Mississippi State Department of Health

Observation-Based Inspections


Priorities of Observation-Based Inspections

  1. Children's Safety
  2. Customer Service, Professional and Competent Inspectors

Annual Licensing/ Renewal Inspection with multiple observation visits

Example Transition Periods

Observation Periods

Questions and Answers

What is the overall purpose of observation-based inspections?
To observe childcare programs during transition periods and offer technical assistance as needed.

When do the observation-based inspection visits start?
The observation-based inspections started January 1, 2023.

Inspection Visits

Will observations be published on the MSDH Website?
All observation-based inspections are made available for public view.

Who will be conducting the observation-based inspections?
The Licensing Official who conducts the facility’s annual inspections.

Is the center’s Director required to be present at the visits or accompany the Licensing Official during the visit?
It is recommended.

Will an observation-based inspection start with a conversation between the Licensing Official and the Director?
Yes, or the person in charge.

Who will be receiving observation-based inspections?
All MSDH licensed facilities will receive observation-based inspections.

For afterschool programs lasting only three hours a day, will observations still be two hours?
Times may vary depending on the facility type.

Will the observation-based inspection be scheduled?

Will the facilities have an opportunity to evaluate the Licensing Official?

Inspection Implementation

Will only one room be observed during each observation?
Observation-based inspections will be focused on one room however, the Licensing Official may observe additional rooms during transition periods.

What are "transition periods"?
Arrival or departure from the facility, mealtime, outside time, nap time and bathroom/diapering.

Centers have different daily schedules. How will the Licensing Official know what times to visit?
Transition periods are the focus for observation-based inspections. We would ask all centers to make sure you have an up-to-date daily schedule posted in each classroom.

What is considered a transition period for after school other than arrival?
Snack time, bathroom time, outside time, and departure.

Will the Licensing Official discuss the observation with the Director the same day or will we get something emailed at a later time?
Your Licensing Official will not leave your facility without discussing areas observed where technical assistance was provided during the observation. Those areas will be documented, and a copy will be emailed or given to the Director during the exit interview.

Does the Licensing Official randomly choose the classroom, or can we suggest a room that needs help?
During the initial visit, the Director can request the Licensing Official observe specific transition periods or classrooms that have been identified as problem areas.

Is there a checklist available for what the Licensing Officials will be looking for?
There is not a checklist. A copy of the observation-based inspection form will be provided to the facility at the time of inspection, as well as, posted on the MSDH website.

Possible Violations, Penalties and Fines

Will there be appeal procedures if we disagree?
No appeal is needed unless a class one or a class two violation is issued. If a class one or class two violation is issued, there will be appeal procedures available.


Should parents be informed of the observation-based inspections?


What happens when a staff member is late for work or happens to not show up for work and we are short staffed that morning?
Staff-to-child ratio will be an area observed during the inspection. Technical assistance will be provided if necessary.

Find this page at https://msdh.ms.gov/page/30,25201,183,437.html

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