During the 2010 legislative session, Save the Children Foundation worked with the WV Legislature to pass a bill that would improve disaster planning in the state for child care services. The Division of Early Care and Education works with the Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to inform and educate child care providers about planning and how to meet provisions of the new state code. All licensed child care providers (seven or more children) are required to have an emergency plan and to coordinate disaster planning with the Homeland Security and Emergency Management office in the county where they are located. The code states that those plans are to be filed with the county emergency management office. WVDHHR has used a plan format that was developed at a national level and have modified it slightly after getting input from the WV Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Child care regulatory staff that work for DHHR will check that the child care service has a plan and has submitted it during the normal license review process.
The following is the related code:
§49-2B-3. Licensure, certification, approval and registration requirements.
(i) Any child care service that is licensed or receives a certificate of registration shall have a written plan for evacuation in the event of fire, natural disaster or other threatening situation that may pose a health or safety hazard to the children in the child care service.
(1) The plan shall include, but not be limited to:
(A) A designated relocation site and evacuation;
(B) Procedures for notifying parents of the relocation and ensuring family reunification;
(C) Procedures to address the needs of individual children including children with special needs;
(D) Instructions relating to the training of staff or the reassignment of staff duties, as appropriate;
(E) Coordination with local emergency management officials; and
(F) A program to ensure that appropriate staff are familiar with the components of the plan.
(2) A child care service shall update the evacuation plan by December 31 of each year. If a child care service fails to update the plan, no action shall be taken against the child care service's license or registration until notice is provided and the child care service is given thirty days after the receipt of notice to provide an updated plan.
(3) A child care service shall retain an updated copy of the plan for evacuation and shall provide notice of the plan and notification that a copy of the plan will be provided upon request to any parent, custodian or guardian of each child at the time of the child's enrollment in the child care service and when the plan is updated.
(4) All child care centers and family child care facilities shall provide the plan and each updated copy of the plan to the Director of the Office of Emergency Services in the county where the center or facility is located.
In Jefferson County, the plans should be completed and mailed to the following address:
Jefferson County Homeland Security and Emergency Management
28 Industrial Blvd., Suite 101
Kearneysville, WV 25430