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Can a teacher with only 6 months of experience be left in a infant class with 5 infants without a second teacher being in the infant room?

questionI am the lead teacher with 30 years experience. Can a teacher with only 6 months of experience be left in a infant class with 5 infants without a second teacher being in the infant room?

answer

Thank you for your question regarding caregiver qualifications within a childcare facility. DSS Regulations states the following as related to qualifications:

114-503K(4)(a)(i-ii) (4) Caregivers/Teachers

(a) Caregivers/Teachers shall meet the following:

(i) Be at least 18 years of age, and able to read and write; and

(ii) A teacher/caregiver who began employment in a licensed or approved child care center in South Carolina after June 30, 1994, must have at least a high school diploma or General Educational Development Certificate (GED) and at least six months’ experience as a teacher/caregiver in a licensed or approved child care facility. However, a teacher/caregiver who is prevented from obtaining a high school diploma or GED because of a disability, and who otherwise is qualified to perform the essential functions of the position of teacher/caregiver, must have at least a high school Certificate of Completion and at least six months’ experience as a teacher/caregiver in a licensed or approved child care facility. If a teacher/caregiver does not meet the experience requirements, the teacher/caregiver must be directly supervised for six months by a staff person with at least one-year experience as a teacher/caregiver in a licensed or approved child care facility. Within six months of being employed, a teacher/caregiver must have six clock hours of training in child growth and development and early childhood education or shall continue to be under the direct supervision of a teacher/caregiver who has at least one year of experience as a teacher/caregiver in a licensed or approved child care facility; or

(iii) A teacher/caregiver who has two years’ experience as a teacher/caregiver in a licensed or approved facility and was employed as of July 1, 1994, in a licensed or approved child care center in South Carolina is exempt from the high school diploma, General Education Development (GED), and Certificate of Completion requirements of (ii) above.

(b) Exception: A teacher/caregiver with an undergraduate degree from a state approved college or university in early childhood, child development, elementary education, or a related field may begin working with the children immediately without additional supervision as long as they have 60 days’ field experience with a group of children aged 0-8.

(c) Exception: A teacher/caregiver may be 17 years of age if he/she has received his/her GED or high school diploma and is continuously supervised by a qualified teacher/caregiver who is in the room at all times.

(d) Exception: Staff persons who were employed prior to the effective date of these revised regulations are not required to meet the staff qualifications specified in this chapter if the staff qualifications required in the prior regulations are met. If a teacher/caregiver has had more than a twelve-month break in service, the new guidelines shall be met for re-employment as a teacher/caregiver.

Thank you and please let me know if you have further questions or concerns.

Charlene G. Caldwell
Program Manager, Child Care Licensing
South Carolina Department of Social Services
Division of Early Care and Education

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