Alert! This chapter may be affected by an emergency rule:
DCF 251.09(1)(b) (b) 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.
DCF 251.09(1)(c) (c) Child care workers shall document changes in a child's development and routines every 3 months based on discussion with the parent.
DCF 251.09(1)(d) (d) Each infant and toddler shall be cared for by a regularly assigned child care worker in a specific self-contained room or area. Infants and toddlers may not be transferred to the care of another child care worker or another group or room in order to adjust group sizes or staff-to-child ratios, except under one of the following circumstances:
DCF 251.09(1)(d)1. 1. During the first 2 hours and the last 2 hours of center operation.
DCF 251.09(1)(d)2. 2. When the number of children in a group is one or 2 children to one child care worker.
DCF 251.09(1)(e) (e) 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 entry-level training under s. DCF 251.05 (1) (f) or (g), it shall be obtained through continuing education.
DCF 251.09(1)(f) (f) 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 that children under 2 years of age may be cared for on other levels of the center.
DCF 251.09(1)(g) (g) Safety gates shall be provided at open stairways.
DCF 251.09(1)(h) (h) 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.
DCF 251.09(1)(i) (i) The number of children under one year of age admitted at any one time may not exceed the number of cribs and playpens.
DCF 251.09(1)(j) (j) 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.
DCF 251.09(1)(k) (k) Sheets or blankets used to cover the child shall be tucked tightly under the mattress and shall be kept away from the child's mouth and nose.
DCF 251.09(1)(L) (L) Children under one year of age may not sleep in a crib or playpen that contains soft materials such as sheepskins, pillows, fluffy blankets, bumper pads or stuffed animals.
DCF 251.09(2) (2)Daily program.
DCF 251.09(2)(a)(a) Child care workers shall respond promptly to a crying child's needs.
DCF 251.09(2)(b) (b) Each infant and each toddler shall be allowed to form and follow his or her own pattern of sleeping and waking.
DCF 251.09(2)(bm) (bm) 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.
DCF 251.09(2)(c) (c) Emphasis in activities shall be given to play as a learning and growth experience.
DCF 251.09(2)(d) (d) 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.
DCF 251.09(2)(e) (e) 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.
DCF 251.09(2)(f) (f) 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.
DCF 251.09(2)(g) (g) 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.
DCF 251.09(2)(h) (h) Child care workers shall encourage infants and toddlers to play with a wide variety of safe toys and objects.
DCF 251.09(2)(i) (i) Infants and toddlers shall be taken outdoors for part of each day except during inclement weather or when this is not advisable for health reasons.
DCF 251.09(2)(j) (j) Equipment shall be provided to take infants and toddlers out of doors for a walk.
DCF 251.09(2)(k) (k) An adult-size rocking chair or other adult-size chair shall be provided for each child care worker for the purpose of holding and rocking children.
DCF 251.09(3) (3)Feeding.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)(a) Child care workers shall do all of the following:
DCF 251.09(3)(a)1. 1. Feed each infant and each toddler on the child's own feeding schedule.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)2. 2. Ensure that food and formula brought from home are labeled with the child's name and dated, and are refrigerated if required.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)3. 3. Ensure that formula prepared by the center is of the commercial, iron-enriched type and mixed according to the manufacturer's directions.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)4. 4. Except as provided in subd. 6., provide formula or breast milk to all children under 12 months of age.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)6. 6. Provide a type of milk other than a type under subd. 4., or a milk substitute, only on the written direction of the child's physician.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)7. 7. Discard leftover milk or formula after each feeding and rinse bottles after use.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)8. 8. Offer drinking water to infants and toddlers several times daily.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)9. 9. Hold a child unable to hold a bottle whenever a bottle is given. Bottles may not be propped.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)10. 10. 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.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)11. 11. 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.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)12. 12. 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.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)13. 13. Offer a variety of nourishing foods to each child, such as cereal, vegetables, fruit, egg yolks and meat, according to the child's developmental level and the parent's feeding schedule.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)14. 14. Refrain from feeding a child directly from commercial food containers.
DCF 251.09(3)(a)15. 15. Refrain from heating breast milk in a microwave oven.
DCF 251.09(3)(b) (b) Procedures for heating infant formula, milk and food in a microwave oven shall be posted near the microwave oven. Child care workers shall follow the posted procedures for heating food, milk and formula.
DCF 251.09(4) (4)Diapering and toileting.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)(a) Child care workers shall do all of the following:
DCF 251.09(4)(a)1. 1. 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.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)2. 2. Change wet or soiled diapers and clothing promptly.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)3. 3. Change each child on an easily cleanable surface which is cleaned with soap and water and a disinfectant solution after each use with a chlorine bleach solution of one tablespoon bleach to one quart of water, made fresh daily, or a quaternary ammonia product prepared in accordance with label directions.
DCF 251.09 Note Note: A quaternary ammonia product is any of a group of compounds in which a central nitrogen atom is joined to four organic radicals and one acid radical, used as antiseptics and disinfectants. Benzalkonium chloride, dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, and dodecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride are the names of some common ammonium compounds that might identify a product as a quaternary ammonium product. The chemical name for bleach is sodium hypochlorite.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)4. 4. 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.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)5. 5. Place disposable soiled diapers and gloves, if used, in a plastic-lined, hands-free, covered container immediately.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)6. 6. Place parent-supplied soiled cloth diapers in labeled plastic bags which are kept separate from other clothing.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)7. 7. Place center-supplied soiled cloth diapers in a plastic-lined, covered container for washing by a commercial diaper service.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)8. 8. Remove soiled diapers from containers as needed but at least daily for washing or disposal. Containers shall be washed and disinfected daily.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)9. 9. Wash hands with soap and running water before and after each diapering or assistance with toileting routines. For children under one year, hands may be washed with soap and a fabric or paper washcloth.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)10. 10. 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.
DCF 251.09(4)(a)11. 11. Wash the child's diaper area before each diapering with a disposable or fabric towel used only once.
DCF 251.09(4)(b) (b) 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.
DCF 251.09(4)(c) (c) There shall be a solid barrier between the diapering area and any food preparation area.
DCF 251.09(4)(d) (d) There shall be a supply of dry and clean clothing and diapers sufficient to meet the needs of all the children at the center.
DCF 251.09 History 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.
DCF 251.095 DCF 251.095Exceptions and additional requirements for care of school-age children.
DCF 251.095(1) (1)Applicability. 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.
DCF 251.095(2) (2)Exceptions for group child care centers serving only school-age children. All requirements under ss. DCF 251.04 to 251.08 and 251.11 apply to group child care centers serving school-age children except for the following requirements:
DCF 251.095(2)(a) (a) Section DCF 251.06 (2) (b) but only in regard to protection of electrical outlets.
DCF 251.095(2)(b) (b) Section DCF 251.06 (8) (d) and (e) relating to shelves and storage space for clothing and personal belongings.
DCF 251.095(2)(c) (c) 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.
DCF 251.095(2)(d) (d) Section DCF 251.05 (1) (g) 2., relating to training for assistant child care teachers.
DCF 251.095(2)(e) (e) Section DCF 251.05 (3) (b), relating to supervision of children, does not apply to children 8 years of age and older in the child care center.
DCF 251.095(3) (3)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:
DCF 251.095(3)(a) (a) Section DCF 251.05 (1) (g) 2., relating to training for assistant child care teachers.
DCF 251.095(3)(b) (b) Section DCF 251.06 (1) (a) on maintaining a building inspection report.
DCF 251.095(3)(c) (c) Section DCF 251.06 (4) (a) on fire extinguishers.
DCF 251.095(3)(d) (d) Section DCF 251.06 (4) (j) on testing smoke detectors and fire alarms.
DCF 251.095(3)(dm) (dm) Section DCF 251.06 (5) (c) on the requirement that garbage containers be covered. All other requirements of this section shall be met.
DCF 251.095(3)(e) (e) Section DCF 251.06 (6) (b) on testing well water.
DCF 251.095 Note Note: The requirements in pars. (b) to (e) do not apply to centers serving only school-age children in school buildings because school buildings are covered in chs. SPS 361 to 365 and NR 109.
DCF 251.095(4) (4)Additional requirements for group child care centers serving school-age children.
DCF 251.095(4)(a)(a) Supervision.
DCF 251.095(4)(a)1.1. A center serving school-age children is responsible for the health, safety and well-being of a child between the time the child arrives at the center and the time the child is released to the parent or to another activity which is specifically authorized in writing by the parent.
DCF 251.095(4)(a)2. 2. The center shall have on file an agreement, signed by the parent, which specifies the attendance schedule to be followed and authorizes the child's release to activities away from the center.
DCF 251.095 Note Note: The licensee may use either the department's form, Alternate Arrival/Release Agreement — Child Care Centers, or the licensee's own form for securing the parent's signed agreement. Information on how to obtain the department's form is available on the department's website,, or from any regional licensing office in Appendix A.
DCF 251.095(4)(a)3. 3. School-age children 8 years of age and older may be authorized by staff to participate in center-sponsored activities in the child care center away from direct supervision by center staff.
DCF 251.095(4)(a)5. 5. School-age children 8 years of age and older may move between groups if a tracking method is implemented to ensure that child care workers know the whereabouts of each child assigned to the worker's care.
DCF 251.095(4)(b) (b) Staff qualifications.
DCF 251.095(4)(b)1.1. The administrator of a center serving only school-age children shall meet the requirements in s. DCF 251.05 (1) (d) 2. or department-approved experience, credits or courses in elementary education, physical education, child guidance or recreation or other department-approved training.
DCF 251.095(4)(b)2. 2. A center director or child care teacher of a center serving only school-age children shall meet the requirements of s. DCF 251.05 (1) (e) or (f), as appropriate, or shall substitute for those requirements department-approved experience, credits or approved courses in elementary education, physical education, child guidance, recreation or other department-approved training.
DCF 251.095(4)(b)3. 3. Each assistant child care teacher shall meet the requirements in s. DCF 251.05 (1) (g) or shall have satisfactorily completed at least 10 hours of training approved by the department in the care of school-age children within 6 months after assuming the position.
DCF 251.095(4)(c) (c) Program. A center serving school-age children shall have a planned program which provides a change from the routine of school through provision of:
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.