Some Takeaways from the NARA Licensing Seminar

There have been several very interesting discussions at the NARA Licensing Seminar that are worth sharing. Here are some takeaways from the various sessions that need highlighting. These highlighted items are pertinent to all human services and not just to early care and education programs and they have a definite monitoring slant:

  1. Virtual inspections will be of tremendous interest in the foreseeable future in how jurisdictions conduct licensing and monitoring reviews of programs.
  2. Outcome validation studies will need to be completed in the licensing field to ultimately determine if clients are truly in a safe and healthy setting.
  3. In doing virtual inspections, is a Key Indicator (KI) or Risk Assessment (RA) approach, which targets specific rules based upon predicting overall regulatory compliance and risk, a better approach than attempting to do comprehensive reviews. In other words, should (KI + RA) be used as a remote screener for more in-depth reviews where rule infractions have been found.
  4. Limitations about the term “Compliance” and its negative connotations and short changing of programs. This is missing the point, the issue is not “compliance” but rather having “standards that are not high enough”. This has been clearly documented in the Regulatory Compliance Law of Diminishing Returns. This concept will be further developed in future RIKINote Blogs.

About Dr Fiene

Dr. Rick Fiene has spent his professional career in improving the quality of child care in various states, nationally, and internationally. He has done extensive research and publishing on the key components in improving child care quality through an early childhood program quality indicator model of training, technical assistance, quality rating & improvement systems, professional development, mentoring, licensing, risk assessment, differential program monitoring, and accreditation. Dr. Fiene is a retired professor of human development & psychology (Penn State University) where he was department head and director of the Capital Area Early Childhood Research and Training Institute.
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