9 Investigates: DCF inspects day cares, looks for violations

By: Christopher Heath

Updated:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Department of Children and Families inspects day cares every three months, and if the facility has had a serious violation, it is inspected every month.

9 Investigates reporter Christopher Heath dug through hundreds of inspection reports, finding the overwhelming majority of violations were minor, mainly dealing with not following state regulations or having the correct paperwork.

However, five central Florida day cares have been hit with the most severe violation within the last year, although two have appealed those violations and one has had its violation lowered from a class 1 to a class 2.  Class 1 violations include issues involving potential harm to children, including physical contact or neglect.

A spokesperson for DCF said in addition to its inspections, it also inspects day care vans. The agency said vans must be inspected by a licensed mechanic once a year with DCF reviewing that inspection. The van is inspected for seat belts by DCF three times a year.

There are also regulations for vans: Each van must have information for each child on the van. At least two employees must check the van when it starts and before they turn the engine off to check for kids. Drivers must get a physical each year, and drivers must get CPR and first-aid certification every two to three years.

Parents can also access child care inspection reports by going to the state’s website here.

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