DCF 202.01 History
Cr. Register, August, 1985, No. 356
, eff. 9-1-85; emerg. r. and recr. eff. 7-1-96; emerg. r. and recr., eff. 7-1-96; r. and recr. Register, February, 1997, No. 494
, eff. 3-1-97; renum. from HFS 55.55, Register, July, 1999, No. 523
, eff. 8-1-99; CR 07-071
: am. (1) and (2) Register May 2008 No. 629
, eff. 6-1-08; 2015 Wis. Act 132
: am. (2) Register February 2016 No. 722
, eff. 3-1-16.
DCF 202.02 Definitions.
In this chapter:
“Caregiver background check" means the retrieval of information about an individual's past criminal conduct pursuant to s. 48.685
, Stats., and ch. DCF 12
that may bear on the suitability of that individual to provide child care or have regular contact with children in care.
“Certification agency" means the department in a county having a population of 750,000 or more; a county department of social services established under s. 46.22
, Stats.; a county department of human services established under s. 46.23
, Stats.; a tribal agency; or any agency that contracts with any of those entities to certify child care operators under s. 48.651
“Certified child care home" or “home" means the residence in which the certified child care operator provides care of children and which meets the standards under s. DCF 202.08
for reimbursement of care by certification agencies.
“Certified child care operator" or “operator" means an individual, corporation, partnership, limited liability corporation,
non–incorporated association, or cooperative that has legal and financial responsibility for the operation of a child care program and for meeting the requirements under this chapter.
“Certified family child care operator" means a certified child care operator who provides care in a private residential property.
“Certified in-home child care operator" means a certified child care operator who provides care in the child's home.
“Certified school-age child care program" means a program providing care and supervision in other than an operator's home for fewer than 24 hours a day for 7 or more school–age children and which is exempt from being licensed as a child care center under s. 48.65 (1)
“Child care certification worker" means a person employed by an agency whose duties include determination of eligibility for child care certification.
“Child care provider" or “provider" means a certified child care operator or an employee or volunteer of the child care operator who provides care and supervision for infant, preschool, or school–age children on behalf of the operator.
“Department" means the Wisconsin department of children and families.
“Emergency" means unforeseen circumstances that call for immediate action, such as fire; tornado; flood; extreme outdoor heat or cold; loss of building service, including no heat, water, electricity or telephone; threats to the building or its occupants; lost or missing children; or a provider family situation, such as a medical emergency or illness.
“Employee" means any individual who works for a certified child care operator to provide care and supervision of children in care, including a substitute, helper, or assistant.
“Hazard" means a source of danger that could jeopardize the health, safety or well-being of children in care.
“Health check provider" means a provider of health assessment and evaluation services eligible to be certified under s. DHS 105.37 (1) (a)
, including an outpatient hospital facility, health maintenance organization, visiting nurse association, clinic operated under a physician's supervision, local public health agency, home health agency, rural health clinic, Indian health agency and neighborhood health center.
“Impacted baby" means an infant or young child w ho suffers death or great bodily harm as a result of being thrown against a surface, hard or soft.
“In care" means a child care provider is responsible for supervision of a child or children.
“Inclement weather" means stormy or severe weather, including any of the following:
Wind chills of 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below for children age 2 and above.
Wind chills of 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below for children under age 2.
“In-home provider" means a person caring for a child in the child's own home.
“Licensed physician" means a physician licensed under ch. 448, Stats.
“Operator's own children" means a certified family child care operator's natural, adopted, step, and foster children, and any children who reside in the operator's home.
DCF 202.02 Note
Section 49.155 (1) (c)
, Stats., provides: “Notwithstanding s. 49.141 (1) (j), `parent' means a custodial parent, foster parent, treatment foster parent, legal custodian or person acting in place of a parent."
“Premises" means the tract of land on which the home used for child care is located, including all buildings and structures on that land.
“Publicly funded parent" means a parent whose child care expenses are subsidized directly with state or federal funds.
“Related to the provider" means the provider's natural or adopted children, foster children, stepchildren, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, first cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles and aunts.
“School-age child" means a child 7 years of age or older who is enrolled in a public school or a parochial or other private school.
“Shaken baby syndrome" means a severe form of brain injury that occurs when an infant or young child is shaken forcibly enough to cause the brain to rebound against his or her skull.
“Substitute" means a provider who replaces the certified child care operator or staff in a school age program on a pre-arranged or planned basis.
“Sudden infant death syndrome" means the sudden death of an infant under one year of age that remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history.
“Supervision" means guidance of the behavior and activities of children for their health, safety, and well-being by a provider who is within sight or sound of the children, except as specified in s. DCF 202.08 (5) (j)
“Suspension" means a temporary interruption in the regulatory approval during which the certified child care operator may not be paid by the child care subsidy program.
“Tribe" means an American Indian tribe recognized by the federal government.
“Volunteer" means a person who agrees to give time, with or without compensation, to transport or to work with children in care.
DCF 202.02 History
Cr. Register, August, 1985, No. 356
, eff. 9-1-85; r. and recr. Register, December, 1991, No. 432
, eff. 1-1-92; emerg. r. and recr. eff. 7-1-96; r. and recr., Register, February, 1997, No. 494
, eff. 3-1-97; renum. from HFS 55.56; r. and recr. (1) and am. (4) and (22), Register, July, 1999, No. 523
, eff. 8-1-99; correction in (6) and (13) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, July, 1999, No. 523
; CR 02-007
: am. (1) and (4), cr. (3m) and (4m) Register May 2002 No. 557
, eff. 6-1-02; CR 07-071
: cr. (1m), (3b), (3e), (3k), (5g), (5r), (8m), (9c), (9g), (9r), (12m), (20c) to (20w), r. and recr. (2), (15) and (22), am. (3), (6) and (8), renum. (4m) and (20) to be (3h) and (3f) and am., r. (7) and (17) Register May 2008 No. 629
, eff. 6-1-08; corrections in (1m), (2), (3m), (5), (6), (8), (9) and (20r) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6. and 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
; 2015 Wis. Act 132
: r. (1), cr. (1s), am. (2), (3h), r. (4), am. 14 Register February 2016 No. 722
, eff. 3-1-16; correction in (1m) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register September 2016 No. 729
BASIS FOR CERTIFICATION.
In order to be certified, a child care operator shall be exempt from the licensure requirement in s. 48.65
, Stats., and shall comply with the appropriate standards for the type of certified operator that are specified in this chapter.
(2) TYPES OF CERTIFIED OPERATORS.
The following types of child care operators shall be certified as a condition for receiving state or federal child care funds:
Certified family child care operators and in–home operators.
Certified family child care and in–home operators are required to meet the standards under s. DCF 202.08
and may care for infant, preschool, or school–age children consistent with Table 202.08 (6).
Certified school-age child care programs.
Certified school-age child care programs are required to meet the standards under s. DCF 202.09
Application for certification shall be made on a form available from the certification agency in the county or tribal territory where the child care is provided. The applicant shall submit the completed form to that certification agency.
The applicant shall comply with the background information requirements of s. 48.685
Compliance with standards and certification.
The certification agency shall process all certification applications as follows:
If the application is for certification under sub. (2) (a)
, the certification agency shall review the application for compliance with standards under s. DCF 202.08
prior to issuing a certificate.
If the application is for certification under sub. (2) (b)
, the certification agency shall refer the application to a licensing representative in the department regional office. The licensing representative shall determine whether the applicant is in compliance with all standards under s. DCF 202.09
and report back to the certification agency. The certification agency may issue a certificate based on the licensing representative's report.
Within 60 days after receiving a completed application for certification or recertification and satisfactory investigation and determination that the applicant is fit, the certification agency shall either approve the application and issue a certificate or deny the application. “Fit" means the applicant displays the capacity to successfully nurture and care for children and includes consideration of any of the following:
A history of a civil or criminal conviction or administrative rule violation that substantially relates to caring for children as described in ch. DCF 12
A history of civil or criminal offenses or any other actions that demonstrate an inability to manage the activities of a child care program.
The certification agency may backdate a certificate of approval to the date that the certification agency received the applicant's completed application for certification.
A certification agency may charge a fee for family child care certification not to exceed 150 percent of the licensing fee for a family child care center that provides care and supervision for 4 to 8 children, under s. 48.65 (3) (a)
, Stats., plus the costs of criminal record checks required under s. 48.685
The certification agency may charge a fee for school-age child care certification not to exceed the licensing fee for a group child care center that provides care and supervision for 9 or more children under s. 48.65 (3) (a)
, Stats., plus the costs of criminal record checks required under s. 48.685
(5) Categories of family certification.
Certification of an operator by a certification agency shall be Level I (regular) or Level II (provisional) as follows:
(a) Level I (regular) certification.
Level I (regular) certification may be issued only after the child care operator has demonstrated compliance with all certification standards including training. Level I (regular) certification shall be for a period of 2 years and shall be renewed upon application if the operator continues to comply with the certification standards under s. DCF 202.08
Level II (provisional) certification.
Level II (provisional) certification may be issued only after the child care operator has demonstrated compliance with all certification standards under s. DCF 202.08
, except standards for training under s. DCF 202.08 (1) (b)
. Level II (provisional) certification shall be for a period of 2 years and shall be renewed upon application if the operator continues to comply with the certification standards, except standards for training under s. DCF 202.08 (1) (b)
The certification agency responsible for certification of an operator shall be determined by the geographic area in which the child care is provided.
Certification issued to an operator by a certification agency shall be accepted as valid by all other agencies authorized to certify providers.
The certification agency shall ensure that each new day care certification worker completes the department-approved certification training during the first 6 months of employment.
Qualifications of certified child care operators.
Certification agencies shall maintain records demonstrating child care operator compliance with s. DCF 202.08 (1)
Require receipt of a signed application from the operator agreeing to follow child care certification standards.
Provide a checklist of basic child care certification standards and procedures for filing a complaint to all parents who are using certified family child care or in-home care and who are publicly funded parents.
Require the applicant and any employees, volunteers, and non-client residents 10 years of age or older to submit a background information disclosure form prior to initial certification and every following 2 years.
Provide information on child care and the certification system to applicants prior to initial certification. The information shall include materials on sudden infant death syndrome, shaken baby syndrome and impacted babies, child development, positive discipline, health and safety, and nutrition.
DCF 202.04 Note
Note: Contact Wisconsin Child Care Information Center at 1-800-362-7353 for information on available materials.
Conduct an on–site inspection of the premises where child care will be provided, including areas that will not be used for child care, before initial certification, recertification, or within 30 days following a child care operator's move to a new location. The inspection of the premises shall include an inspection of each vehicle that is required to have a child safety alarm under s. DCF 202.08 (9) (f) 1.
or 202.09 (12) (h) 1.
to determine whether the child safety alarm is in good working order.
Check the criminal record history of applicants for certification, employees and prospective employees, volunteers, and non-client residents as specified in s. 48.685 (2) (am)
Check files on child abuse and neglect findings or pending investigations related to applicants, employees and prospective employees, volunteers, and individuals living in the applicant's home.
Request a statement from the appropriate regulating agency indicating that the regulating agency approves a child care business in the applicant's home if the applicant has a separate license or certification to care for children or adults, including foster care or adult care. The request shall include a request for permission for the licensed or certified caregiver to release information necessary for a criminal history record search for residents and clients in the applicant's home.
Conduct on–site inspections at any time prior to or after certification is approved to monitor compliance with certification standards, in addition to the required inspection under subd. 2. d.