A permanent enclosure not less than 4 feet high shall be provided to protect the safety of children in care. Fencing, plants, or landscaping may be used to create a permanent enclosure. The permanent enclosure may not have any open areas that are greater than 4 inches.
Concrete and asphalt are prohibited under climbing equipment, swings and slides.
In this paragraph, “main thoroughfare" means a heavily traveled street or road used by vehicles as a principal route of travel.
If a center has no outdoor play space available on the premises of the center, the licensee may request an exemption from the requirements under subd. 3.
for the center's outdoor play space.
A request for an exemption under subd. 2.
shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by a plan for outdoor play space that does all the following:
Identifies and describes the location to be used, the travel distance from the center to that location and the means of transporting the children to that location.
Provides for adequate supervision of the children as specified in Table 250.055.
Describes the arrangements to meet the toileting and diapering needs of the children.
DCF 250.06 Note
Note: Send the request for an exemption, including the plan for the use of that space, to the licensing representative at the appropriate regional office of the Department's Division of Early Care and Education. See Appendix A for addresses of the regional offices.
The off-premises outdoor play space shall be free of hazards such as bodies of water, railroad tracks, unfenced swimming pools, heavily wooded areas and nearby highways and main thoroughfares.
There shall be at least 75 square feet of play space for each child using the space at a given time.
No climbing equipment, swing or slide in the play space may have concrete or asphalt under it.
When the off-premises outdoor play space is reached by walking, the center shall transport children under 3 years of age in wheeled vehicles, such as strollers or wagons, with a seating capacity equal to the number of children under 3 years of age to be transported.
A center's plan for use of an off-premises outdoor play space is subject to approval by the department. Within 30 days after receipt of a plan and request for an exemption from the requirements under par. (b)
, the department shall either approve the plan and grant the exemption or not approve the plan and deny the request for exemption. The department shall notify the center in writing of its decision and if it does not grant an exemption, shall state its reasons for not granting the exemption.
If any circumstance described in an approved plan for use of off-premises outdoor play space changes or if any condition for plan approval is not met, the department may withdraw its approval of the plan and cancel the exemption. A center with an approved plan shall immediately report to the department's licensing representative any significant change in any circumstance described in the plan.
Swimming pools on the premises of the center may not be used by children in care. Swimming pools on the premises shall be surrounded by a permanent enclosure as specified under sub. (11) (b) 4.
In addition, the all of the following restrictions apply:
If access to the pool is through a gate, the gate shall be closed and locked during the center's hours of operation.
If access to the pool is through a door, the door shall be closed, visibly locked and equipped with an alarm at the door that signals when someone has entered the pool area. The door may not be used as an exit.
Locks shall be located so that the locks cannot be opened by the children.
The free-standing wall of an above ground pool may not serve as an enclosure unless it is at least 4 feet in height and not climbable. If a ladder is present, the ladder shall be removed or raised up so that it is inaccessible to children.
The area around the pool enclosure shall be free of toys or equipment that would allow a child to climb or otherwise gain access to the pool.
A wading pool on the premises may be used if the water is changed daily and the pool is disinfected daily. Supervision requirements and staff-to-child ratios under s. DCF 250.05 (3)
shall be met.
A pool, wading pool, water attraction, or beach that is not located on center premises may be used by children if all of the following conditions are met:
The construction and operation of the pool meet the requirements of chs. SPS 390
and ATCP 76
for public swimming pools and the beach complies with any applicable local ordinance.
While children are in the water of a pool, wading pool, water attraction, or beach, the following staff-to-child ratios for providers who can swim shall be met:
When a mixed age group of children are swimming, the staff-to-child ratio shall be adjusted based on to the number of children in the water and each child's age.
DCF 250.06 Note
Note: A worksheet to help calculate the staff to child ratio for mixed aged groupings during swimming is available from the department upon request. Requests may be made to the licensing representative or regional office in Appendix A.
A child shall be restricted to the area of the pool or beach that is within the child's swimming ability.
If some of the children are in the water and others are not, there shall be at least 2 providers supervising the children. One provider shall supervise the children who are in the water, and the other provider shall supervise the children who are not in the water.
DCF 250.06 History
History: CR 03-052
: cr. Register December 2004 No. 588
, eff. 3-1-05; corrections in (6) (a), (11) (c) 3. b. and (12) (c) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7.
, Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
; CR 07-102
: am. (1) (a), (b) 2., 3., (2) (e), (3), (6) (b), (c), (7) (a) 6. c., (9) (d), (11) (b) 2., 3., 4., (12) (b), (c) (intro.) and 3. (intro.), cr. (4) (e) and (12) (c) 6., r. (7) (a) 8. Register December 2008 No. 636
, eff. 1-1-09; corrections in (6) (b), (7) (a) 6. c. and (12) (b) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1.
, Stats., Register December 2008 No. 636
; corrections in (6) (a), (b) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7.
, Stats., Register August 2011 No. 668
; corrections in (4) (d), (12) (c) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7.
, Stats., Register February 2012 No. 674
; correction in (12) (c) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7.
, Stats., Register July 2016 No. 727
: emerg. am. (1) (b) 1., 3., cr. (1) (b) 4., am. (2) (b), (c), (d), (g), (h), cr. (2) (L), (m), r. and recr. (3) (title), renum. (3) to (3) (a) (intro.) and am., cr. (3) (a) 1. to 4., (b), r. (5), am. (7) (a) 6. c., r. (8), r. and recr. (9) (title), (e), cr. (9) (f), Table 250.06, (g) to (n), r. (10), am. (11) (b) 3., cr. (11) (b) 3m., am. (11) (b) 4., eff. 1-30-19; CR 19-089
: am. (1) (b) 1., 3., cr. (1) (b) 4., am. (2) (b), (c), (d), (g), (h), cr. (2) (L), (m), r. and recr. (3) (title), renum. (3) to (3) (a) (intro.) and am., cr. (3) (a) 1. to 4., (b), r. (5), am. (7) (a) 6. c., r. (8), r. and recr. (9) (title), (e), cr. (9) (f), Table 250.06, (g) to (n), r. (10), am. (11) (b) 3., cr. (11) (b) 3m., am. (11) (b) 4. Register March 2020 No. 771
, eff. 4-1-20; correction in (11) (c) 3. b. made under s. 35.17
, Stats., Register March 2020 No. 772
; CR 20-003
: am. (11) (b) 2. Register July 2020 No. 775
, eff. 8-1-20.
A provider shall plan activities so that each child may be or do all of the following:
Use materials and take part in activities that encourage creativity.
DCF 250.07 Note
The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards are voluntary standards that were designed to help centers develop programs and curriculum to help ensure that children are exposed to activities and opportunities that will prepare them for success in school and into the future. The Standards are primarily intended as guidance on developmentally appropriate expectations and are not intended to be used as a checklist to gauge a child's progress. The Standards are based on scientific research. Copies of the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards are available on the Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners website at http://www.collaboratingpartners.com/
or through the Child Care Information Center at 1-800-362-7353.
Wisconsin has an information and referral service for persons with questions or concerns about a child's development called First Step that is available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When a call is placed to First Step at 1-800-642-7837, the caller will learn about early intervention services as well as other related services in the area. When a provider or a parent has concerns about a child's growth or development a referral to a Birth-to-Three agency or the local public school should be considered to determine if the child is eligible for special services. With parental consent and consultation, it is recommended that centers who care for children who have an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) coordinate programming activities with the local school district or Birth to Three agency.
A provider shall plan daily activities according to the age and developmental level of each child in care and shall include a flexible balance of all of the following:
Daily indoor and outdoor activities when a child is in care for more than 3 hours except that outdoor activities are not required during inclement weather or when not advisable for health reasons.
Television, including videotapes and DVDs, may be used only to supplement the daily plan for children. No child may be required to watch television.
Each family child care center shall provide positive guidance and redirection for the children and shall set clearly specified limits for the children. A provider shall help each child develop self-control, self-esteem and respect for the rights of others.
For purposes of this paragraph, a “time-out” is an interruption of unacceptable behavior by the removal of the child from the situation, not to isolate the child, but to allow the child an opportunity to pause, and with support from the provider, reflect on behavior and gain self-control.
If a provider uses time-out periods to deal with unacceptable behavior, a time-out may not exceed 3 minutes and may not be used for a child under 3 years of age.
The procedures for time-out periods shall be included in the center's written child guidance policy.
Actions that may be psychologically, emotionally or physically painful, discomforting, dangerous or potentially injurious are prohibited. Examples of prohibited actions include all of the following:
Spanking, hitting, pinching, shaking, slapping, twisting, throwing, or inflicting any other form of corporal punishment on the child.
Verbal abuse, threats or derogatory remarks about the child or the child's family.
Physical restraint, binding or tying the child to restrict the child's movement or enclosing the child in a confined space such as a closet, locked room, box or similar cubicle.
Actions that are cruel, aversive, humiliating or frightening to the child.
DCF 250.07 Note
See s. DCF 250.04 (8)
for information on reporting suspected child abuse and s. DCF 250.04 (3) (i)
for rules requiring that prohibited actions to a child be reported to the department within 24 hours after the occurrence.
Safe indoor and outdoor play equipment shall be provided and shall be all of the following:
Of sturdy construction with no sharp, rough, loose, or pointed edges, in good operating condition, and anchored when necessary.
Placed so as to avoid danger of accident or collision and to permit freedom of action.
Used in accordance with all manufacturer's instructions and any manufacturer's recommendations that may affect the safety of children in care.
Various types of play equipment shall be provided to allow for large and small muscle activity, dramatic play, creative expression and intellectual stimulation.
Indoor play equipment shall be provided to allow each child a choice of at least 3 activities involving equipment when all children are involved in using equipment.
Outdoor play equipment shall be provided to allow each child at least one activity when all children are using equipment at the same time.
Trampolines and inflatable bounce surfaces on the premises shall not be in areas accessible to children and may not be used by the children in care.
Furnishings shall be clean, durable, and safe with no sharp, rough, loose, or pointed edges.
Storage space for equipment, bedding, and children's clothing and personal belongings.
DCF 250.07 Note
Note: Lists suggesting kinds and numbers of equipment for centers are available from the Child Care Information Center by calling 1-800-362-7353.
Children under 5 years of age in care for more than 4 consecutive hours shall have a nap or rest period.