Florida League of Christian Schools is recognized by the State of Florida Department of Children and Families as a certification agent for Christian schools and childcare facilities, including after school programs according to ordinances 402.301, 402.316, and 402.319 regarding religious exemption. All childcare centers certified under the Florida League of Christian Schools are closely monitored and maintain standards according to the Florida League of Christian Schools Preschool Manual (must be a member to view this resource).
Child Care Programs that meet the following criteria may request an exemption from licensure as part of a religious entity, if:
- they are an integral part of a church or parochial school, AND
- they are a member of or accredited by one of the Accrediting Agencies recognized by the Department of Children and Families AND
- they meet all level two background screening and local health requirements.
Child care programs seeking religious exemption must contact the Department of Children and Families’ child care licensing office and provide annually their current certificate of religious exemption provided by FLOCS, certificate of membership or accreditation provided by FLOCS, and the Religious Exemption from Licensure Annual Statement attesting to continuation of all screening, health standards, and eligibility. See the steps outlined below.
Once membership is received by our organization, an inspector is assigned from your region of the state to conduct an initial inspection (Form A) of your facility, determine room and center capacities, and ensure compliance with FLOCS Preschool Policies and Procedures. After a successful inspection, a “TEMPORARY” Religious Exempt certificate is issued. Since a new center may or may not have employees, or may not have children yet, the temporary certificate is issued for 60 days, during which the center may begin operation. Within 14 days of receiving students, the inspector will return to your center and conduct the Form B inspection to ensure student files, employee files, and other pertinent documents are in full compliance to all standards.
While inspections by our agency are NOT required under Florida state law, our agency firmly believes in accountability and therefore, all of our Religious Exempt centers are inspected by our trained state inspectors twice each year. The fall inspection is conducted between August 1 and January 15 of each year. The fall inspections are scheduled between the director and the assigned inspector. The spring inspections are conducted between March 1 and June 15 of each year. The spring inspections are unannounced inspections and can occur at any time of the day, any day of the week the center is open. Centers operating summer programs are subject to additional inspections as required by FLOCS.