Frequently Asked Questions

General

1. What was changed in DECAL KOALA effective July 15, 2017?
We added more screens under Facility Update where you can enter detailed information about your program(s) for public display. Quality Rated programs can also upload a logo and pictures. The options on the screen were rearranged for you to have easy access to both the new screens and the existing functions, such as License Fee, Background Checks, Enforcement Actions, and License Certificates.
2. I am a family day care home provider or the owner of a single center. Do I need an owner account and a director account?
Family day care home providers have a director/administrator account with access to all functions. Individual and corporate owners of only one facility have the option of creating an owner account in addition to the director/administrator account. Owners of only one facility that are partners, boards or associations will only have a director account.
3. I am the center director, and I have an account. Does the owner also need an account?
Individual and corporate owners of only one facility have the option of creating an owner account. Owners of multiple centers have an owner account through which they can view and update the information for all of their programs rather than logging in to each program separately.
4. What are inspection reports?
Inspection reports are documents created by a DECAL licensing consultant when she/he visits a child care facility. Types of these reports, which include the findings from the visit, include a Licensing Study, Monitoring Visit, Plan of Improvement (POI) Follow-up Visit, or Complaint or Incident Investigation. The last three years of inspection reports are available in DECAL KOALA.
5. What are Enforcement Actions?
Enforcement Actions are penalties issued to a provider that are allowed or mandated by state licensing rules and/or Georgia laws. An Enforcement Action may be taken when DECAL determines that serious or continued noncompliance exists or that the provider does not comply with a specific rule or law. Types of Enforcement Actions include an Enforcement Fine, License Restriction, Revocation, Revocation for non-payment of license fee, Consent Agreement, and Emergency Closure. All types of enforcement actions are available for viewing in DECAL KOALA. Currently, however, only Revocations are available on the DECAL website.
6. Will more functions be added to DECAL KOALA in the future?
Yes, nine development phases are planned for DECAL KOALA, and more functions will be added with the completion of each phase. We will notify you as each phase is completed and will also post updates in DECAL KOALA.
7. How can I provide feedback about DECAL KOALA?
You can send feedback and panel-headings to decalkoala@decal.ga.gov.

Manage Account

Activation
1. I received an activation e-mail. Now what do I do?

Click on the link in the e-mail or copy and paste the website address (URL) into your web browser. This will activate your account in DECAL KOALA and prompt you to create a password.

Note: Your user name is as described in the below User Name section
2. I never received the activation e-mail. How do I activate my account?
E-mail decalkoala@decal.ga.gov and ask for help in activating your account. Be sure to include your program’s provider number in your request. An e-mail that includes your user name and further instructions to complete your registration will be sent to the e-mail address on file for your facility.
User Name
1. What is my user name?
For Directors:

The program’s provider number is the permanent user name. A license number begins with letters that indicate the facility type followed by a dash and then numbers:

  • Child Care Learning Center: CCLC-xxxx for example CCLC-11223
  • Group Day Care Home: GDCH-xxxx for example GDCH-11223
  • Family Day Care Home: FR-xxxx for example FR-000011223
For Owners:

Your user name will be assigned and included in the activation e-mail. It will begin with OWN- followed by a set of numbers OWN-xxxx. This will be your permanent user name.

Note: There are no spaces in a Director user name (provider number), or in the Owner user name (OWN-xxxx).
Password
1. I forgot my password. What should I do?

Go to www.decalkoala.com and click on Need Help With Login? on the Welcome page. This will take you to Login Help where you can enter your user name (as described in the above User Name section), or e-mail address and reset your password. If the primary e-mail address is associated with more than one facility, you must enter your user name. Contact decalkoala@decal.ga.gov for assistance with the user name.

NOTE: The primary e-mail address is associated with more than one facility for the owner of multiple facilities.
2. Does anyone at the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) know my password?
No, we cannot see your password. It is encrypted.

LICENSES

License Fees
1. How do I pay the license fee?

If you own multiple facilities, go to the next panel-heading.

To pay online, you must:
  • Log in to your DECAL KOALA account.
  • Click on Pay License Fee in options list on the left.
  • Complete the Affirmation for Lawful Presence Verification unless the status displayed is Previously Eligible. The status must be Eligible, Eligible Affirmation, or Previously Eligible to pay the license fee.
  • Click on Pay Fees and follow the payment instructions.

Family Day Care Home providers must also complete the Disclosure Form each year before the license fee can be paid.

2. As the owner of multiple facilities, can I pay the license fee for more than one facility at a time?

Yes, you can pay the license fee for more than one facility at a time from your owner account. You can also complete the Affirmation for Lawful Presence Verification only one time for multiple facilities.

  • Log in to your Owner account.
  • Click on Pay License Fee in options list on the left.
  • You will see a list of your facilities with the license fee amount for each.
  • Complete the Affirmation for Lawful Presence Verification unless the status displayed is Previously Eligible. The status must be Eligible, Eligible Affirmation, or Previously Eligible to pay the license fee. Go to http://www.decal.ga.gov/ChildCareServices/LawfulPresenceVerification.aspx for more information about Affirmation of Lawful Presence Verification.
  • Select the facility or facilities for which you want to pay the license fees. The total license fee amount for those facilities will appear on the screen. You can choose to pay the fees for one, more than one, or all of the facilities.
  • Click on Pay Fees and follow the payment instructions.
1. How do I print my license certificate?

Log in to DECAL KOALA and click on View/Print License Certificate in options list on the left.

For Directors:
Select the license year(s) you want to print license certificate(s) for. Then click on the View/Print License Certificate button at the bottom of the page.
For Owners:
Select the licensing year, and one or more facilities you want to print license certificate(s) for. Then click on the View/Print License Certificate button at the bottom of the page.
2. Why can’t I view or print my license certificate?
The check box will be grayed out (inactive) thereby preventing you from viewing/printing your licensing certificate(s) for the following reasons:
  • if the license fee has not been paid
  • if payment was made with a personal or e-check and the 21-day hold period is in effect
  • if the facility has a restricted license that is not available yet

If none of the above reasons apply to you, contact your licensing consultant or send an e-mail to feepayment@decal.ga.gov to determine why you cannot view or print your license certificate.

Enforcement Fines

1. How do I pay an enforcement fine in DECAL Koala?

To pay an enforcement fine, you must:

  • Log in to your DECAL KOALA account.
  • Click on View Enforcement Actions.
  • Click on View/Pay Enforcement Actions.
  • Click on Pay Balance and enter your credit card or electronic check information.
  • Click Next.
  • After reviewing your information to ensure that it is correct, click Pay Now.
2. Will I get a receipt after I pay the fine?

Yes, a letter will be sent to you documenting the amount of payment and that our office has received it.

3. How long do I have to pay my fine?

Payment is due within 30 days.

4. How do I upload a document?

To upload a document, you must:

  • Log in to your DECAL KOALA account.
  • Click on View Enforcement Actions.
  • Click on Upload at the bottom left part of the screen for the arrangement you wish to upload the document.
  • Select Document Type and add a description of the document if you would like.
  • Click on Browse to choose a document.
  • Click on Upload.
5. If I need further help, who should I contact?

Please send an e-mail containing your program name and panel-heading(s) to CCSEnforcement@decal.ga.gov. We will respond to you as quickly as possible.

Facility Update

1. Why can’t I change the information on the Facility Profile page?

You can change the information that does not require an amendment or new application by going to the Facility Update page. When you save the revisions that you make on the Facility Update page, the Facility Profile page will be updated.

Note: Owners can update facility information by clicking the  icon for that facility from the home page.
2.How do I add or change information?
You can check or uncheck applicable boxes and remove, enter, or change information in text fields. Certain information for programs with Georgia’s Pre-K must be changed in PANDA and other information requires a license amendment to change. Those areas are grayed out and cannot be changed in DECAL KOALA. Always remember to click Save at the bottom of each page to save changes before going to another page.
3. What is Consumer Information?
Consumer information refers to all of the information available to the public when they search for child care. You can log in and change or add program information yourself or the call center at Quality Care for Children, a Resource and Referral agency, will contact you to update it. The Consumer Information e-mail and phone are for the person best able to provide current information to the call center.
4. What is “Desired capacity”?
As a licensed provider your classrooms are measured to determine how many children can be in each room and the building is given a total license capacity. You may choose to enroll fewer children than the total license capacity. For instance, your program may have a measured capacity of 100 children, but you choose to enroll only a total of 80 children. Your desired capacity would be 80 children.
5. Why can’t I add pictures and a logo?
Programs that are Quality Rated can upload a logo and pictures to DECAL KOALA that will be displayed in the public search. If your program is Quality Rated and you cannot upload a logo and/or pictures, email decalkoala@decal.ga.gov for assistance.
6. How do I upload pictures?
  • Save the picture(s) to your computer.
  • In DECAL KOALA, go to Facility Update and then to Logo and Photos. Select Add more Photos and then select Browse.
  • Select the picture you want to upload and click Open. Then enter a Caption and click Upload Photo.
  • Choose the picture(s) you want to submit for review and select Submit for Review.
7. Why do pictures have to be approved before they can be displayed?
Call center staff will review pictures only to verify the Content Guidelines have been met.

Content Guidelines:

  1. Can not contain children.
  2. Can not contain licensing violations (alcohol, drugs, wine glasses etc.)
  3. Can not contain parents.
  4. Can not contain videos.
  5. Must be of the licensed facility location, no field trips or public location.
8. What does it mean when the e-mail address is disabled on the Facility Update page (or Contact Information) page?
This means that a delivery failure notice was received when a recent e-mail was sent to the address(es) listed. You must update the Primary E-mail Address and may update or remove any secondary e-mail addresses.
9. How do I add a new director?

First, verify that the new director meets the credential requirements, which can be found in Rule 591-1-1-.31(1)(b)3. of the Bright from the Start Rules for Child Care Learning Centers.

Go to the Facility Update page (or Contact Information), edit the director name and contact information and save. Then, on the Director Comprehensive Background Check Verification page, enter the date of birth and last four digits of the Social Security Number for the new director. A director must have a satisfactory fingerprint comprehensive background check determination from DECAL before beginning work. If a satisfactory comprehensive background check is NOT on file for the new director, your licensing consultant will be notified by e-mail.

Note: Any employee without a satisfactory comprehensive background check is not permitted on the premises while children are present.
10. I received a message that the new director does not have a satisfactory fingerprint comprehensive background check on file. What should I do?
You should take immediate action because any employee without a satisfactory comprehensive background check is not permitted on the premises while children are present.

Go to http://decal.ga.gov/ChildCareServices/CriminalRecordsCheck.aspx for Livescan fingerprint instructions and information about comprehensive background check requirements. Contact your licensing consultant or call 404-657-5562 to speak to an intake consultant if you have questions.

11. How do I change my e-mail address?
For Directors:

If you are not a Georgia’s Pre-K provider, log in to DECAL KOALA, go to Facility Update page (or Contact Information) and update the e-mail address.

If you are a Georgia’s Pre-K provider, update the site e-mail address in PANDA and this will update the facility e-mail address in DECAL KOALA the next day.

For Owners:

You can change the Owner e-mail address on the Update Contact Information page.

To change the primary, or a secondary e-mail address for a facility, go to Contact Information page, where you can update e-mail addresses.

12. I am a Georgia’s Pre-K provider. When I want/need to update information, should I use PANDA or the Facility Update process in DECAL KOALA?
Any information you currently update in PANDA, you should continue to update in PANDA, and the changes will automatically appear in DECAL KOALA the next day. You can update any additional information on the Facility Update page in DECAL KOALA.
13. What do I do if the information is wrong on the Facility Update page?
You can edit (delete or correct) the information on the Facility Update page by following the process explained in the FAQs above.

Comprehensive Background Check Applications

All of the Comprehensive Background Check functions below can be completed from the director/administrator account, and by selecting an individual facility from the owner account.
1. I have a new employee who just submitted fingerprints through COGENT. What do I need to do next?

Submit a Comprehensive Background Check Application for any employee online from your DECAL KOALA account.

2. How do I submit a Comprehensive Background Check Application online from DECAL KOALA?

Once the applicant has completed fingerprinting and provided the COGENT Registration ID number:

  • Select Background Check from the menu.
  • Select Add Application.
  • Complete the Comprehensive Background Check Application.
  • Complete both Consent Statements.
  • Select Submit, Save to return to it at a later time, or Cancel.
3. How do I check the status of my employees’ Comprehensive Background Check Applications?

You can check the status of employees’ Comprehensive Background Check Applications from DECAL KOALA. You can also print the latest available application for your employee from DECAL KOALA.

  • Select Background Check from the menu.
  • On the Comprehensive Background Check page you will see a list of Facility Comprehensive Background Check Applications for each employee, including the application status.
Application Status:
  • In Progress – This status will display when an application has been successfully submitted and is being processed by the DECAL Records Unit.
  • Waiting for Facility Approval – This status will display when an application has been submitted by an individual online and needs facility approval before processing.
  • Submitted Online – This status will display when DECAL has received the employee’s application and the records, but has not yet made a comprehensive background check determination.
  • Waiting for Results – This status will display when the employee has successfully submitted an application to DECAL, but DECAL has not yet received the comprehensive background check background history report.
  • Incomplete Application – This status will display when the applicant did not complete the application process.
  • Completed – This status will display when DECAL has made a “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” comprehensive background check determination on the employee.
  • Rejected – This status will display when the fingerprint scan for an applicant did not go through.
  • Closed – This status will display when an application has expired (after 180 days) and there is no corresponding comprehensive background check background history report.
4. How do I print a Comprehensive Background Check Application and determination letter?
  • Select Background Check from the menu.
  • Go down to the list, Facility Comprehensive Background Check Applications.
  • Find the employee’s name.
Comprehensive Background Check Application:
Click on the  under View column to the left of the employee’s name to view the application and then select Print Application.
Determination Letter:
Click on the  print icon to the far right of the employee’s name to view/print the determination letter.
5. I just received an email that a Comprehensive Background Check Application is “Waiting for Facility Approval”. What should I do?

A potential employee submitted a Comprehensive Background Check Application electronically from the Bright from the Start website and selected your licensed facility to verify and submit the application. You can submit the application or cancel it.

  • Select Comprehensive Background Check from the menu.
  • Find the potential employee by name and Waiting for Approval application status under Facility Comprehensive Background Check Applications.
To Submit:
Open and review the application by clicking on  under View column. Complete the director verification at the bottom of the page and click on Submit.
To Remove:
Click on  Delete.
6. I was contacted by an individual who submitted a Comprehensive Background Check Application from the Bright from the Start web site and wants me to verify and submit it. What do I do?

If you want to view and/or submit the application for the potential employee, get their Application Number and the last 4 digits of their Social Security Number, then:

  • Select Background Check from the Menu.
  • Select Search New Applications.
  • Enter the last 4 digits of the SSN and the Application Number.
  • Open and review the application.
  • Complete the director verification at the bottom of the page and click on Submit.
7. I have a new employee that has fingerprinted through DECAL at another child care facility. Can I obtain a copy of her clearance letter?

To determine if an employee’s satisfactory determination letter can be transferred from one facility to another (is “portable”), submit a Portability Request. The employee’s clearance date must be within one year of the hire date, match the date of birth and SSN, and have a satisfactory determination.

8. How do I submit a Portability Request?
  • Select Background Check from the menu.
  • Select Add Portability Request.
  • Enter the employee’s SSN, date of birth (both mandatory) and date of hire (optional).
  • Select Submit to view the status.
  • You can print the determination letter if the status is Portable.

Go to http://www.decal.ga.gov/ChildCareServices/CriminalRecordsCheck.aspx for more information about Comprehensive Background Checks.