An energy-absorbing surface, such as loose sand, pea gravel, or pine or bark mulch, in a depth of at least 9 inches is required under climbing equipment, swings, and slides whenever the play equipment is 4 feet or more in height and in a fall zone of 4 feet beyond the equipment. Shredded rubber and poured surfacing shall be installed to the manufacturer's specifications based on the height of the equipment.
Structures such as playground equipment, railings, decks, and porches accessible to children that have been constructed with CCA treated lumber shall be sealed with an exterior oil based sealant or stain at least every 2 years.
Wood containing creosote or pentachlorophenol (PCP), including railroad ties, may not be accessible to children.
The boundaries of the outdoor play space shall be defined by a permanent enclosure not less than 4 feet high to protect the children. 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.
DCF 251.06 Note
The Consumer Products Safety Commission has a publication entitled Handbook for Public Playground Safety, Pub. No. 325 which provides information on playground safety guidelines designed to help child care centers build safe playgrounds. To obtain copies of this publication and a related public playground safety checklist, contact the Consumer Products Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov
Outdoor equipment shall be safe and durable. The outdoor equipment shall be all of the following:
Used in accordance with all manufacturer's instructions and any manufacturer's recommendations that may affect the safety of children in care.
Of sturdy construction with no sharp, rough, loose, protruding, pinching, or pointed edges, or areas of entrapment, in good operating condition, and anchored when necessary.
Placed to avoid danger of injury or collision and to permit freedom of action.
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 par. (b)
for a center's outdoor play space.
A request for an exemption under subd. 1m.
shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by a plan for outdoor play space which 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 251.055.
Describes the arrangements to meet the toileting and diapering needs of the children.
DCF 251.06 Note
Note: Send the request for an exemption and the off-premises outdoor play space plan to the appropriate regional office in Appendix A.
The off-premises outdoor play space shall be free of hazards such as bodies of water, railroad tracks, unfenced in-ground swimming pools, heavily wooded areas and nearby highways and main thoroughfares.
There shall be at least 75 square feet of outdoor play space for each child 2 years of age or older using the space at a given time, and at least 35 square feet of outdoor play space for each child under 2 years of age 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 of par. (b)
, the department shall either approve the plan and grant the exemption or not approve the plan and therefore 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 or is no longer 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.
Above-ground and in-ground swimming pools on the premises may not be used by children in care. Swimming pools shall be enclosed by a 6-foot fence with a self-closing, self-latching door. Spaces between the vertical posts of the fence shall be 4 inches or less. A beach on the premises may not be used by children in care and access to a beach shall be restricted by a 6-foot fence.
A wading pool on the premises may be used if the water is changed and the pool is disinfected daily. Supervision and staff-to-child ratio requirements under s. DCF 251.055 (1)
shall be met.
A wading pool, pool, water attraction or beach that is not located on the center premises may be used by children, if all the following conditions are met:
The construction and operation of the pool shall meet the requirements of chs. SPS 390
and ATCP 76
for public swimming pools. A beach shall comply with any applicable local ordinance.
While children are in the water of a pool, wading pool, water attraction or beach, staff-to-child ratios for child care workers who can swim shall be:
When a mixed age group of children are swimming, the staff-to-child ratio shall be adjusted based on the number of children in the water and each child's age.
DCF 251.06 Note
Note: A worksheet to help calculate the staff to child ratio for mixed aged groupings during swimming is available from the department. Requests may be made to the licensing representative or regional licensing office listed 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 child care workers supervising the children. One child care worker shall supervise the children who are in the water, and the other child care worker shall supervise children who are not in the water.
DCF 251.06 History
Cr. Register, January, 1997, No. 493
, eff. 8-1-97; r. and recr. (11), Register, September, 1998, No. 513
, eff. 10-1-98; reprinted to restore omitted copy in (11) (b), Register, April, 1999, No. 520
; correction in (1) (a) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats.; CR 03-052
: am. (title), (1) (a), (2) (h) and (i), (3) (b) and (c), (6) (b) 2., (9) (b) 3. c., 4. b. and (c) 1., (9) (f) 5., (g) 1., c., (10) (a), Table 46.06 (title), (10) (b), (11) (b) 1. and 2. a., (11) (b) 3. and 6. and (c) 2. (intro.), cr. (2) (k) and (L), (6) (b) 3., (9) (c) 3m. and (11) (c) 1m., renum. (11) (b) 2. b. to d. and 3. a. to d. to be (b) 3. to 9., r. and recr. (12) Register December 2004 No. 588
, eff. 3-1-05; corrections in (6) (b) 1. and (12) (c) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
; CR 07-102
: am. (2) (a), (3) (intro.), (a) to (c), (4) (j), (6) (b) 1., 3., (9) (d) 2. a., (10) (f), (11) (a), (b) 5. to 7., (12) (a), (b) and (c) 3., cr. (9) (a) 1m. and (12) (c) 6., r. and recr. (9) (b) 4. and 5., r. (9) (c) 3. and (11) (b) 9., renum. (12) (c) to be (12) (c) (intro.) and am. Register December 2008 No. 636
, eff. 1-1-09; corrections in (12) (b) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
; correction in (6) (b) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register August 2011 No. 668
; correction in (12) (c) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register January 2012 No. 673
; correction in (12) (c) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register July 2016 No. 727
: emerg. am. (1) (a), r. and recr. (1) (b), am. (1) (e), (2) (d), (f), cr. (2) (gm), am. (2) (h), r. and recr. (2) (i), cr. (2) (im), (m) to (o), r. and recr. (3), am. (4) (j), r. (5), am. (6) (b) 1., r. (8), (9) (a) 6., am. (9) (b) 3. c., 5., r. (9) (e), am. (9) (d) 1. a., (f) 3., 4., (g) (title), cr. (9) (g) 1. d., (10) (dm), am. (11) (b) 5., 6., cr. (11) (b) 6m., am. (11) (b) 7., cr. (11) (bm), am. (11) (c) 2. b., (12) (a), (b), eff. 1-30-19; CR 19-089
: am. (1) (a), r. and recr. (1) (b), am. (1) (e), (2) (d), (f), cr. (2) (gm), am. (2) (h), r. and recr. (2) (i), cr. (2) (im), (m) to (o), r. and recr. (3), am. (4) (j), r. (5), am. (6) (b) 1., r. (8), (9) (a) 6., am. (9) (b) 3. c., 5., r. (9) (e), am. (9) (d) 1. a., (f) 3., 4., (g) (title), cr. (9) (g) 1. d., (10) (dm), am. (11) (b) 5., 6., cr. (11) (b) 6m., am. (11) (b) 7., cr. (11) (bm), am. (11) (c) 2. b., (12) (a), (b) Register March 2020 No. 771
, eff. 4-1-20.
Each group child care center shall have a written program of activities which are suitable for the developmental level of each child and each group of children. The program shall provide each child with experiences which will promote all of the following:
DCF 251.07 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.
DCF 251.07 Note
Note: 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.
The program schedule shall be planned to provide a flexible balance each day of:
Indoor and if the center is in operation more than 3 hours per day, outdoor activities.
Television may be used only to supplement the daily plan for children. No child may be required to watch television. Other activities shall be available.
Routines such as toileting and eating and intervals between activities shall be planned to avoid keeping children waiting in lines or assembled in large groups.
Daily periods when a variety of experiences are concurrently available for the children to select their own activities.
If a center is in operation for more than 3 hours per day, daily outdoor activities except during inclement weather or when not advisable for health reasons.
Child care workers shall give children individual attention.
A center that is open in the early morning and late afternoon shall have a written plan for activities which meet the individual needs of the children during those time periods. The plan shall include:
Use of materials and engagement in activities which for the most part do not duplicate materials or activities planned for the major part of the program.
The program as implemented shall reflect the center's written policies.
“Time-out period" means removing the child from the situation in a non-humiliating manner and placing the child in a designated location in order to interrupt the child's unacceptable behavior.
“Redirection" means directing the child's attention to a different program activity.
Each child care center shall develop and implement a written policy that provides for positive guidance, redirection, and the setting of clear-cut limits for the children. The policy shall be designated to help a child develop self-control, self-esteem, and respect for the rights of others.
If a center uses time-out periods to deal with unacceptable behavior, time-out periods may not exceed 3 minutes, and the procedure shall be included in the center's guidance policy. 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.
Use of time-out periods is prohibited for children under 3 years of age.
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.
Verbal abuse, threats or derogatory remarks about the child or the child's family.
Physical restraint, binding or tying to restrict movement or enclosing in a confined space such as a closet, locked room, box or similar cubicle.
Actions that are cruel, aversive, frightening or humiliating to the child.
DCF 251.07 Note
Prohibited actions by an employee or volunteer to a child by a staff member must be reported to the department within 24 hours after the occurrence under s. DCF 251.04 (3) (i)
Indoor furnishings and equipment shall be safe and durable. The equipment and furnishings shall be:
Scaled to the developmental level, size and ability of the children.