What is the Child Safety Alarm Ordinance?
The Child Safety Alarm Ordinance was created as part of an amendment to both the Transportation Sections of current Broward County Ordinances, 2004-02 and 1996-20, which governs Licensed and Registered Child Care Facilities and Family Child Care Homes. These amendments were passed on December 11, 2012 by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners and goes into effect on July 1, 2013. Visit the Child Care Licensing and Enforcement website at broward.org/Human Services, click COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS and select CHILDCARE LICENSING to read the ordinance in its entirety.
What does this Ordinance amendment mean to me as a provider?
It means that by July 1, 2013, you must comply with the new regulations or you will be subject to Notices of Violation. Failure to comply may result in sanctions prohibiting you from transporting children.
Why is this necessary?
Heatstroke in vehicles is the leading cause of all non-crash-related fatalities involving children 14 and younger. Florida ranks fourth in the United States for the annual number of hypothermia deaths of young children. Unfortunately, one such death, Jordan Coleman, occurred while he was in the care of a licensed child care provider in Broward County last year. Deaths of this nature are completely preventable.
Which providers are eligible for the reimbursements?
Licensed child care facilities, registered/non-public facilities and family child care homes that are approved by the local licensing agency to transport and have a vehicle(s) designed to transport six or more passengers and one driver are all eligible. Proof of your child care license is required.
How will I comply?
Besides following the rules of the Ordinance, you must install a Child Safety Alarm Device if you have not already done so by July 1, 2013, in ANY vehicle designed or used to transport six or more passengers and one driver.
What kind of alarm device do I need and what if my current device does not meet all of these requirements?
The owner or director of a child care facility is responsible for selecting an alarm device that meets the required performance standards as outlined in the ordinance and ensuring that the device is installed and maintained pursuant to the manufacturer's specifications for that device.
How loud does the alarm device need to be?
The alarm must be audible from a distance of 500 feet from the vehicle.
Who can install the device?
The alarm device shall be installed by any certified mechanic employed by an electronics or automotive business in accordance with the device manufacturer's recommendations.
Once the device is installed, can I forget about it?
No. The alarm device must be periodically tested and properly maintained in working order at all times. Documentation of “periodic” testing should remain on file for 12 months for verification by the licensing agency.
Besides the device, what will Child Care Licensing monitors need to see?
Documentation demonstrating proof of compliance with the requirements of this section shall be maintained on file at the child care facility/family child care home or large family child care home for inspection by the licensing agency.
How will I pay for it?
Compliance with the Ordinance is another cost of doing business and will have to be worked into your budget. However, Broward County Children’s Services Administration, the Children’s Services Council and the Early Learning Coalition have set aside a one-time only reimbursement funds to help qualified providers offset the cost of the installation(s).
How do I qualify for this reimbursement?
- First, your purchase and installation must occur between the dates of December 11, 2012 and June 30, 2013.
- Second, you must have devices that meet the requirements installed in the appropriate vehicles. Devices that do NOT meet the requirements will not be eligible for the reimbursement.
- Third, you must complete and submit the enclosed application for reimbursement with copies of all required supporting documents between April 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013. Incomplete applications will be returned. Late applications will be returned. Unqualified applications will be returned.
- There will be only one check cut per ownership regardless of the number of facilities operated. Do not submit multiple applications. Do not give applications to your monitors in the field.
How much will I be reimbursed?
You will be reimbursed the price of the device and installation up to $400.00 per vehicle with a cap of $1200.00 total per ownership.
What if my cost per vehicle was more than $400 or I have more than three vehicles?
Compliance with the Ordinance is another cost of doing business and will have to be worked into your budget. You may be reimbursed up to $400 per vehicle up to $1200 as compliance is required even without reimbursement. Funds are limited and will be reimbursed as funds are available and on a first come first served basis.
Where do I submit the application?
All applications and supporting documents are to be sent to:
Broward County Child Care Licensing and Enforcement Section
2995 North Dixie Highway
Oakland Park, FL 33334
ATTN: CHILD SAFETY ALARMS
You may hand deliver or mail, but any applications not received by this office by the June 30 deadline will not be processed regardless of postmark. Do not fax or e-mail.
What will happen after I submit my application?
Child Care Licensing and Enforcement Staff will review the submitted documents. If the provider is eligible and if the application is complete, the packet will be date-stamped and forwarded to the agency disbursing the reimbursement funds. Child Care Licensing and Enforcement’s only involvement is verification of paperwork. Child Care Licensing and Enforcement is not the funding agency and will not be able to provide updates on your reimbursement status once we have reviewed and approved the applications. If your application is not approved for forwarding, it will be returned to you. If eligible, you may expect payment 6-8 weeks after submission of your application.
What if I was proactive and installed devices before December 11, 2012?
Congratulations for your proactive step. However, because this money exists as a result of required legislation, reimbursements are not currently available for providers who complied before the law was enacted. You may submit complete applications which will be held until the current window closes and if funds are still available, you may be eligible for some level of reimbursement.
What if I have or receive violations in this section of the Ordinance?
Reimbursements are not tied to violations. However, if an inspection reveals that your application is incorrect or untrue, your application will be returned.