Serious Violations in Licensed Child Care

Every administrative rule is important to the quality of the program, but some administrative rules are more directly related to assuring that children are safe in child care settings. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has identified those rule requirements that, when violated, are likely to pose the most serious threat to the health, safety and welfare of children in care.

Family Child Care - Serious Violations

Licensed capacity 250.04(1)(a)

The number of children in the care of a family child care center at any time may not exceed the number for which the center is licensed.

Report - Incident or Accident 250.04(3)(a)

The licensee shall report to the department any death of a child in care, or any incident or accident that occurs while the child is in the care of the center that results in an injury that requires professional medical treatment, within 48 hours of the licensee becoming aware of the medical treatment.

Background checks 250.04(3)(e)

The licensee shall report to the department any known convictions, pending charges, or other offenses of the licensee, a provider, household members or other persons subjected to a caregiver background check which could potentially relate to the care of children at the center or the activities of a center Or; 250.04(5)(b) or (c).

Note: For employees or providers who are not the licensee, a completed background information disclosure form provided by the department that does not reveal any information that may preclude the person’s contact with children under 48.685, or DHS 12 prior to the first day of work and as required thereafter. Or; The results of the complete caregiver background check including any report of any investigation required under DHS 12 within 60 days after hire and as required thereafter.

Reporting abuse or neglect of a child 250.04(8)(a)

A licensee or provider who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected as defined in 48.02(1) and 48.981(1) shall immediately contact the county department of social services or human services or local law enforcement agency in compliance with 48.981.

Substance use 250.05(3)(h)

A provider and any other adult in contact with children may not consume beverages containing alcohol or any non-prescribed controlled substance specified in chapter 961, or be under the influence of any alcohol or non-prescribed controlled substance, during the hours of the center’s operation.

Supervision of children 250.05(3)(I) and (L)

Each child shall be closely supervised by a provider to guide the child’s behavior and activities, prevent harm and assure safety. AND The licensee shall implement a procedure to ensure number, names and whereabouts of children in care are known to provider at all times.

Exceeding licensing limit or staff-to-child ratio 250.04(a) or (b) or (c)

At no time may more than 8 children be in the care of the center. Or; The maximum number of children that one provider may care for is specified in Table 250.05. Or; If the size of the group or the age distribution of the children exceeds the number that may be served by one provider, an additional qualified provider shall be present.

Maintaining accurate attendance records 250.04 (6)(b)

The licensee shall maintain a current, accurate written record of the daily attendance on the form prescribed by the department that includes the actual time of arrival and departure for each child for the length of time the child is enrolled in the program.

Orientation of employees, volunteers and substitutes 250.05(2)(a)

Each employee, volunteer, or substitute shall receive an orientation before beginning work. The orientation shall be documented on a form provided by the department and kept in the employee file and cover all required topics.

Access to potentially dangerous items/access to firearms, ammunition 250.06(2)(b)

Firearms, ammunition or other potentially dangerous items located on the premises shall be kept in locked storage and may not be accessible to children.

Access to materials potentially harmful to children 250.06(2)(c)

Materials harmful to children, including power tools, flammable or combustible materials, insecticides, matches, drugs or any articles labeled hazardous to children, shall be in properly marked containers and stored in areas inaccessible to children.

Potential source of harm on premises (hazards) 250.06(2)(e)

The center’s indoor and outdoor child care space shall be free of hazards.

Hot tubs 250.06(2)(I) or (j)

A hot tub located in a room or area accessible to children shall have a visible, locked, rigid cover or be enclosed by a locked fence at least 4 feet tall. The lock shall be installed so that the lock is inaccessible to children. OR; If a hot tub is located in a room or area that is not intended for use by children, access to the room or area shall be controlled through the use of a visibly locked door. The lock shall be installed so the lock is inaccessible to children.

Swimming pools 250.06(12)(a)

Swimming pools on the premises of the center may not be used by children in care. Swimming pools on the premises shall be surrounded by a permanent enclosure as specified under sub. (11)(b)4. In addition, all of the restrictions in 1. – 5. apply.

Child management techniques 250.07(2)(c)1-5

Actions which are humiliating and frightening are prohibited.

Behavior of caregivers, employees or others 250.07(6)(a)2.a.

A licensee, provider, household member, employee, volunteer, visitor or parent whose behavior with respect to any child, adult, animal or property, on or off the center’s premises, raises reasonable concern for the safety of the children, may not be in contact with the children in care.

Medications 250.07(6)(f)6. or 3.

Medication for a child in care shall be administered by the center as directed on the label and as authorized by the parent. Or; Medications shall be stored so they are not accessible to children.

Pets or animals 250.07(7)(b)

Animals that pose any risk to the children shall be restricted from the indoor and outdoor areas used by children.

Transporting 250.08(2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7)

Emergency information, driver, vehicle, seat belt, vehicle capacity and supervision and smoking requirements.

Infant sleep positions 250.09(2)(c)

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.

Flaking or deteriorating paint 250.06(2)(k)

The premises shall have no flaking or deteriorating paint on exterior or interior surfaces in areas accessible to children. Lead-based paint or other toxic finishing material may not be used on any surface on the premises.

Compliance with laws 250.04(2)(a)

Serious for Background Information Disclosure form, Caregiver Background Checks, and all vehicle alarm citations.

Group Child Care - Serious Violations

Licensed capacity 251.04(1)(a)

The number of children at a group child care center at any time may not exceed the number for which the center is licensed.

Report - Incident or Accident 251.04(3)(a)

The licensee shall report to the department any death of a child in care, or any incident or accident that occurs while the child is in the care of the center that results in an injury that requires professional medical treatment, within 48 hours of the licensee becoming aware of the medical treatment.

Background checks 251.04(5)(a)2. or 3.

An employee’s file shall contain all of the following: 2. A background information disclosure form, completed prior to the employee’s first day of employment and as required thereafter, that does not reveal any information which may preclude the person’s employment under 48.685, or DHS 12. Or; 3. A complete caregiver background check as specified in 48.685 and DHS 12 including the results of any subsequent investigation related to information obtained as part of the background check within 60 days of employment and as required thereafter. Or; 251.04(3)(g). Any known convictions, pending charges or other offenses of the licensee, child care center employees or other person subject to a caregiver background check which could potentially relate to the care of children at the center or activities of the center by the department’s next business day.

Reporting abuse or neglect of a child 251.04(8)(a)

A licensee, employee or volunteer at a child care center who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected as defined in 48.02(1) or 48.981 (1) shall immediately contact the county department of social services or human services or a local law enforcement agency, as required by 48.981.

Teacher qualifications 251.05(1)(f)4.

Prior to assuming the position, a person hired to be a child care teacher shall be qualified by having completed one of the training and experience components shown in a.-j.

Behavior of caregivers, employees or others 251.05(1)(L)4a

No licensee, employee, volunteer, visitor or parent whose behavior gives reasonable concern for the safety of children may be in contact with the children in care.

Staff orientation 251.05(2)(a)

Each center shall develop and implement a written orientation program which all new employees, substitutes and regularly scheduled volunteers shall complete and document within their first week at the center.

Supervision of children 251.05(3)(c) or (f)

Each child shall be closely supervised by a child care worker. Or; The center shall implement a procedure to ensure that the number and names of children in care are known to assigned child care workers at all times.

Exceeding limit or staff-to-child ratio 251.05(4)(b)

The ratio of child care workers to children may not be less than the minimum number of child care workers to children specified in Table 251.05 – D.

Maintaining accurate attendance records 251.04(6)(b)

The licensee shall maintain a current, accurate written record of the daily attendance and date of birth of each child for the length of time the child is enrolled in the program. The actual time of arrival and departure for each child shall be recorded if the hours of arrival and departure vary among children.

Maximum group size 251.05(4)(a) or (g) or (h)

The maximum number of children in a group may not exceed the number specified in Table 251.05-D. Or ; When infants and toddlers are part of a mixed-age group, the size of the group may not exceed 8. Or; When the group of children is a mixed age group of children 2 years and older, the group size shall be determined by the number of children that can be cared for by 2 child care workers as determined by the staff to child requirement under par. (f)

Potential source of harm on premises (hazards) 251.06(2)(a)

The indoor and outdoor premises shall be free of hazards including any recalled products.

Outdoor play space-potential source of harm (hazards) 251.06(11)(b)6

The outdoor play space shall be well-drained and shall be free of hazards such as uncovered wells, cisterns and unused appliances.

Potentially dangerous items on premises/firearms, ammunition on premises 251.06(2)(c)

Firearms, ammunition or other potentially dangerous items may not be kept on the premise.

Access to materials potentially harmful to children 251.06(2)(d)

Materials harmful to children, including power tools, flammable or combustible materials, insecticides, matches, drugs and other materials hazardous or poisonous to children shall be in properly marked containers and stored in areas inaccessible to children.

Alcohol or non-prescribed drug use 251.06(2)(I)

A licensee, employee, volunteer or other individual in contact with children may not consume alcoholic beverages or any non-prescribed controlled substance specified in ch. 961 on the premises of a center or be under the influence of any alcohol or non-prescribed controlled substance, during the hours of center’s operation.

Flaking or deteriorating paint 251.06(5)(b)1-2

There shall be no flaking or deteriorating paint on exterior or interior surfaces in areas accessible to children. Lead-based paint or other toxic finishing material may not be used on any surface on the premises.

Energy absorbing surfaces on playgrounds 251.06(11)(b)5

An energy-absorbing surfaces 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 and in a fall zone of 4 feet beyond and whenever play equipment is 4 feet or more in height.

Swimming pools 251.06(12)(a)

Above ground and in ground swimming pools on the premises may not be used by children in care and 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.

Child management techniques 251.07(2)(e)1-5

Actions that are aversive, cruel or humiliating, and actions that may be psychologically, emotionally or physically painful, discomforting, dangerous or potentially injurious are prohibited.

Medications 251.07(6)(f)5 or 3

All medications for a child in care shall be administered by the center as directed on the label and as authorized by the parent. Or; Medication shall be stored so it is not accessible to the children.

Pets or animals 251.07(7)(b)

Animals that pose any risk to the children shall be restricted from the indoor and outdoor areas used by children.

Transportation 251.08(2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7)

Transportation procedures, driver, vehicle, vehicle capacity and supervision, seat belt and car safety seat requirements.

Infant sleep position 251.09(2)(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.

Compliance with laws 251.04(2)(a)

Serious for Background Information Disclosure form, Caregiver Background Checks, and all vehicle alarm citations.