Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association or, if not accredited, is an institution whose credits are accepted, on transfer, by not less than 3 institutions which are accredited, for credit on the same basis as if transferred from an institution that is accredited.
“Licensee" means the corporation, individual, partnership or non-incorporated association or cooperative which has legal and financial responsibility for the operation of a child care center and for meeting the requirements of this chapter.
“Licensing representative" means a department employee responsible for licensing group child care centers.
“Mildly ill" means a child who has a common, temporary illness that is non-progressive in nature and is not listed on the communicable disease chart in appendix A of ch. DHS 145
“Night care" means any care that is offered by a licensed group child care center between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
“Parent cooperative" means a center organized by parents for their preschool children in which the parents have decision-making authority to establish and change policy, program and personnel practices.
“Parochial or private school" means an educational program which meets all the criteria specified under s. 118.165 (1)
, Stats., or as determined by the superintendent of public instruction under s. 118.167
“Part day center" means a center where a defined group of children attend for a specified period of time that is less than 5 consecutive hours in length.
“Physical Restraint" means the use of physical force to restrict the free movement of all or part of a child's body.
“Premises" means the tract of land on which a center is located, including all buildings and structures on that land.
“Regularly assigned child care worker" means a child care worker who is assigned to a specific group of children in a self-contained room or area for not less than 5 hours per day.
“Representative of the department" means a department employee or a representative from an agency the department contracts with to provide pre-licensing services.
“School-age child" means a child 5 years of age or older who is enrolled in a public school or a parochial or other private school.
“Self-contained room or area" means a room separated by permanent walls or an area separated by permanent or portable partitions or dividers acting as a visual barrier for children which is reserved for a group of children and contains the indoor equipment and furnishings required for that group.
“Shaken baby syndrome" or “SBS" means a severe form of brain injury that occurs when an infant or young child is shaken or thrown forcibly enough to cause the brain to rebound against his or her skull.
“Sleeping bag" means a padded fabric bag that is closed or capable of being closed on three sides.
“Sudden infant death syndrome" or “SIDS" 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 of children" means guidance of the behavior and activities of children for their health, safety and well-being by child care workers who are within sight and sound of the children.
“Supervision of staff" means guidance of the behavior and activities of center employees which may include provision of instructions to carry out activities for limited periods of time out of sight or hearing of the supervisor.
“Toddler" means a child at least one year of age but less than 2 years of age.
“Universal precautions" means measures taken to prevent transmission of infection from contact with blood or other potentially infectious material, as recommended by the U.S. public health services centers for disease control and adopted by the U.S. occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) as 29 CFR 1910.1030
DCF 251.03 Note
“Standard precautions" for infection control measures incorporate universal precautions. Information on the OSHA requirements related to standard or universal precautions is available on the OSHA web site at http://www.osha.gov
. Information is also available from the Child Care Information Center, 1-800-362-7353.
“Volunteer" means a person who is not paid, but agrees to give time, with or without reimbursement for expenses, to transport children attending a group child care center or to work in a group child care center.
“Wading pool" means a shallow pool, with sides 15 inches or less in height, capable of being dumped to change water and used primarily for small children.
DCF 251.03 History
Cr. Register, January, 1997, No. 493
, eff. 8-1-97; correction in (22) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats.; CR 03-052
: am. (1), (3), (6), (13), (17), (18), (19), (33) and (34), cr. (3m), (4m), (8m), (10m), (11g), (11r), (14g), (14r), (18m), (22g), (22r), (26m), (29m) and (35), r. (7) Register December 2004 No. 588
, eff. 3-1-05; corrections in (2), (3m), (4), (5), (9), (10), (11g) (b), (14) and (18m) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6. and 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
; CR 07-102
: cr. (4g), (8r), (11g) (d), (13m), (28m) and (29g), am. (11), (11g) (intro.), (14r) (b) to (d) and (34) Register December 2008 No. 636
, eff. 1-1-09; correction in (29g) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register December 2008 No. 636
; 2015 Wis. Act 132
: am. (2), (4), (5) Register February 2016 No. 722
, eff. 3-1-16; corrections in (2) and (11g) (b) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register September 2016 No. 729
The number of children at a group child care center at any one time may not exceed the number for which the center is licensed.
The age of children served by a center may not be younger or older than the age range specified in the license.
The hours, days and months of a center's operation may not exceed those specified in the license.
A group child care center licensee shall do all of the following:
Comply with all laws governing the facility and its operation.
DCF 251.04 Note
Under the state public accommodation law, s. 106.52 (3)
, Stats., as well as federal statutes and regulations related to use of federal funding, and some local anti-discrimination ordinances, denying admission on the basis of race, handicap, religion or certain other characteristics may be illegal.
Ensure that all information provided to the department is current and accurate.
If residing in another state, designate in writing, as part of the application under s. DCF 251.12 (2)
, a Wisconsin resident who is responsible on behalf of the licensee for ensuring compliance with all requirements of this chapter.
Meet, upon request of the department, with a licensing representative on matters pertaining to the license.
Prior to receiving or continuing a license, complete all application forms and pay all fees and forfeitures due to the department.
Submit to the department a certificate of insurance reflecting
General liability insurance which provides coverage with limits of not less than $25,000 for each person and total limits of $75,000 for each occurrence.
Vehicle liability insurance, when transportation is provided by the center, with minimums no less than those specified in s. 121.53
Non-owned vehicle liability insurance when transportation is provided in vehicles not owned by the center, excluding public transportation vehicles and chartered vehicles, with minimums no less than those specified in s. 121.53
An indication that pets are included in the liability coverage if cats or dogs are permitted in areas of the center accessible to children during the hours of operation.
Develop, submit to the department for review and implement written policies on the following subjects:
Personnel, including job descriptions, hours of work, lunch and break times, holidays, vacations, sick leaves, leaves of absence, probationary periods, performance evaluations, grievance procedures and the disciplinary process. The personnel policy shall contain a procedure that requires staff to notify the licensee
and the licensee to notify the department as soon as possible but no later than the next business day when any of the following occurs:
The employee has been or is being investigated by any governmental agency for any other act, offense, or omission, including an investigation related to the abuse or neglect or threat of abuse or neglect, to a child or other client, or an investigation related to misappropriation of a client's property.
The employee has a substantiated governmental finding against them for abuse or neglect of a child or adult or for misappropriation of a client's property.
When a professional license held by an employee has been denied, revoked, restricted or otherwise limited.
Develop, submit to the department for approval and implement as approved written policies and plans, consistent with the requirements of this chapter, on the following subjects:
Health care. If the center is licensed to care for children under one year of age, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome risk reduction procedures shall be included.
Child guidance including appropriate ways to manage crying, fussing or distraught children.
Contingency plans to be followed in the event of a fire, tornado, missing child or other emergency.
Transportation, if the center will transport children either on field trips or on a regular schedule. The policy shall include a procedure to ensure that no child is left unattended in a vehicle.
Ensure that all published statements such as brochures and publicity releases are accurate.
Post the child care license near the entrance or in some other conspicuous area of the center that is visible to the public.
Post next to the child care center license the results of the most recent licensing inspection, including any rule violations cited by the department and any notice of enforcement action including, license revocation or denial and any stipulations, conditions, exceptions, or exemptions that affect the license.
Ensure that any action, by commission or omission, or any condition or occurrence relating to the operation or maintenance of the child care center does not adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of any child under the care of the licensee.
Submit to the department by the department's next business day a completed Background Information Disclosure form and appropriate caregiver background check fees when there is a change in the board chairperson or a person aged 10 and above becomes a household member.
Submit to the department by the department's next business day a completed Background Information Disclosure form for each current household member who turns age 10.
DCF 251.04 Note
For more information about caregiver background checks refer to the administrative rule under ch. DCF 12
. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Background Information Disclosure form is available on the department's website, http://dcf.wisconsin.gov
, or from any regional licensing office in Appendix A.
Submit a current delegation of administrative authority signed by the licensee that outlines the organizational structure and designates, in a chain of command form, those persons on the premises in charge of the center for all hours of operation.
The licensee shall report to the department all of the following. If the report is made by telephone, the licensee shall submit a written report to the appropriate regional licensing office within 5 business days of the incident. Fax, e-mail, and letter are acceptable ways of filing a written report:
Any death of a child in the care of the center or any incident or accident that occurs while the child is in the care of the center that results in an injury that requires professional medical treatment within 48 hours of the licensee becoming aware of the medical treatment.
DCF 251.04 Note
The licensee may use either the department's form, Accident Report — Child Care Centers, or the licensee's own form to report incidents, accidents or deaths. Information on how to obtain the department's form is available on the department's website, http://dcf.wisconsin.gov
, or from any regional licensing office in Appendix A.
Any damage to the premises which may affect compliance with this chapter, within 24 hours after the occurrence.
A change in the administrator or center director of a child care center, within 30 days after the change.
A change of any program service, at least 5 days prior to the change.
Statistical data required by the department on forms provided by the department.
If requested by the department, a plan of correction for cited violations of this chapter or ch. 48, Stats.
, in a format specified by the department. The department shall receive the plan of correction by the date the department specifies and be approved by the department licensing representative.
DCF 251.04 Note
Note: The licensing representative will notify the licensee if a plan of correction is required and provide the plan of correction format with the notification.
Any known convictions, pending charges or other offenses of the licensee, child care center employees or other person subject to a caregiver background check which could potentially relate to the care of children at the center or activities of the center by the department's next business day.
Any change in room usage, such as changing the way rooms are primarily used by children or using rooms not previously approved for use at least 20 working days prior to the change. Changes in room usage shall be approved by the department prior to the change.
Any incident related to a child who leaves the premises of the center without the knowledge of the provider or any incident that results in a provider not knowing the whereabouts of a child in attendance at the center within 24 hours of the occurrence.
Any suspected abuse or neglect of a child by an employee or volunteer that was reported under s. DCF 251.04 (8) (a)
or any inappropriate discipline of a child by an employee or volunteer including any incident that results in a child being forcefully shaken or thrown against a surface, hard or soft, during the child's hours of attendance within 24 hours after the occurrence.
Any incident involving law enforcement within 24 hours after the occurrence that: