A. The office may not:
(1) Waive a regulation; or
(2) Grant a variance that diminishes safeguards to a child's health, safety, or well-being.
B. The office may grant a variance:
(1) If the provider presents clear and convincing evidence that a regulation is met by an alternative that complies with the intent of the regulation for which the variance is sought; and
(2) For a limited period of time as specified by the office or for as long as the certificate remains in effect and the provider continues to comply with the terms of the variance.
C. Within 30 calendar days of receiving a completed request for a variance, the office shall notify the provider that the variance has been granted or denied.
D. If a variance request is denied by a regional office of the Agency:
(1) The provider may appeal the denial to the Agency's central office; and
(2) The Agency's central office has the final determination of whether or not a variance is granted.