Firearms, ammunition and other potentially dangerous items may not be kept on the premises.
Materials harmful to children, including power tools, flammable, or combustible materials, insecticides, matches, drugs, cleaning supplies, bleaches, and other hazardous, toxic, or poisonous articles shall be appropriately labeled and stored in areas inaccessible to children.
A motor vehicle shall be immediately available at the center at all times in case of an emergency if a public or private rescue or emergency vehicle cannot arrive at the center within 10 minutes of a phone call.
The center shall have a working telephone or access to a working telephone on the premises during hours of operation, with a list of emergency telephone numbers, including telephone numbers for the local fire department, police department, or other law enforcement agency, poison control center, and emergency medical service in a location known to all providers. In this paragraph, “telephone” does not include a pay telephone requiring payment to reach the operator or a telephone in a locked room.
Stairs, walks, ramps and porches shall be maintained in a safe condition and free from the accumulation of water, ice or snow.
The premises shall be well drained, free from litter, clean, and in good repair. The premises shall be maintained to prevent the entrance or harborage of vermin.
Smoking is prohibited on the premises of the center or in a vehicle used to transport children when the children are in care.
DCF 251.06 Note
See s. DCF 251.03 (25)
for the definition of premises.
There shall be no flaking or deteriorating paint on exterior or interior surfaces in areas accessible to children.
No lead-based paint or other toxic finishing material may be used on indoor or outdoor furnishings and equipment.
Children may not be allowed in an area where power tools are in use.
A hot tub located in a room or area accessible to children shall have a visible, locked, rigid cover or be enclosed by a locked fence at least 4 feet tall. The lock shall be installed so that the lock is inaccessible to children.
If a hot tub is located in a room or area not intended for use by children, access to the room or area shall be controlled through the use of a visibly locked door. The lock shall be installed so that the lock is inaccessible to children.
Cleaning aids such as mops and brooms shall be clean. Buckets used with mops shall be emptied and stored in areas inaccessible to children.
Garbage containers in the building shall be rigid, covered, watertight, and emptied daily or more often as needed. Compactors need not be emptied daily. Garbage and refuse stored out of doors shall be kept in leak-proof containers equipped with tight-fitting covers and shall be disposed of as necessary to prevent decomposition or overflow.
Windows and doors that are used for ventilation shall be screened.
Each center shall have a written plan for taking appropriate action in the event of an emergency, including fire, tornado, or flood; extreme heat or cold; loss of building services, including heat, water, electricity, or telephone; human-caused events, such as threats to the building or its occupants; allergic reactions; lost or missing children; vehicle accidents; or other circumstances requiring immediate attention. The plan shall include procedures for all of the following:
Ensuring the needs of children under 2 years of age and children with disabilities are met.
Connecting children with their parents if the center is required to evacuate the building.
Practice the fire evacuation plan monthly, and tornado drills monthly from April through October.
Ensure that all staff members know what their duties are if there is an emergency.
Keep a written record of dates and times all fire and tornado drills practiced.
DCF 251.06 Note
The licensee may use the department's form Safety and Emergency Response Documentation - Group Child Care Centers
, to document the results of the monthly testing of fire alarms and smoke detectors. Forms are available on the department's website, http://dcf.wisconsin.gov
, or from any regional licensing office in Appendix A.
Each fire extinguisher on the premises of a center shall be operable at all times, inspected once a year by a qualified person and bear a label indicating its present condition and date of the last inspection.
All staff members shall be instructed in and knowledgeable about the use of the fire extinguishers.
Exits and exit passageways shall have a minimum clear width of 3 feet and be unobstructed by furniture or other objects.
An extension cord may not be used permanently with an appliance.
No more than 2 electrical appliances may be plugged into any one wall outlet.
Fire detection and prevention systems, including smoke detectors, heat or flame detectors, pull stations, and sprinkler systems, shall be maintained in good working order. A signaling device, such as a smoke, heat, or flame detector shall be used to conduct monthly fire evacuation drills. The licensee shall either document that fire detection and prevention systems are monitored by a fire prevention agency or that the detectors and alarms have been tested monthly.
DCF 251.06 Note
The licensee may use the department's form, Safety and Emergency Response Documentation — Group Child Care Centers, to document the results of the monthly testing of fire alarms and smoke detectors. 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.
Unvented gas, oil or kerosene space heaters are prohibited.
A safe supply of drinking water shall be available to children at all times from a drinking fountain of the angle jet type or by use of disposable cups. Common use of drinking cups is prohibited.
If the center gets its water from a private well, the following shall apply:
Water samples from the well shall be tested for lead and bacteria by a laboratory certified by the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection as specified in ch. NR 809
. The laboratory report shall be available to the department upon request.
DCF 251.06 Note
Note: Group child care centers with a non-transient, non-community water system are notified by the Department of Natural Resources of the required testing time frames.
A center serving children under 6 months of age shall have the water tested annually for nitrate levels.
If water test results indicate the water contains high levels of lead or is bacteriologically unsafe, the water shall be appropriately treated and re-tested until it is determined to be safe. Bottled water shall be used until the water is determined to be safe. If the water tests above the maximum allowable level of nitrates, bottled water shall be used for infants under 6 months of age.
DCF 251.06 Note
Centers using a private well should contact their regional Department of Natural Resources (DNR) office to determine whether they need to be in compliance with additional water test requirements. Child care centers that serve at least 25 of the same people over 6 months of the year are considered to have a non-transient non community water system (NTNC) and must be in compliance with Chapter NR 809
, Safe Drinking Water Act Standards. Contact the nearest Department of Natural Resources from the list at: http://dnr.wi.gov/Contact/SSbyCounty.html
The space used by children shall be no less than 35 square feet of usable floor space for each child, exclusive of passageways, kitchens, bathrooms, coat storage areas, offices, storage areas, isolation quarters, staff room, furnace room, parts of rooms occupied by stationary equipment, and areas not at all times available to children, including areas used exclusively for large muscle activity, napping or eating.
There shall be additional storage space for cots, bedding, supplies and equipment not in use.
When meals are prepared or heated on the premises, the kitchen shall be equipped with a microwave or stove with an oven, a refrigerator, a sink and utensils that are necessary to prepare and serve meals. The sink shall be used exclusively for food preparation and dishwashing.
Centers preparing or serving only snacks are not required to have a sink unless dishes or utensils requiring dishwashing are used. Centers preparing or serving only snacks are not required to have a microwave or stove unless the snacks served require heating. Refrigerators are required if the center serves milk or other perishable snacks.
All equipment and utensils shall have smooth, hard surfaces, be easily cleanable, in good repair, durable, non-toxic and free of cracks, seams, chips and roughened areas, and shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
Food preparation tables shall be durable, and surfaces shall be smooth, non-absorbent and easily cleanable.
After cleaning, utensils shall be stored in a clean, dry place and protected from contamination.
Single-service utensils shall be non-toxic, stored in a clean, dry place, kept covered, and may not be reused.
All kitchen utensils and food contact surfaces used for preparation, storage or serving of food shall be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after each use.
All utensils and dishes shall be scraped, sorted and prewashed under running water.
For manual washing of dishes and utensils, a 3-step procedure shall be used:
Wash in water between 110°
F., using an effective soap or detergent.
Rinse by immersing dishes and utensils in clean, hot water to remove soap or detergent.
Sanitize by using a product that is registered with the U.S. environmental protection agency as a sanitizer and has instructions for use as a sanitizer on the label. The sanitizer shall be used in a manner consistent with the label instructions.
If a center uses a commercial dishwasher to clean dishes and utensils, the dishwasher shall have a readily visible temperature gauge located in the wash compartment. If the dishwasher is a spray type or immersion type dishwasher, a temperature gauge shall also be located in the rinse water line.
Wash at 130 degrees Fahrenheit to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 seconds, using an effective cleaning agent, and rinse and sanitize at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 seconds or more, using an automatic rinse injector.
When using a spray-type dishwashing machine, the dishes and utensils shall be washed, rinsed and sanitized in the dishwasher according to the manufacturer's operating instructions. A chemical sanitizer shall be used in the final rinse.
If the center uses a home-type dishwasher to clean dishes and utensils, the dishes and utensils shall be washed and rinsed in the dishwasher and sanitized by using a product that is registered with the U.S. environmental protection agency as a sanitizer and has instructions for use as a sanitizer on the label. The sanitizer shall be used in a manner consistent with the label instructions.
All dishes and utensils shall be air-dried in racks or baskets or on drain boards.
Food shall be clean, wholesome, free from spoilage, free from adulteration or misbranding and safe for human consumption. Meat, poultry, fish, molluscan shellfish, eggs and dairy products shall be from an inspected source.
Only milk and milk products which are pasteurized and meet the Grade A milk standards of the Wisconsin department of agriculture, trade, and consumer protection may be served or used.
Meals shall be prepared on the premises, in a central kitchen operated by the child care center or in another location that has been inspected by a representative of a state agency.
DCF 251.06 Note
Chapter ATCP 75
, subch. III, addresses restaurants and other public eating establishments. Chapter ATCP 75
, subch. II, addresses retail food establishments.
Food in dented, bulging or leaking cans, or cans without labels, may not be used.
Hermetically sealed, non-acid or low-acid food which has been processed in a place other than a commercial food processing establishment may not be used.
Foods shall be stored at temperatures which protect against spoilage. The following measures shall be taken to prevent spoilage:
Perishable and potentially hazardous food which includes all custard-filled and cream-filled pastries, milk and milk products, meat, fish, shellfish, gravy, poultry stuffing and sauces, dressings, salads containing meat, fish, eggs, milk or milk products, and any other food or food product likely to spoil quickly if not kept at the proper temperature shall be continuously maintained at 40°
F. or below or 140°
F. or above, as appropriate, except during necessary periods of preparation and service.
Each refrigeration unit shall be maintained at 40°
F. or lower and each freezing unit shall be maintained at 0°
F. or lower.
Each cold storage facility shall be equipped with a clearly visible accurate thermometer.
Foods not requiring refrigeration shall be stored in clean, dry, ventilated and lighted storerooms or areas which shall be protected from contamination by sewage, wastewater backflow, condensation, leakage or vermin. In addition:
Dry foods, such as flour, sugar, cereals and beans shall be stored in bags with zip-type closures or metal, glass or food-grade plastic containers with tight-fitting covers and shall be labeled. In this paragraph, “food grade plastic" means any plastic material used in the manufacture of dishes or utensils which has been found not harmful to human health by the national sanitation foundation.
Foods stored in the basement shall be stored at least 8 inches above the floor, and food stored in other areas shall be stored high enough above the floor to provide for air circulation and to facilitate cleaning.