Inspection Authority of the Department


(a) The Department has the inspection authority specified in Health and Safety Code Sections 1596.852, 1596.853 and 1596.8535.

(1) Health and Safety Code Section 1596.852 provides: Any duly authorized officer, employee, or agent of the department may, upon presentation of proper identification, enter and inspect any place providing personal care, supervision, and services at any time, with or without advance notice, to secure compliance with, or to prevent a violation of, this act or the regulations adopted by the department pursuant to the act.

(2) Health and Safety Code Section 1596.853 provides in part:

(a) Any person may request an inspection of any child day care facility in accordance with the California Child Day Care Facilities Act by transmitting to the department notice of an alleged violation of applicable requirements prescribed by the statutes or regulations of this state. A complaint may be made either orally or in writing.

(b) The substance of the complaint shall be provided to the licensee no earlier than at the time of the inspection. Unless the complainant specifically requests otherwise, neither the substance of the complaint provided the licensee nor any copy of the complaint or any record published, released, or otherwise made available to the licensee shall disclose the name of any person mentioned in the complaint, except the name of any duly authorized officer, employee, or agent of the department conducting the investigation or inspection pursuant to this chapter.

(c) Upon receipt of a complaint, the department shall make a preliminary review and, unless the department determines that the complaint is willfully intended to harass a licensee or is without any reasonable basis, the department shall make an onsite inspection within 10 days after receiving the complaint, except where the visit would adversely affect the licensing investigation or the investigation of other agencies, including, but not limited to, law enforcement agencies. In either event, the complainant shall be promptly informed of the department's proposed course of action.

(d) (1) Upon issuance of a license for a child day care facility or upon denial, revocation, or temporary suspension of a license or within 24 hours of a finding that physical abuse or sexual abuse has occurred, the department shall notify the resource and referral agency funded under Section 8210 of the Education Code for that jurisdiction.

(2) The resource and referral agency shall be notified of the final resolution.

(2) With the exception of parents seeking local day care service, any other entity specified in subdivision (b) of Section 1596.86 may request that the department provide the notification described in paragraph (1).

(e) When the department substantiates an allegation which it deems to be serious, in a facility funded by the Child Development Division of the State Department of Education pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 8200) of Part 6 of the Education Code it shall notify the Child Development Division.

(3) Health and Safety Code Section 1596.8535(a) provides:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall conduct any authorized inspection, announced site visit, or unannounced site visit of any child daycare facility only during the period beginning one hour before and ending one hour after the facility's normal business hours or at any time childcare services are being provided. This subdivision shall not apply to the investigation of any complaint received by the department if the department determines that an inspection or site visit outside the time period beginning one hour before, and ending one hour after, the facility's normal operating hours is necessary to protect the health or safety of any child in the facility."

(b) The Department has the authority to interview children or staff without prior consent.

(1) The licensee shall ensure that provisions are made for private interviews with any children or staff members.

(c) The Department has the authority to inspect, audit, and copy child or child care center records upon demand during normal business hours. Records may be removed if necessary for copying. Removal of records shall be subject to the requirements in Sections 101217(c) and 101221(d).

(1) The licensee shall ensure that provisions are made for the examination of all records relating to the operation of the child care center.

(d) The Department has the authority to observe the physical condition of the children, including conditions that could indicate abuse, neglect or inappropriate placement.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 1596.81, Health and Safety Code. Reference: Sections 1596.72, 1596.73, 1596.852, 1596.853, and 1596.8535, Health and Safety Code.

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