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DCF 252.43(3)(b) (b) Each staff member shall be informed of and knowledgeable about his or her duties in the event of an emergency and appropriate evacuation routes.
DCF 252.43(3)(c) (c) All fire protection facilities and equipment, including fire extinguishers, shall be operable and maintained in working order by a qualified person. Each fire extinguisher shall be inspected once per year by a qualified person and have a label indicating its present condition and the date of the last inspection.
DCF 252.43(3)(d) (d) Before camp opens, written notification of the camp operation shall be given to the nearest fire department or forest ranger service for protection in case of fire. The notification shall include the dates the camp will be operational and the number and ages of children in care.
DCF 252.43(3)(e) (e) Any necessary permits required for operation of incinerators or for open fires shall be secured and available for review by a licensing representative.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: The department recommends that the licensee contact the local municipality and the Department of Natural Resources prior to the camp opening to determine what permits are required.
DCF 252.43(3)(f) (f) The clearing around open fires shall be free of burnable materials for a radius of 6 feet.
DCF 252.43(3m) (3m)Food preparation, service, and storage.
DCF 252.43(3m)(a) (a) When meals are prepared or heated on the premises, the kitchen area shall be equipped with a microwave or stove, 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.
DCF 252.43(3m)(b) (b) Camps preparing or serving only snacks are not required to have a sink unless dishes or utensils requiring dishwashing are used. Camps preparing or serving only snacks are not required to have a microwave or stove unless the snacks require heating.
DCF 252.43(3m)(c) (c) All equipment and utensils used for preparing, serving, or storing food shall have smooth hard surfaces, be easily cleanable, in good repair, durable, non-toxic, and free of cracks, seams, chips, and roughened areas, and be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
DCF 252.43(3m)(d) (d) Single-service utensils and food containers may not be reused.
DCF 252.43(3m)(e) (e) Foods shall be stored at temperatures that protect against spoilage. Milk and other perishable food shall be maintained at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
DCF 252.43(3m)(f) (f) Food shall be protected from potential contamination and adulteration, including dirt, insects, rodents, or animals. Dry foods, such as cereals, crackers, and pasta 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 and dated. 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.
DCF 252.43(3m)(g) (g) Raw fruits and vegetables shall be washed before being served or cooked.
DCF 252.43(3m)(h) (h) Meals shall be prepared at the base camp in a central kitchen operated by the camp or in another location that has been inspected by a representative of a state agency. 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 degrees Fahrenheit and containers for hot food shall be capable of maintaining the temperature at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: The rules for restaurants and other public eating establishments are in ss. ATCP 75.101 to 75.112. Chapter ATCP 75 is at
DCF 252.43(3m)(i) (i) Extra 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.
DCF 252.43(4) (4)Water.
DCF 252.43(4)(a) (a) A supply of safe drinking water shall be available to children at all times from disposable cups, covered water bottles labeled with the child's name, or angle jet type drinking fountains. Common use of drinking cups is prohibited.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: It is recommended that single-use disposable water bottles not be reused.
DCF 252.43(4)(b)1.1. When a public water system is not available, a private well may be used if it is approved by the department of natural resources. At least 2 weeks prior to the camp opening each year, water samples from an approved well shall be tested for lead and bacteria by a laboratory certified under ch. ATCP 77. The water supply shall be bacteriologically safe. The laboratory report shall be made available to the department upon request.
DCF 252.43(4)(b)2. 2. If the results of the water test under subd. 1. indicate the water is bacteriologically unsafe, the water shall be appropriately treated and re-tested until it is determined to be safe. Bottled water shall be used on a temporary basis until the water is determined to be safe.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: Camps using a private well that serves 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 office from the list at
DCF 252.43(4)(d) (d) Where running water is not available, a covered drinking water container that is easily distinguishable from other containers, constructed of a food grade material that does not permit the water to become contaminated by dirt, insects, or animals, and suitable for pouring or equipped with a faucet shall be provided. Dipping into water from the container is prohibited. The container shall be cleaned and sanitized daily. The water source shall be a public water supply or as specified in par. (b).
DCF 252.43(5) (5)Washrooms and toilet facilities.
DCF 252.43(5)(a) (a) Handwashing and toileting facilities shall be provided and accessible to children.
DCF 252.43(5)(b) (b) Single-use disposable towels shall be provided and accessible to children.
DCF 252.43(5)(c) (c) Soap, toilet paper, and a wastepaper container shall be provided and accessible to children.
DCF 252.43(5)(d) (d) Outdoor toilets, when used, shall be constructed according to the requirements of the applicable Wisconsin commercial building codes and maintained in good repair.
DCF 252.43(5)(e) (e) A portable toilet shall be in compliance with s. SPS 391.13 and local ordinances.
DCF 252.43(5)(f) (f) Plumbing shall comply with all applicable sections of Wisconsin plumbing codes.
DCF 252.43(5)(g) (g) Liquid waste disposal shall be connected to a public sewer, if available. If not available, liquid waste disposal shall be in accordance with chs. SPS 382, 383, and 384.
DCF 252.43(5)(h) (h) Handwashing and toilet facilities shall be in clean and sanitary condition.
DCF 252.43 History History: Cr. Register, October, 1984, No. 346, eff. 11-1-84; corrections in (1) (d) and (3) (e) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, July, 1999, No. 523; CR 04-040: am. (1) (d) and cr. (2) (a) 8. Register December 2004 No. 588, eff. 1-1-05; correction in (3) (c) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635; CR 07-102: r. and recr. (1) (a) to (c), (2) (a) 4., 5. and (3) (c) 1., am. (1) (d), (e), (2) (a) 3., 6., 7., (b) 1. to 4., (3) (a) 1., 2., 4., 5., (b) 1. to 3., (c) 2., 5., (d) 1., 2., 3., (e) 2., 4., 6. and 7., cr. (1) (f), (g), (2) (a) 9., (3) (c) 6. to 8. and (d) 2m., r. (2) (a) 2. c. and (3) (c) 3. Register December 2008 No. 636, eff. 1-1-09; correction in (3) (d) 2. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register December 2008 No. 636; correction in (3) (d) 2. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register August 2011 No. 668; correction in (3) (e) 7. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register January 2012 No. 673; EmR1918: emerg. r. and recr. (1) (f), cr. (1) (h) to (m), r. and recr. (2), (3), cr. (3m), (4), (5), eff. 1-30-19; CR 19-089: r. and recr. (1) (f), cr. (1) (h) to (m), r. and recr. (2), (3), cr. (3m), (4), (5) Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4-1-20; correction in (2) (title) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 2., Stats., Register 2020 No. 771.
DCF 252.44 DCF 252.44Program.
DCF 252.44(1)(1)Program planning and implementation.
DCF 252.44(1)(a) (a) Each day camp shall have a program of activities that shall be planned according to the developmental level of each child and each group of children and intended to expose children to a variety of cultures. The needs of children with disabilities shall be considered when planning the programming and activities for enrolled children. The program of activities shall focus on the out-of-doors and the natural environment and shall reflect the camp's written policies. The program shall provide each child with experiences which will promote all of the following:
DCF 252.44(1)(a)1. 1. An appreciation and understanding of the natural environment.
DCF 252.44(1)(a)2. 2. Large and small muscle development.
DCF 252.44(1)(a)3. 3. Intellectual growth.
DCF 252.44(1)(a)4. 4. Self-esteem and positive self-image.
DCF 252.44(1)(a)5. 5. Opportunities for recreation.
DCF 252.44(1)(a)6. 6. Social interaction.
DCF 252.44(1)(a)7. 7. Creative expression.
DCF 252.44(1)(a)8. 8. Self-expression and communication skills.
DCF 252.44(1)(a)9. 9. Literacy skills.
DCF 252.44 Note Note: With parental consent and consultation, it is recommended that camps who care for children who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) coordinate programming activities with the local school district.
DCF 252.44(1)(b) (b) The program shall:
DCF 252.44(1)(b)1. 1. Protect the children from excessive fatigue and from overstimulation.
DCF 252.44(1)(b)2. 2. Encourage spontaneous activities.
DCF 252.44(1)(b)3. 3. Be planned to provide a flexible balance each day of:
DCF 252.44(1)(b)3.a. a. Active and quiet activities.
DCF 252.44(1)(b)3.b. b. Individual and group activities.
DCF 252.44(1)(b)4. 4. Provide daily opportunities for children to play outdoors except during inclement weather or when not advisable for health reasons.
DCF 252.44(1)(b)5. 5. Provide reasonable regularity in eating, resting and other routines.
DCF 252.44(1)(b)6. 6. Provide daily periods when a variety of experiences are concurrently available for the children to select their own activities.
DCF 252.44(1)(b)7. 7. Limit the amount of time that children are kept waiting in lines or assembled in large groups during routines such as toileting and eating and intervals between activities.
DCF 252.44(2) (2) Child guidance.
DCF 252.44(2)(a)(a) Each day camp shall have a written policy on guiding children's behavior which provides for positive guidance, redirection and the setting of clear-cut limits. The policy shall be designed to help each child develop self-control, self-esteem, and respect for the rights of others.
DCF 252.44(2)(b) (b) If a camp uses time-out periods to deal with unacceptable behavior, time-out periods may not exceed 3 minutes, and the procedures shall be included in the camp's child guidance policy as specified in par. (a). 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 a counselor, reflect on behavior and gain self-control.
DCF 252.44(2)(c) (c) Actions that may be psychologically, emotionally or physically painful, discomforting, dangerous or potentially injurious are prohibited. Examples of prohibited actions include:
DCF 252.44(2)(c)1. 1. Spanking, hitting, pinching, shaking, slapping, twisting, throwing or inflicting any other form of corporal punishment.
DCF 252.44(2)(c)2. 2. Verbal abuse, threats or derogatory remarks about the child or the child's family.
DCF 252.44(2)(c)3. 3. Physical restraint, binding or tying to restrict movement or enclosing in a confined space such as a closet, locked room, box or similar cubicle.
DCF 252.44(2)(c)4. 4. Withholding or forcing meals, snacks or naps.
DCF 252.44(2)(c)5. 5. Actions that are aversive, cruel, frightening or humiliating.
DCF 252.44(2)(d) (d) Children shall not be punished for lapses in toilet training.
DCF 252.44(3) (3) Equipment and furnishings.
DCF 252.44(3)(a) (a) The camp shall provide program equipment and furnishings in a variety and quantity that allows staff to implement activities outlined in the written policy on program objectives and activities required under s. DCF 252.41 (1) (f) 5. and meets all of the following criteria:
DCF 252.44(3)(a)1. 1. Provides for large muscle development.
DCF 252.44(3)(a)2. 2. Provides construction activities and for the development of manipulative skills.
DCF 252.44(3)(a)3. 3. Encourages social interaction.
DCF 252.44(3)(a)4. 4. Provides intellectual stimulation.
DCF 252.44(3)(a)5. 5. Encourages creative expression.
DCF 252.44(3)(b) (b) All equipment and furnishings, whether or not owned by the camp, shall be:
DCF 252.44(3)(b)1. 1. Scaled to the developmental level, size and ability of the children.
DCF 252.44(3)(b)2. 2. Safe, durable, 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.
DCF 252.44(3)(b)3. 3. Placed to avoid danger of accident and collision and to permit freedom of action.
DCF 252.44(3)(b)4. 4. Used in accordance with all manufacturer's instructions and any manufacturer's recommendations that may affect the safety of children in care.
DCF 252.44(3)(c) (c) Equipment and materials which reflect an awareness of cultural and ethnic diversity shall be provided.
DCF 252.44(3)(d) (d) No trampolines or inflatable bounce surfaces on the premises may be accessible to children or used by children in care.
DCF 252.44(4) (4) Rest. When a session is more than 4 hours in length, there shall be a rest period or period of quiet activities of at least 30 minutes for all children under 5 years of age.
DCF 252.44(5) (5) Meals, snacks, and food service.
DCF 252.44(5)(a) (a) Food shall be provided in accordance with Table DCF 252.44 which is based on the amount of time children are present. Food may be served at flexible intervals, but no child may go without nourishment for longer than 3 hours. - See PDF for table PDF
DCF 252.44(5)(b) (b) Camp-provided transportation time shall be included in determining the total number of hours a child is present for the purpose of par. (a).
DCF 252.44(5)(c) (c) Food allergies of specific children shall be reported to cooks, counselors and substitutes having direct contact with children.
DCF 252.44(5)(d) (d) Menus for meals and snacks provided by the camp shall:
DCF 252.44(5)(d)1. 1. Be posted in the kitchen and in a conspicuous place accessible to parents.
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.