water
- Insufficient care
- Allegations concerning inappropriate discipline
- Unsafe or unsanitary environments
- Allegations of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
Complaints may be brought by the parents of the children you care for or by disgruntled neighbors. Whoever filed the complaint, failing to take it seriously, can jeopardize your license. A Maryland child care administrator license defense attorney can help you respond to the complaint and resolve any concerns.
What Happens When a Complaint is Filed
Child care facilities are regulated by the Office of Child Care of the Division of Early Childhood under the Maryland State Department of Education. Complaints are filed with the Regional Licensing Office and may be filed anonymously in person, by phone, or by email, fax, or letter.
Upon receipt of the complaint, the Regional Licensing Office will open an investigation. The investigation could include an inspection of your facility, an interview process, and a request for various documents. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Regional Licensing Office will file a report of its findings that confirms whether or not a violation has occurred.
The potential penalties you face will vary according to the type of facility you operate and the seriousness of the violation. These penalties include the following:
- A written warning identifying the violation and the time period during which the violation must be corrected. These are issued in situations where there is no immediate threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the children in your care. However, failure to correct the violation could result in the suspension of your license.
- A non-emergency suspension of your license of up to 60 days. You will be given at least 20 days’ advance notice of the effective date of the suspension.
- An emergency suspension of up to 45 days. This suspension is effective immediately.
- Revocation of your license. This is the harshest potential penalty you face and means that you will permanently lose the ability to operate a childcare facility.
In addition to the penalties listed above, you could face criminal prosecution, as well as civil citations and fines.
Even technical violations, such as operating without a current license, are aggressively enforced. If you are facing any type of enforcement action, the best thing you can do is contact a Maryland child care administrator license defense attorney as soon as you receive the complaint.
You Have the Right to a Hearing
Unlike many other licensed professions, the Board of Education does not automatically schedule a hearing if they have found you to be in violation. Instead, you must request a hearing before the Board within the deadline specified by law.
While the hearing is less formal than a court proceeding, it is similar in many ways. It will be conducted by an administrative law judge who will receive evidence, hear testimony, and ultimately render a decision. You have the right to be heard and represented by counsel. Because it has already been determined that you are in violation, it is vital that you be extremely well prepared for the hearing and able to put forth a compelling case as to why you are not in violation or why the penalties imposed are inappropriate.
If you have been cited with a violation, do not risk your right to a hearing. Contact a Maryland child care administrator license defense attorney to discuss your options and how you should proceed.
Speak with a Maryland Child Care Administrator License Defense Attorney Today
Unfortunately, time is not on your side. The sooner you contact the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, the sooner you can put this issue behind you. Call 410-514-6099 to talk to a Maryland child care administrator license defense attorney at the Law Offices of J.W Stafford firm to discuss your case and how we can help.