Virtual Child Care Inspections

Because COVID-19 is still actively spreading within our community, NRH Consumer Health is offering virtual child care inspections for our child care partners. Virtual inspections can help child care operators and inspectors address critical issues while reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 by limiting in-person interactions.

Virtual Inspection

What is a Virtual Child Care Inspection?          

                   
Virtual child care inspections are an alternative method of conducting routine child care inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the virtual inspection, the NRH Consumer Health inspector visits with the child care operator through a video conferencing app and helps the operator identify and address threats to health and safety at the food establishment. If serious issues are observed, the inspector will follow up with an onsite visit. This helps to ensure that child cares continue to operate safely in North Richland, and limits the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the inspector, the child care staff, and the children in care.

A virtual child care inspection lasts approximately one hour. During the inspection, the inspector will have the operator give a “tour” of the child care via video call and check critical health and safety items such as supervision, handwashing/hygiene, and cleaning/sanitizing procedures. If the inspector notices any problems or if the operator has questions, the inspector can provide the operator with guidance and resources during and after the inspection. The inspector may also decide to follow up with a site visit to address serious issues.

Schedule a Virtual Child Care Inspection

The inspector may also decide to follow up with a site visit to address serious issues. You can schedule a virtual child care inspection for your facility by signing up through you inspector's online calendar below. If you're not sure who your inspector is, you can contact us to schedule your virtual inspection at consumerhealth@nrhtx.com or by calling 817-427-6650. 

Meagan Fendley Calendar: http://picktime.com/meaganfendley
Stephanie East Calendar: http://picktime.com/seast
Trish Watson Calendar: http://picktime.com/trishwatson

Steps of a Virtual Child Care Inspection
Inspection flow chart

Step 1: The child care operator receives notice that they need to schedule a virtual inspection and schedules the virtual inspection through the inspector's Picktime calendar (see links to inspector calendars above). The child care operator can also reach out to the inspector directly, email consumerhealth@nrhtx.com, or call 817-427-6650 for assistance in scheduling an inspection.

Step 2: The establishment gathers required records before the inspection (see “Preparing for your Virtual Child Care Inspection”)

Step 3: At the agreed upon time, the inspector conducts the virtual inspection with the operator using a standardized inspection form. The purpose of the virtual child care inspection is to check critical health and safety issues. The inspector will also review and address any pending or recurrent issues based on the facility’s inspection history.

Step 4: After the virtual inspection, the inspector will email the operator a copy of the inspection form as well as any other resources that may help the operator. The inspector may also follow up with an onsite visit to address serious issues.

Preparing for a Virtual Child Care Inspection

If you’re a child care operator preparing for a VFSA, make sure that you have the supplies and tools listed below. Click here to see a copy of the North Richland Hills virtual childcare inspection form.

  • Phone/Tablet and Virtual Videoconferencing Platform: The food establishment operator needs to download the Webex Videoconferencing Application onto their phone or tablet.
  • Records Required: Make sure that you have the following records available for review during the virtual inspection (Records in italics can be emailed to consumerhealth@nrhtx.com ahead of time)
    • Staff records (Background checks, CPR/first aid certification, negative TB test, driver’s license and transportation training for those who transport children)
    • Children enrollment records (showing notarized emergency medical authorization and security codes for pickup)
    • Rosters, transition logs, and other documentation used to track children in care
    • NRH “Childcare Facility Information Update Form”
    • Copy of Liability Insurance for Child Care Facility
    • Copy of Insurance for Vehicles Used to Transport Children
    • Fire Drill/Severe Weather/Lockdown Records
    • Playground Maintenance Checklist
    • Dates of last fire inspection, pest control service, and gas leak test (if applicable)

  • Chemicals Used to Clean/Sanitize and Sanitizer/Test Strips: Before the inspection, make sure that you have the chemicals you’re using to clean/sanitize and the appropriate test strips for checking sanitizer strength available. Sanitizer is important because it kills germs that may have survived on a visibly clean surface.

  • Be Prepared to Discuss: Emergency contact information for your establishment, your employee health policy, operating policies, and the steps you’re taking to manage the COVID-19 crisis (i.e. social distancing, wearing face coverings, cleaning/disinfecting procedures, etc.)

COVID-19 Resources for Child Cares

Below are some resources that child care operators may find useful during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Frequently Asked Questions


Why are you doing virtual inspections and not simply doing routine inspections onsite?
A typical onsite childcare inspection lasts four hours or longer. NRH inspectors not only inspect NRH child cares, but also NRH food establishments and public swimming pools. When doing inspections in person, an inspector can sometimes visit 5-6 of these sites each day. This increases the inspector’s exposure to COVID-19. A person with COVID-19 can begin shedding virus and become contagious to others up to 2 days before showing symptoms. NRH Consumer Health inspectors wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and take all feasible steps to lower the probability of spreading COVID-19 to others. However, if an inspector becomes infected with COVID-19 and is asymptomatic or presymptomatic, there is a possibility that the inspector may unwittingly spread COVID-19. Offering virtual inspections limits the exposure to COVID-19 for the inspector, the child care staff, and the children in care—while still offering a method to assess critical health and safety issues and to correct problems.


How long does the videoconferencing portion of a virtual inspection take to complete?                                                      
Most virtual inspections should take about an hour if Consumer Health can review records ahead of time


How do I request a virtual inspection?

If you haven’t received a notice from your inspector to schedule a virtual inspection and would like to complete one, you can schedule the virtual inspection by visiting your inspector's online calendar below. If you're not sure who your inspector is, you can also contact us at consumerhealth@nrhtx.com or call NRH Consumer Health at 817-427-6650. 


How do I prepare for a virtual inspection?
This document will provide information about how to prepare for a virtual childcare inspection. If you have any other questions, contact consumerhealth@nrhtx.com, call NRH Consumer Health at 817-427-6650, or email your inspector directly.    
 
                                    
What videoconferencing applications can I use for a virtual inspection?     
NRH Consumer Health uses the Webex videoconferencing application for better cybersecurity. Work with your inspector directly to make arrangements. 


I’m having problems figuring out how to get Webex. What do I do?
Review the Webex instructions for your type of device below. If you’re still having problems, contact your inspector directly for help.

What kind of information is collected during a virtual inspection?       
The purpose of the virtual inspection is to reduce the risk of injury and/or transmissible illness and to promote health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual inspection will focus mostly on critical health and safety items. Click here for a copy of the North Richland Hills virtual childcare inspection form.


Is NRH Consumer Health the only agency doing virtual inspections?
No. Other agencies across the country are also doing this. A few of the agencies we know about include King County, WA; Kansas Department of Agriculture; and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.


Where can I find additional child care safety resources for North Richland Hills?                           
Visit https://www.nrhtx.com/171/Child-Care


Where can I find information about COVID-19 and North Richland Hills?
Visit http://nrhtx.com/coronavirus


Who do I contact if I have other questions?
Please email NRH Consumer Health at consumerhealth@nrhtx.com or call us at 817-427-6650.