No child may be in a vehicle for transport to or from a center, a field trip, or other center activity for more than 60 minutes for a one-way trip.
A vehicle shall be equipped with a child safety alarm that prompts the driver to inspect the vehicle for children before exiting if all of the following conditions apply:
The vehicle is owned or leased by a licensee or a contractor of a licensee.
The vehicle has a seating capacity of 6 or more passengers plus the driver. The seating capacity of the vehicle shall be determined by the manufacturer.
No person may shut off a child safety alarm unless the driver first inspects the vehicle to ensure that no child is left unattended in the vehicle.
The child safety alarm shall be in good working order each time the vehicle is used for transporting children to or from a center.
DCF 251.08 Note
Information on the required vehicle safety alarm is available in the “child care licensing/information for providers” section of the department website at http://dcf.wisconsin.gov
DCF 251.08 History
Cr. Register, January, 1997, No. 493
, eff. 8-1-97; CR 03-052
: r. and recr. (3) and (7), am. (4) (b) and (5) (d), cr. (4) (d) Register December 2004 No. 588
, eff. 3-1-05; CR 07-102
: am. (1), (3) (b), (4) (d), (5) (b) 1. and (6) (b), r. and recr. (2) (a), cr. (3) (c), (4) (b) 2. to 5. and (5) (e), renum. (4) (b) to be (4) (b) 1. and am. Register December 2008 No. 636
, eff. 1-1-09; CR 14-028
: cr. (8) Register July 2016 No. 727
, eff. 8-1-16; EmR1918: emerg. r. and recr., eff. 1-30-19; CR 19-089: r. and recr. Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4-1-20.
DCF 251.09 Additional requirements for infant and toddler care. DCF 251.09(1)(a)(a)
Group child care centers providing care and supervision to infants and toddlers shall comply with the additional requirements of this section.
Prior to admission, the licensee shall obtain written information from a child's parent or guardian to individualize the program of care for the child. Child care workers shall use the information obtained from parents to provide care to the child. Information shall include all of the following:
DCF 251.09 Note
The licensee may use the department's form, Intake for Child Under 2 Years — Child Care Centers, or the licensee's own form to record information for individualizing the program of care for each child. 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.
Admission information for an infant or toddler shall be on file in the room or area to which the child is assigned and shall be known to the child care worker.
Child care workers shall document changes in a child's development and routines every 3 months based on discussion with the parent.
Each infant and toddler shall be cared for by a regularly assigned child care worker in a self-contained room or area.
The regularly assigned child care teacher and assistant child care teacher for each group of infants and toddlers shall have a minimum of 10 hours of training in infant and toddler care approved by the department within 6 months after assuming the position. If the training is not part of the required preservice entry-level training under s. DCF 251.05 (3) (f)
it shall be obtained through continuing education.
Infants and toddlers are restricted to first floors and ground floors having direct grade-level exits unless the building is in compliance with all applicable building codes that permit children to be cared for on other levels. The building inspection report on file with the licensing office shall indicate where care may be provided for children under 30 months of age.
For centers licensed on or after January 1, 2009, the space occupied by cribs shall be deducted in determining the 35 square feet space requirement under s. DCF 251.06 (7) (a)
for each child.
The number of children under one year of age admitted at any one time may not exceed the number of cribs and playpens.
Cribs and playpens shall contain a tight fitting mattress and any mattress covering shall fit snugly over the mattress. Water beds may not be used by children under age 2.
Sheets or blankets used to cover a child one year of age or older shall be kept away from the child's mouth and nose, and if sleeping in a crib or playpen shall be tucked tightly under the mattress.
A child under one year of age may not sleep in a crib or playpen that contains soft or loose materials, such as sheepskins, pillows, blankets, flat sheets, bumper pads, bibs, pacifiers with attached soft objects, or stuffed animals. No blankets and other items may be hung on the sides of the crib or playpen.
In addition to the requirements under s. DCF 251.07
, all of the following apply to the care of infants and toddlers:
Child care workers shall respond promptly to a crying child's needs.
Each infant and each toddler shall be allowed to form and follow his or her own pattern of sleeping and waking.
Each child under one year of age shall be placed to sleep on his or her back in a crib unless otherwise specified in writing by the child's physician. The child shall be allowed to assume the position most comfortable to him or her when able to roll over unassisted.
Emphasis in activities shall be given to play as a learning and growth experience.
Throughout the day each infant and each toddler shall receive physical contact and attention such as being held, rocked, talked to, sung to and taken on walks inside and outside the center.
Routines relating to activities such as taking a nap, eating, diapering and toileting shall be used as occasions for language development and other learning experiences.
When a non-mobile child is awake, the child care worker shall change the child's body position and location in the room periodically. Non-mobile children who are awake shall be placed on their stomach occasionally throughout the day.
The non-walking child who can creep or crawl shall be given opportunities during each day to move freely by creeping and crawling in a safe, clean, open, warm and uncluttered area.
Child care workers shall encourage infants and toddlers to play with a wide variety of safe toys and objects.
When infants and toddlers are taken outdoors for a walk, equipment, such as strollers or wagons, shall be provided.
An adult-size rocking chair or other adult-size chair shall be provided for each child care worker.
Feed each infant and each toddler on the child's own feeding schedule.
Ensure that food, breast milk, and formula brought from home are labeled with the child's name and the date and are refrigerated, if required.
Ensure that food, breast milk, and formula offered to infants and toddlers is consistent with the requirements of the U.S. department of agriculture child and adult care food program.
Discard leftover milk or formula after each feeding and rinse bottles after use.
Offer drinking water to infants and toddlers, as appropriate, several times daily.
Hold a child who is unable to hold a bottle whenever a bottle is given. Bottles may not be propped.
Cover, date and refrigerate commercial baby food containers which are opened and foods prepared in the center which are stored. If not used within 36 hours, leftover food shall be discarded.
Hold or place a child too young to sit in a high chair in an infant seat during feeding. Wide-based high chairs, hook-on chairs or infant seats with safety straps shall be provided for children who are not developmentally able to sit at tables and chairs.
Encourage children to experiment with self-feeding with their hands and spoons. Eating utensils and cups shall be scaled to the size and developmental level of the children.
Offer a variety of nourishing foods to each child according to the child's developmental level and the parent's feeding instructions.
Procedures for heating infant formula, milk, and food shall be posted, and child care workers shall follow the posted procedures.
Infant bottles and nipples may not be reused without first being cleaned and sanitized.
Plan toilet training in cooperation with the parent so that a child's toilet routine is consistent between the center and the child's home, except that no routine attempts may be made to toilet train a child under 18 months of age.
Change each child on an easily cleanable surface that is cleaned with soap and water and a disinfectant solution after each use. The disinfectant solution shall be registered with the U.S. environmental protection agency as a disinfectant and have instructions for use as a disinfectant on the label. The solution shall be prepared and applied as indicated on the label.
If the diapering surface is above floor level, provide a barrier or restraint to prevent falling. A child may not be left unattended on the diapering surface.
Place disposable soiled diapers and gloves, if used, in a plastic-lined, hands-free, covered container immediately.
Place parent-supplied soiled cloth diapers in labeled plastic bags which are kept separate from other clothing.
Place center-supplied soiled cloth diapers in a plastic-lined, covered container for washing by a commercial diaper service.
Remove soiled diapers from containers as needed but at least daily for washing or disposal. Containers shall be washed and disinfected daily.
Apply lotions, powders or salves to a child during diapering only at the specific written direction of the child's parent or the child's physician. The directions on use shall be posted in the diaper changing area.
Recording the use of lotions, powders or salves during diapering in the medical log book is not required.
Wash the child's diaper area before each diapering with a disposable or fabric towel used only once.
Each self-contained classroom or area serving infants or toddlers who are diapered shall have a sink with hot and cold running water which is not used for food preparation or dishwashing within the room or area.
There shall be a solid barrier between the diapering area and any food preparation area.
There shall be a supply of diapers sufficient to meet the needs of the children using diapers at the center.
DCF 251.09 History
Cr. Register, January, 1997, No. 493
, eff. 8-1-97; CR 03-052
: renum. (1) (a) to be (am), am. (1) (title) and (intro.), (f), (2) (f) and (3) (a) 4., cr. (1) (j) to (L) and (2) (bm), r. (3) (a) 5. Register December 2004 No. 588
, eff. 3-1-05; corrections in (1) (e) and (h) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7.
, Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
; CR 07-102
: am. (1) (d) (intro.), 1., 2., (h), (4) (a) 3., 5. and 10. Register December 2008 No. 636
, eff. 1-1-09; 2015 Wis. Act 132
: am. (1) (e) Register February 2016 No. 722
, eff. 3-1-16; EmR1918: emerg. am. (1) (am) (intro.), renum. (1) (d) (intro.) to (1) (d) and am., r. (1) (d) 1., 2., am. (1) (e), (f), (k), (L), cr. (2) (intro.), r. (2) (i), am. (2) (j), (k), (3) (a) 2., 3., r. (3) (a) 4., 6., am. (3) (a) 8., 9., 13., 15., (b), cr. (3) (c), am. (4) (a) 2., 3., r. (4) (a) 9., am. (4) (d), eff. 1-30-19; CR 19-089: am. (1) (am) (intro.), renum. (1) (d) (intro.) to (1) (d) and am., r. (1) (d) 1., 2., am. (1) (e), (f), (k), (L), cr. (2) (intro.), r. (2) (i), am. (2) (j), (k), (3) (a) 2., 3., r. (3) (a) 4., 6., am. (3) (a) 8., 9., 13., 15., (b), cr. (3) (c), am. (4) (a) 2., 3., r. (4) (a) 9., am. (4) (d) Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4-1-20.
DCF 251.095 Exceptions and additional requirements for care of school-age children. DCF 251.095(1)(1)
This section applies to group child care centers that serve only school-age children and group child care centers that serve school-age children in groups separate from children who are under 5 years of age. This section does not apply to group child care centers where school-age children are served in groups with children under 5 years of age.
Exceptions for group child care centers serving only school-age children.
All requirements under ss. DCF 251.04
apply to group child care centers serving school-age children except for the following requirements:
Section DCF 251.06 (11) (b) 7.
concerning a permanent enclosure of outdoor space. If hazards exist, such as traffic or bodies of water, the boundaries of outdoor play space shall be made known to the children.
Exceptions for group child care centers serving only school-age children in school buildings.
The following requirements do not apply to group child care centers serving only school-age children in school buildings currently in use as school buildings: