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.
Raw fruits and vegetables shall be washed before being served or cooked.
Food returned from individual plates or from dining tables shall be discarded.
Food that was prepared but not served shall be dated, refrigerated promptly, and used within 36 hours, or frozen immediately for use within 6 months.
Food delivery vehicles shall be equipped with clean containers or cabinets to store food while in transit. Containers for cold food shall be capable of maintaining the temperature at or below 40°
F. and containers for hot food shall be capable of maintaining the temperature at or above 140°
Potentially hazardous frozen foods shall be thawed in the refrigerator, under cold running water or on the defrost setting in a microwave oven. No potentially hazardous frozen food may be thawed by leaving it at room temperature.
Wear clean clothing and effective hair restraints such as hair nets or caps.
Wash their hands with soap and warm running water before starting work, before and after handling food, and after using the toilet. Hands shall be dried with single use towels.
Participate in the orientation under s. DCF 251.05 (4) (a)
and shall document annual training of at least 4 hours in kitchen sanitation, food handling, and nutrition.
No one with an open or infected wound or sore may work in the food preparation area unless the wound or sore is covered and, if it is on a hand, a nonporous glove is worn on that hand.
A group child care center shall provide at least the number of washbasins and toilets with plumbing indicated in Table 251.06. Urinals may be substituted for up to 1/3 of the total required toilets.
- See PDF for table
When a center is licensed for more than 70 children, one additional toilet shall be provided for each additional 15 children or fraction thereof and washbasins shall be provided in the ratio of one for every 2 additional toilets and urinals or fraction thereof.
Children under the age of 30 months need not be included when determining the required fixtures under par. (a)
. However, in all cases, at least one toilet and one washbasin shall be provided.
If potty chairs are used for children under 30 months of age, the potty chairs shall be provided in a ratio of one for every 4 children or fraction thereof.
Potty chair receptacles shall be emptied and rinsed after use and the potty chair and receptacle shall be disinfected immediately using a product registered with the U.S. environmental protection agency as a disinfectant that has instructions for use as a disinfectant on the label. The disinfectant shall be used according to label instructions.
Steps or blocks shall be provided if the washbasins and toilets are not proportioned to the size of the children.
Soap, toilet paper, disposable paper towels or blower-type air dryers and a wastepaper container shall be provided and accessible to children using the facilities.
Toilet room door locks shall be openable from the outside and the opening device shall be readily accessible to the staff.
DCF 251.06(11)(a)(a) Requirement for outdoor play space.
A center shall have outdoor play space if children are present for more than 3 hours per day or if outdoor play is included in the center program.
(b) Required features of outdoor play space.
Except when an exemption is requested and is approved by the department under par. (c)
, a center shall comply with all of the following requirements for outdoor play space:
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.
There shall be at least 35 square feet of outdoor play space for each child under 2 years of age using the space at a given time except as provided in subd. 4.
The total outdoor play space of a center shall accommodate not less than 1/3 of the number of children for which the center is licensed or shall be a minimum of 750 square feet, whichever is greater. The number of children under one year of age need not be included for purposes of computing the minimum required outdoor play space if the center provides spaces in wheeled vehicles such as strollers and wagons equal to the number of children under one year of age.
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