Register February 2023 No. 806
Chapter DCF 250
DCF 250.01   Authority and purpose.
DCF 250.02   Applicability.
DCF 250.03   Definitions.
DCF 250.04   Operational requirements.
DCF 250.05   Staff.
DCF 250.055   Supervision and grouping of children.
DCF 250.06   Physical plant and equipment.
DCF 250.07   Program.
DCF 250.08   Transportation.
DCF 250.09   Additional requirements for infant and toddler care.
DCF 250.095   Additional requirements when the licensee is not providing care to children at least 50% of the center's licensed hours.
DCF 250.10   Additional requirements for night care.
DCF 250.11   Licensing administration.
DCF 250.12   Complaints, inspections and enforcement actions.
Ch. DCF 250 Note Note: Chapter HSS 45 was renumbered chapter HFS 45 under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 1., Stats., and corrections made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 6. and 7., Stats., Register, September, 1998, No. 513. Chapter HFS 45 as it existed on December 31, 2004, was repealed and a new Chapter HFS 45 was created, eff. 3-1-05. Chapter HFS 45 was renumbered to chapter DCF 250 under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635.
DCF 250.01 DCF 250.01Authority and purpose. This chapter is promulgated under the authority of s. 48.67, Stats., to carry out licensing requirements under s. 48.65, Stats., for family child care centers. The purpose of the chapter is to protect the health, safety and welfare of children being cared for in family child care centers.
DCF 250.01 History History: CR 03-052: cr. Register December 2004 No. 588, eff. 3-1-05.
DCF 250.02 DCF 250.02Applicability.
DCF 250.02(1)(1)Included and excluded care arrangements. This chapter applies to all family child care centers, but does not include any of the following:
DCF 250.02 Note Note: Section 48.65 (2), Stats., exempts parents, guardians and certain other relatives; public and parochial (private) schools; persons employed to come to the home of the child's parent to provide care for less than 24 hours per day; and counties, cities, villages, towns, school districts, and libraries that provide programs for children primarily intended for social or recreational purposes from the requirement for a license.
DCF 250.02(1)(a) (a) Care and supervision of children in a program that operates no more than 4 hours a week.
DCF 250.02(1)(b) (b) Group lessons to develop a talent or skill, such as dance or music, social group meetings and activities and group athletic activities.
DCF 250.02(1)(c) (c) Care and supervision while the parents are on the premises and are engaged in shopping, recreation or other non-work activities.
DCF 250.02(1)(d) (d) Seasonal programs of 10 days or less duration in any 3-month period, including day camps, vacation bible school and holiday child care programs.
DCF 250.02(1)(e) (e) Care and supervision in emergency situations.
DCF 250.02(1)(f) (f) Care and supervision while the parent is employed on the premises if the parent's child receives care and supervision for no more than 3 hours a day.
DCF 250.02(1)(g) (g) Care and supervision provided at the site to the child of a recipient of temporary assistance to needy families, or Wisconsin works, who is involved in orientation, enrollment or initial assessment prior to the development of an employability plan or the child care is provided where parents are provided training or counseling.
DCF 250.02(2) (2)Exception to the requirement. The department may grant an exception to a requirement of this chapter when a family child care center demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that granting the exception will not jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of any child served by the center. A request for an exception shall be in writing, shall be sent to the department and shall include justification for the requested action and a description of any alternative provision planned to meet the intent of the pertinent provision in this chapter.
DCF 250.02 Note Note: A request for an exception to a requirement of this chapter should be sent to the regional licensing representative of the Department's Division of Early Care and Education. See Appendix A for addresses of the regional offices.
DCF 250.02 History History: CR 03-052: cr. Register December 2004 No. 588, eff. 3-1-05.
DCF 250.03 DCF 250.03Definitions. In this chapter:
DCF 250.03(1g) (1g) “ Abusive head trauma” means a serious type of head injury, including shaken baby syndrome, that is caused by shaking, throwing, hitting, slamming, or jerking.
DCF 250.03(1r) (1r)“Background check request form” means a form prescribed by the department on which a person completes required information for the child care background check under s. 48.686, Stats., and ch. DCF 13.
DCF 250.03 Note Note: Form DCF-F-5296, Background Check Request, is available on the department's website,
DCF 250.03(2) (2)“Care” means providing for the safety and developmental needs of a child in a family child care center.
DCF 250.03(3) (3)“Center-provided transportation" means transportation in a vehicle owned by or contracted for the center or a vehicle owned by the licensee or an employee that is used to transport children, but does not include a vehicle owned and driven by a parent or volunteer.
DCF 250.03(3m) (3m) “ Child care background check” means the requirements in s. 48.686, Stats., and ch. DCF 13.
DCF 250.03(4) (4)“Complaint" means an allegation of violation of this chapter or ch. 48, Stats.
DCF 250.03(4m) (4m)“Crib" means a bed for an infant or young child that is enclosed on 4 sides including play pens and portable cribs.
DCF 250.03(5) (5)“Department" means the Wisconsin department of children and families.
DCF 250.03(5m) (5m) “ Early childhood education” means the teaching of children who are 8 years of age or less.
DCF 250.03(6) (6)“Emergency” means unforeseen circumstances that require immediate attention.
DCF 250.03(7) (7)“Emergency back-up provider" means a designated adult available within 5 minutes of the premises who can provide assistance in the event an emergency occurs that requires a provider to leave the premises occasionally for a short period of time.
DCF 250.03(8) (8)“Employee" means any adult who is compensated to provide care and supervision of children enrolled in a family child care center, including a helper or assistant to a child care provider.
DCF 250.03(8m) (8m)“EPSDT provider" means a provider of health assessment and evaluation services that is eligible to be certified under s. DHS 105.37 (1) (a).
DCF 250.03(9) (9)“Family child care center" or “center" means a facility where a person provides care and supervision for less than 24 hours a day for at least 4 and not more than 8 children who are not related to the provider.
DCF 250.03(10) (10)“Field trip" means any experience a child has away from the premises of the center while in the care of center staff, whether a child walks or is transported.
DCF 250.03(11) (11)“Fit and qualified" means displaying the capacity to successfully nurture and care for children and may include consideration of any of the following:
DCF 250.03(11)(a) (a) Abuse of alcohol or drugs.
DCF 250.03(11)(b) (b) A history of a civil or criminal conviction or administrative rule violation that is substantially related to the care of children, as determined under s. DCF 13.05.
DCF 250.03(11)(c) (c) Exercise of unsound judgment.
DCF 250.03(11)(d) (d) A history of civil or criminal offenses or any other action that demonstrates an inability to manage the activities of a center.
DCF 250.03(12) (12)“Foster care" means care and maintenance provided to a child in a foster home pursuant to a court order or voluntary placement agreement.
DCF 250.03(13) (13)“Foster home" means any facility operated by a person licensed under s. 48.62 (1), Stats.
DCF 250.03(13m) (13m)“Hazard" means a potential source of harm that can jeopardize the health, safety or well-being of a child in care.
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.