H. Outdoor play areas. The facility must have access to an outdoor play area, with sufficient space for safe play for all Children, with drainage that prevents standing water.
- In playgrounds intended to serve Children of all ages, the layout of pathways, fencing, and the landscaping of the playground must show the distinct areas for the different age groups. The areas should be separated by a buffer zone, which may include, but is not limited to, shrubs or benches.
- Where hazardous conditions exist in the outdoor play area, the Children must be protected from those conditions by fencing or other appropriate barriers.
a. Hazardous conditions include, but are not limited to, roads, any body of water, active railroad tracks, sharp inclines or embankments, or any other dangerous area.
b. Fencing should be a minimum of 48 inches high. Any fully enclosed area must have at least one gate, which is secured with a childproof latching mechanism.
c. There must be an exit from the playground other than through a building.
- The indoor and outdoor active play equipment must be arranged to allow Child Care Staff Members to maintain line of sight supervision of all Children at all times.
- Appropriately fitted helmets must be worn for all activities when head injury risks are present (e.g. bicycles, scooters, rollerblades, skateboards, snowboard, and/or power wheels).
- Equipment that exceeds 36 inches in height at the climbable or standing surface shall have energy absorbing materials beneath it.
a. Energy-absorbing materials include loose fill materials such as playground wood chips, pea gravel, rubber tiles or mats, or sand.
b. Energy-absorbing material must extend beyond the equipment in all directions to prevent injury in the event of a fall.
c. If using loose-fill energy-absorbing materials, all swings, climbers, and slides must have a sufficient amount of energy-absorbing materials to prevent injury, based upon equipment height.
d. Concrete or asphalt must not be used.
- A variety of equipment suitable for the age and needs of all Children in care must be available. Climbers, swings and slides must be:
a. Firmly secured, clean, in proper repair and safely constructed; and
b. Located at a sufficient distance to prevent injury from any hard surfaces, including poles, fences, sheds and other play equipment.
- The play area must be free of hazards and visually inspected daily, prior to Children having access to the area.
- Sandboxes or sand piles must be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition.
- Outdoor play areas must provide shade.
a. The Child Care Facility shall ensure sun safety for Children by limiting sun exposure when UV rays are strongest, wearing hats, or applying sunscreen (unless directed otherwise by the Child’s parent).
b. Infants younger than six months must stay out of direct sunlight, and Child Care Staff Members may not apply sunscreen to an infant unless the Child’s parent provides a physician’s recommendation. Written documentation from the physician must be stored in the Child’s file.
- The Department will not require outdoor play space in Nursery School programs, if the curriculum includes at least 20 minutes of gross motor activities.
- In Child Care Facilities serving 13 or more Children, groups of Children may occupy a play area at the same time when:
a. Staff-Child ratios for each group are maintained at all times;
b. The Child Care Facility has a written policy regarding outdoor play, which includes:
i. The maximum number of Children that may be present at one time;
ii. Specific requirements for supervision, such as zoning of the play area for Children of different age groups; and
iii.Child Care Staff Member positioning and activities.
c. All Child Care Staff Members are trained and adhere to the outdoor play policy.
d. All parents/guardians must receive a copy of the written outdoor play policy.
I. Weapons. Firearms, hunting knives, bows and arrows, and other weapons are prohibited on the premises of the Child Care Facility.
J. Materials, toys, equipment and activities. Materials, toys, equipment and activities must be Developmentally and culturally appropriate for Children enrolled.
- The Child Care Facility must provide toys and equipment to encourage development for indoor and outdoor activities appropriate to the age range and number of Children.
a. Infants: A sufficient variety of toys, music and books designed to stimulate curiosity, small and large muscle development, hand-eye coordination, and the senses of sight, sound and touch.
b. Toddlers and preschool Children: A sufficient variety to offer activities in each of the following areas: blocks, dramatic play, language and literacy, arts and crafts, games and manipulatives (such as pegboards and puzzles), sensory activities (such as sand and water), science and nature, and music.
c. School-age Children: A sufficient variety to offer activities in each of the following areas: books and language, arts and crafts, games, science and nature, and music.
- Toys and equipment that have been recalled through the manufacturer or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) must be removed from the Premises, repaired, or replaced based on the recall information available.
- The facility must have access to extra Children’s clothing, in the event that clothes become soiled, damaged, or were not provided for the activities of the day.
K. Furnishings. The Child Care Facility must be furnished to meet the needs of the Children served.
- Easily accessible and individual space must be made available for Children’s outside clothing and personal possessions.
- The Child Care Facility must assign each Child his/her own toilet articles (toothbrush, brush, comb, etc.) and personal items (towel, drinking glass) when the use of such is offered.
- When bathing facilities are available:
a. Children must not take baths together or share the same bath water;
b. Tubs or showers must be cleaned before being used by a different Child;
c. Children must be given clean washcloths and towels; and
d. No Child under five years of age shall be left unattended while in the bathtub or shower.
L. Cribs, cots, and bedding.
- A crib or play yard that meets Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standards, available at https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/5023.pdf, must be provided for each Child up to 18 months of age.
a. No crib or play yard may be used for sleeping by more than one Child at a time.
b. Double or multi-decked cribs are prohibited.
c. Mats must be waterproof or washable.
d. Each crib must be equipped with a waterproof, firm, snug fitting mattress which is positioned within two finger widths on all sides of the crib frame.
e. Devices of any type that restrict the movements of Children must not be used in cribs.
f. Toys including mobiles and other types of play equipment that is designed to be attached to any part of the crib must not be used. Each play yard must be used with the original mattress or a replacement specified by the manufacturer.
g. Accessible Child Care Facilities must have at least one designated wheeled evacuation crib for non-mobile infants. Wheeled play yards are not approved evacuation cribs.
- Bassinets that meet CPSC safety standards may be used for infants up to five months of age, within appropriate weight limits. A Child Care Facility may not use a bassinet for an infant who can independently lift their chest off the sleep surface.
- Cribs, bassinets and play yards for infants less than 12 months old must not include soft or loose bedding including, but not limited to: bumper pads, pillows, quilts, comforters, blankets, sleep positioning devices, bibs or stuffed toys. Appropriately fitted arms-free wearable blankets are permitted.
a. Cots, mats, play yards, bassinets, and cribs used by any infant or toddler must be cleaned and sanitized between use by different Children, when contaminated, or at a minimum of once per week.
b. All crib, bassinet, and play yard mattresses will be covered by a snugly-fitted sheet.
c. Cribs, cots, beds, mats, or play yards used for sleeping must be arranged in a manner that ensures that they are spaced at least 2 feet apart to allow walking between while in use or separated by a solid divider on one side.
- A separate mat, bed or cot, with a blanket or sleeping bag, must be assigned to each Child under the age of five in care for longer than four hours. All bedding must be cleaned before being used by another Child. Bedding must be cleaned as needed, or at least weekly.
a. Blankets, sleeping bags, bedding, cots, and mats must be stored in a manner which ensures that sleeping surfaces are not touching or must be washed and disinfected before re-use if stored in a manner that allows sleeping surfaces to touch during storage.
b. Sheets must be washed or changed before being used by another Child. Sheets and all wearable blankets must be laundered as needed, but no less than weekly.
- Children must not be wrapped tightly in blankets and must not have their heads covered during sleep or rest times.