A quick solution to the childcare health and safety reporting requirement
By Tom Lovering
Our clients at the State of Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) came to us this summer with a pressing request. A quick and efficient web-based solution was needed to meet the federal requirements for public access to health and incident reports for all state childcare providers (CFR 98.32-33).
The challenge? The desired deadline was October 1 of this year.
What does CFR 98.32-33 entail?
According to rule CFR 98.32 from the Committee of the Federal Register, all states need to be able to:
(a) Establish or designate a hotline or similar reporting process for parents to submit complaints about child care providers
(b) Maintain a record of substantiated parent complaints
(c) Make information regarding such parental complaints available to the public on request
Furthermore, CFR 98.33 requires that the agency:
(a) Certify that it will collect and disseminate consumer education information to parents of eligible children, the general public, and providers through a consumer-friendly and easily accessible Web site that ensures the widest possible access to services for families who speak languages other than English and persons with disabilities.
As a longterm vendor for the state of Idaho, we’ve supported a number of inititatives including the idalink benefits eligibility system, the Live Better Idaho service discovery tool, and the Idaho Child Support site.
While we wanted to offer our client the best services possible, the short turnaround left little room for error. However, in discussions between our developers and project manager, we were pleased to find the Child Care Check site was something we could complete quickly, thanks to previous work with the Drupal tools involved.
It was determined that using the Drupal CMS as the basis of the health and incident report tracking system would make it easy to manage by DHW personnel. They would be able to review and publish new or edited reports to the public-facing site as soon as they were approved.
“Drupal was a keystone to the project in that it allowed us to quickly build out the tools needed,” says project manager Dana Lesniak. “Our custom modules, especially, made it possible to complete the project with speed and efficiency.”
The Idaho Child Care Check site went live under budget and on time at the end of September to meet the October 1 deadline.
As a result, Idaho is eligible to continue to receive valuable funding from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF helps states provide financial assistance for childcare to low-income families so they can work or attend a job training or educational program. Nationally, CCDF serves nearly 1.4 million children under age 13 from almost 850,000 low-income working families each month.
Since the CFR childcare requirement pertains to all states, we approached the project as something that could be repurposed for other agencies.
“We used a modular construction approach that makes it possible to implement this tool for other clients,” says developer Liem Khuu. “With some changes to the design and branding, we could connect to another state’s data for the same results.”