Alert! This chapter may be affected by an emergency rule:
DCF 251.05(4) (4)Staffing and grouping.
DCF 251.05(4)(a)(a) The maximum number of children in a group may not exceed the number specified in Table 251.05-D.
DCF 251.05(4)(b) (b) The ratio of child care workers to children may not be less than the minimum number of child care workers to children specified in Table 251.05-D. - See PDF for table PDF
DCF 251.05(4)(c) (c) When 8 or fewer children are present in a center, there shall be a second adult available within 5 minutes for emergencies. The center shall maintain a signed and dated statement from that person, including address and telephone number, certifying that the person is available and agrees to serve if needed.
DCF 251.05(4)(d) (d) Maximum group size does not apply to field trips, outdoor play areas and areas of the center reserved exclusively for eating, however staff-to-child ratios shall be maintained in those settings.
DCF 251.05(4)(e) (e) During naptime, an adjustment in group size and staff-to-child ratios in Table 251.05-D may be made as follows:
DCF 251.05(4)(e)1. 1. One child care worker shall be within sight or sound of each group of sleeping children. If at least one child is awake, sight and sound supervision of awake children is required.
DCF 251.05(4)(e)2. 2. Adult-to-child ratios shall be maintained in the center during naptime.
DCF 251.05(4)(e)3. 3. Maximum group size requirements do not apply to napping groups.
DCF 251.05(4)(f) (f) When there is a mixed-age group, the staff-to-child ratio shall be adjusted on a prorata basis, according to age.
DCF 251.05 Note Note: The licensee may use the department's form, Child Care Staff-To-Child Ratio Worksheet — Group Child Care Centers, to adjust the staff-to-child ratio. Information on how to obtain the department's form is available on the department's website,, or from any regional licensing office in Appendix A.
DCF 251.05(4)(g) (g) When infants and toddlers are part of a mixed-age group, the size of the group may not exceed 8.
DCF 251.05(4)(h) (h) When the group of children is a mixed age group of children 2 years and older, the group size shall be determined by the number of children that can be cared for by 2 child care workers as determined by the staff-to-child prorata requirement under par. (f).
DCF 251.05(4)(i) (i) In a center with 9 or more children present, there shall be at least 2 adults available in the center at all times. At least one of the adults shall be a child care worker directly involved in the supervision and care of the children.
DCF 251.05(4)(j) (j) When 9 or more children are on a field trip there shall be at least 2 child care workers accompanying the children and the staff-to-child ratios in Table DCF 251.05-D shall be maintained. At least one of the child care workers shall be a child care teacher.
DCF 251.05(4)(k) (k) Support staff, such as clerical, housekeeping and food service staff, may only be considered in determining the staff-to-child ratios:
DCF 251.05(4)(k)1. 1. During those hours when they give full attention to the care and supervision of children.
DCF 251.05(4)(k)2. 2. If they meet the qualifications for a child care worker.
DCF 251.05(4)(L) (L) Child care workers shall be free of non-classroom duties when they are counted in meeting the staff-to-child ratios.
DCF 251.05(4)(m) (m) Children of staff who attend the center and who are on the premises for supervision and care shall be included in determining group size and staff-to-child ratios.
DCF 251.05 History History: Cr. Register, January, 1997, No. 493, eff. 8-1-97; reprinted to correct error in Table, Register, February, 1997, No. 494; reprinted to correct error in Table, Register, March, 1997, No. 495; CR 03-052: r. and recr. (title), (1) (a), (1) (j) 3., (2) (c) 3. to 7., am. (1) (b) 3. b., (c) 5. (intro.), Table 46.05-A, (6) (intro.), Table 46.05-B, (d) 3., Table 46.05-C, (2) (a) (intro.), 3., 6., 8., 11., (4) (e) (intro.) and 1., r. (1) (c) 5. a. to i. and 6. a. to f., (1) (d) 3. a. to i., renum. (1) (j) 4. to be 5., cr. (1) (j) 4. a. and b., (2) (a) 12., (2) (c) 8. to 10., (3) (g) Register December 2004 No. 588, eff. 3-1-05; corrections in (1) (j) 1. a., 3., (2) (a) 2. and 3. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635; CR 07-102: r. and recr. (1), am. (2) (a), 9., (3) (b), (c), (f), (4) (d), (j) and Table D, cr. (2) (a) 13., 14., (3) (h) and (i), r. (2) (c) 6. and 10. Register December 2008 No. 636, eff. 1-1-09; renumbering in (1) (e) 4. and corrections in (1) (e) 4. d., 5. d., (L) 3., (4) (j) and Table D made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1., 6. and 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635.
Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.