CHILD DAY CARE CENTER CLASS “A” MINIMUM STANDARDS
Louisiana Administrative Code Title 48 – Chapter 53
Department of Social Services Bureau of Licensing
|Child Day Care Class “A” Minimum
It is the intent of the legislature to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the children of the state who are in out-of-home care on a regular or consistent basis. Toward that end, it is the purpose of Chapter 14 of Title 46 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 to establish statewide minimum standards for the safety and well-being of children, to ensure maintenance of these standards, and to regulate conditions in these facilities through a program of licensing. It shall be the policy of the state to ensure protection of all individuals under care in child care facilities and placement agencies and to encourage and assist in the improvement of programs. It is the further intent of the legislature that the freedom of religion of all citizens shall be inviolate. This Chapter shall not give the Department of Social Services jurisdiction or authority to regulate, control, supervise, or in any way be involved in the form, manner, or content of any curriculum or instruction of a school or facility sponsored by a church or religious organization so long as the civil and human rights of the clients and residents are not violated.
The State of Louisiana, Department of Social Services, is charged with the responsibility for developing and publishing standards for the licensing of child care centers. The licensing authority of the Department of Social Services is established by R.S. 46:1401 et seq. (Act 367 of 1956 and amended by Act 152 of 1962, Act 241 of 1968, Act 290 of 1976, Act 678 of 1977, Act 409 of 1978, Act 286 of 1985, Act 1463 of 1997 and Act 1237 of 1999) making mandatory the licensing of all child care facilities and child placing agencies, including child care centers.
In accordance with Act 1237 of the 1999 Legislative Session, a child care center is defined as any place or facility operated by any institution, society, agency, corporation, person or persons, or any other group for the primary purpose of providing care, supervision, and guidance of seven or more children, not including those related to the caregiver, unaccompanied by parent or guardian, on a regular basis for at least twelve and one-half hours in a continuous seven-day week. Related or relative is defined as the natural or adopted child or grandchild of the caregiver or a child in the legal custody of the caregiver. A recognized religious organization which is qualified as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and does not operate more than twenty-four hours in a continuous seven-day week is not considered a child care center.
1. All child care facilities, including facilities owned or operated by any governmental, profit, nonprofit, private, or church agency shall be licensed.
2. The law provides a penalty for operation of a center without a valid license. The penalty for operation without a valid license is a fine of not less than $75 nor more than $250 for each day of operation without a license.
1. According to law, it shall be the duty of the Department of Social Services, through its duly authorized agents, to inspect at regular intervals not to exceed one year or as deemed necessary by the Department and without previous notice all child care facilities and child-placing agencies subject to the provisions of the Chapter (R.S. 46:1401 et seq.)
2. Whenever the department is advised or has reason to believe that any person, agency or organization is operating a non-exempt child care facility without a license, the department shall make an investigation to ascertain the facts.
3. Whenever the department is advised or has reason to believe that any person, agency or organization is operating in violation of the Child Care Center Class A Minimum Standards, the department shall complete a complaint investigation. All reports of mistreatment of children coming to the attention of the Department of Social Services will be investigated.
D. THE LOUISIANA ADVISORY COMMITTEE
1. The Louisiana Advisory Committee on Child Care Facilities and Child Placing Agencies was created by Act 286 of 1985 to serve three functions:
a. to develop new minimum standards for licensure of Class "A" facilities ("New" meaning the first regulations written after Act 286 of 1985);
b. to review and consult with the Department of Social Services on all revisions written by the Bureau of Licensing after the initial regulations and to review all standards, rules, and regulations for Class "A" facilities at least every three years; and
c. to advise and consult with the Department of Social Services on matters pertaining to decisions to deny, revoke or refuse a Class "A" license. 2. The committee is composed of 19 voting members, appointed by the Governor, including provider and consumer representation from all types of child care services, the educational and professional community and the director of the Bureau of Licensing who serves as an ex-officio member.
The Secretary of the Department of Social Services, in specific instances, may waive compliance with a minimum standard if it is determined that the economic impact is sufficiently great to make compliance impractical, as long as the health and well-being of the staff and/or children are not imperiled. If it is determined that the facility or agency is meeting or exceeding the intent of a standard or regulation, the standard or regulation may be deemed to be met.
2 Before beginning operation, it is mandatory to obtain a license from the Department of Social Services, Bureau of Licensing. To do so, the following steps should be followed:
3. When a center changes location, it is considered a new operation and a new application and fee for licensure shall be submitted. All items listed in Section 5303.A.2.g shall be submitted, except references and director/director designee qualifications if the director/director designee remains the same.
4. When a center changes ownership, the following information must be submitted prior to the sale or day of the sale in order for a license to be issued:
A If the above information is not received prior to the sale or day of the sale, the new owner must not operate until a license is issued. When the application is received, it will be treated as an initial application rather than a change of ownership.
5. When a center changes class type, the following information shall be submitted to the Bureau prior to the issuance of the new license:
6. A license shall be valid only for the address on the application to a particular owner and is not transferable to another person or location or subject to sale. Two licenses shall not be issued simultaneously for the same physical address.
7. When a business is sold, discontinued, the operation has moved to a new location, or the license has been revoked, the current license immediately becomes null and void.
8. All new construction or renovation of a center requires approval from the agencies listed in Section 5303.A.2.d and the Bureau of Licensing prior to occupying the new space.
9. The Bureau is authorized to determine the period during which the license shall be effective. A license is valid for the period for which it is issued unless it is revoked due to provider's failure to maintain compliance with minimum standards.
1. All fees shall be paid by certified check or money order only and are non-refundable.1. All fees shall be paid by certified check or money order only and are non-refundable.
2. An application fee of $25 shall be submitted with all initial applications. This fee will be applied toward the total licensure fee which is due prior to licensure of the provider. This fee is to be paid by all initial and change of location providers. The full licensure fee shall be paid on all change of ownership applications. The full licensure fee shall be paid for all class changes.
3. Annual licensure fees are required prior to renewal of the license. License fee schedules (based on capacity) are listed below:
Other licensure fees:
b. A processing fee of $5 for issuing a duplicate license with no changes.
1. The annual relicensing survey is similar to the original licensing survey. Documentation of the previous 12 months' activity shall be available for review. The director will have an opportunity to review the survey deficiencies (if any).
2. A license is issued for a period of up to one year based upon provider's compliance with minimum standards. Before expiration of the license, re-inspections by the Office of Public Health, Sanitarian Services; Office of the State Fire Marshal, Code Enforcement and Building Safety; City Fire (if applicable) and the Bureau of Licensing shall be required.
3. If the survey reveals that the provider is not meeting minimum requirements, a recommendation will be made to the Louisiana Advisory Committee on Child Care Facilities and Child Placing Agencies that the license be revoked or not renewed.
4. The Bureau shall be notified prior to making changes which may have an effect upon the license, e.g., age range of children served, usage of indoor and outdoor space, director, hours/months/days of operation, transportation, etc.
D. DENIAL, REVOCATION OR NON-RENEWAL OF LICENSE
An application for a license may be denied, or a license may be revoked, or renewal denied, for any of the following reasons:
1. violation of any provision of La. R.S. 46:1401 et seq. or failure to meet any of the minimum standards, rules, regulations or orders promulgated by the Department of Social Services;
2. cruelty or indifference to the welfare of the children;
3. conviction of or a plea of guilty or nolo contender of a felony, or any offense of a violent or sexual nature, or any offense involving a juvenile victim,
5. if the owner or director of the center is not reputable;
6. if the owner, director or a member of the staff is temperamentally or otherwise unsuited for the care of the children in the center;
7. history of noncompliance;
8. failure of the owner of the center to hire a qualified director;
9. disapproval from any agency whose approval is required for licensure;
10. non-payment of licensure fee and/or failure to submit application for renewal prior to the expiration of the current license;
11. any validated instance of corporal punishment, physical punishment, cruel, severe, or unusual punishment, physical or sexual abuse and/or neglect if the owner is responsible or if the employee who is responsible remains in the employment of the provider;
12. the center is closed and there are no plans for immediate re-opening and no means of verifying compliance with minimum standards for licensure;
13. any act of fraud such as falsifying or altering documents required for licensure;
14. provider refuses to allow the Bureau to perform mandated duties, i.e., denying entrance to the center, lack of cooperation for completion of duties, etc.;
15. presence or use of any recalled product by the provider that is listed in the newsletters issued by the Office of the Attorney General; or
16. failure to attend any mandatory training session offered by the Bureau.
E. APPEAL PROCEDURE
If the license is refused, revoked or denied because the provider does not ensure the compliance with the minimum requirements for licensure, the procedure is as follows:
1. The Department of Social Services, Bureau of Licensing, shall advise the director by certified letter of the reasons for refusal, revocation, or denial and the right of appeal.
2. The director may appeal this decision by submitting a written request with the reasons to the Secretary of the Department of Social Services. Write to Department of Social Services, Bureau of Appeals, P. O. Box 2944, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9118. This written request shall be post-market within 30 days of the director's receipt of the above notification.
3. The Bureau of Appeals shall set a hearing within 30 days after receipt of such a request. An appeals hearing officer shall conduct the hearing. Within 90 days after the date the appeal is filed, the hearing officer shall advise the appellant by certified letter of the decision, either affirming or reversing the original decision. If the appeal is denied, the provider shall terminate operation of the center immediately.
4. If the provider continues to operate without a license, the Department of Social Services may file suit in the district court in the parish in which the center is located for injunctive relief.
F. REQUIRED NOTIFICATION
Within 24 hours or the next workday, the director shall notify the Bureau of the following reportable incidents. A verbal report is to be followed by a written report:
1. any death of a child while in the care of the provider;
Anniversary - center's licensure year, determined by the month in which the initial license was issued to the provider/center and in which the license is eligible for renewal each year.
Bureau - the Bureau of Licensing of the Department of Social Services.
Capacity - the number of children the provider is licensed to care for at any given time based on usable indoor and outdoor square footage as determined by the Bureau.
Center - a child care facility as defined in Section 5302.A.
Center Staff - all full or part-time paid or non-paid staff who perform routine services for the child care center and have direct or indirect contact with children at the center. Center staff includes the director, child care staff, and any other employees of the center such as the cook, housekeeper, driver, substitutes, and foster grandparents excluding extra-curricular personnel.
Change of Location - change of physical address of facility.
Change of Ownership - transfer of ownership to someone other than the owner listed on the initial application. Ownership of the center business, not the building, determines the owner. Sale of a corporation also constitutes a change of ownership. Leasing of a child care business is not considered a change of ownership, but an initial application.
Clock Hour - involvement or participation in a learning situation for 60 minutes.
Comparable Setting - experience with pre-k, kindergarten, or first grade, or the operator of a registered family day home.
Department - the Department of Social Services of the State of Louisiana.
Direct Supervision - visual contact at all times.
Director Executive Director - the owner or administrator. If on-site and responsible for the management, administration and supervision of the center, the executive director is also the center director. If not on-site or not functioning as center director, the executive director maintains responsibility for the management, administration and supervision of the center(s) through a center director or director designee. Center Director - the on-site staff who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the center as recorded with the Bureau of Licensing. For the purpose of these regulations the term director means center director or director designee, if applicable. Director Designee - the on-site individual appointed by the director when the director is not an on-site employee at the licensed location. This individual shall meet director qualifications.
Discipline - the ongoing positive process of helping children develop inner control so that they can manage their own behavior in an appropriate and acceptable manner by using corrective action to change the inappropriate behavior.
Documentation - written evidence or proof, signed and dated by parties involved (director, parents, staff, etc.), on site and available for review.
Existing Center - a provider with a valid license at a particular location prior to the effective date of these standards.
Extra-Curricular Personnel/Therapeutic Professionals - individuals who are not employees of the center, but who come to the center to provide therapy, services, or enrichment activities for an individual child or group of children. Examples: computer instructor, dance instructor, librarian, tumble bus personnel, therapeutic personnel (occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist), nutritionist, early interventionist, nurse.
Group - the number of children assigned to a caregiver or team of caregivers occupying an individual classroom or well-defined space within a larger room on a consistent or daily basis.
Medication - all internal and external drugs, whether over-the-counter or prescribed.
Montessori School - a facility accredited as a Montessori School by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education under La. R.S. 17:3401 et seq.
Nighttime Care - care provided after 9:00 p.m. and in which no individual child remains for more than 24 hours in one continuous stay.
Non-Vehicular Excursion - the children are not in the licensed area (play yard or center)and not in a vehicle.
Owner or Provider - a public or private organization or individual who delivers child care services for children.
Owner or Provider - a public or private organization or individual who delivers child care services for children.
Parent - parent(s) or guardian with legal custody of the child.
Posted - prominently displayed in a conspicuous location in an area accessible to and regularly used by parents.
Shall or Must - mandatoryShould - urged, advised or may.
Staff-In-Charge - the on-site staff appointed by the director as responsible for supervising the operation of the center during the temporary absence of the director.
Student Trainee - an individual who observes in the center as a course requirement, is never left alone with children, nor counted in the child/staff ratio.
Temporary Absence - absence for errands, conferences, etc.
Transportation - arranging or providing transportation of children for any reason including field trips and transportation by contract.
Water Activity - a water-related activity in which children, under adult supervision, are in, on, near, or immersed in a body of water such as swimming pools, wading pools, water parks, lakes, rivers or beaches, etc.
Visitor - anyone who enters the facility other than center staff, therapeutic professionals, extracurricular personnel, and in the case of a church or school, any other routine employees such as a pastor, principal, teacher, etc.
5305. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
A. A Louisiana child care license with current information and current expiration date shall be on display in an area accessible to and regularly used by parents and visitors, except for church affiliated centers (LRS 46:1408.D) that choose to keep the license on file and available upon request.
B. The provider shall maintain in force at all times current commercial liability insurance for the operation of a center to ensure medical coverage for children in the event of accident or injury. The provider is responsible for payment of medical expenses of a child injured while in the provider’s care. Documentation shall consist of the insurance policy or current binder that includes the name of the child care facility, physical address of the facility, name of the insurance company, policy number, period of coverage and explanation of the coverage.
C. Parents shall not be required to waive the provider's responsibility.
D. The provider shall have documentation of yearly sanitation inspection and current approval from the Office of Public Health, Sanitarian Services. If food is catered or transported, approval is needed from the health department.
E. The provider shall have documentation of yearly safety inspection and current approval from the Office of State Fire Marshal.
F. The provider shall have documentation of yearly safety inspection and current approval from the City Fire Department (if applicable).
G. The provider shall have certificate of occupancy (zoning), if applicable.
H. A daily attendance record for children, completed by the parent or center staff, including the time of arrival and departure of each child and the name of the person to whom the child was released, shall be maintained. This record shall accurately reflect the children on the child care premises at any given time. If the record is completed by center staff, that individual shall write the first and last name of the person to whom the child was released and sign his/her own name. Children who leave and return to the center during the day shall be signed in/out. A computerized sign in/out procedure is acceptable if the record accurately reflects the time of arrival and departure as well as the name of the person to whom the child was released.
I. A daily attendance record for staff, including the director/owner, to include the time of arrival and departure shall be maintained. Staff shall document in/out when not on the child care premises. This record shall accurately reflect persons on the child care premises at any given time.
J. The provider shall have an individual immediately available in case of emergency. The name and telephone number of the emergency person shall be posted near the telephone.
K. Any visitor to the center shall be accompanied by a staff person at all times.
5306. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES RELATED TO CHILDREN
A. Prior to admission, the director, in consultation with the parent, shall determine that the individual needs of each child can adequately be met by the center's program and facilities. Provider shall have a written description of admission policies and criteria which expresses the needs, problems, situations or patterns best addressed by its program.
B. A schedule of the day's plan of activities, allowing for flexibility and change, shall be posted. The program of activities shall be age-appropriate and shall be adhered to with reasonable closeness, but shall accommodate and have due regard for individual needs and differences among the children. The program shall provide time and materials for both vigorous and quiet activities for children to share or to be alone, indoor and outdoor play, and rest. Regular time shall be allowed for routines such as washing, lunch, rest, snacks and putting away toys. Active and quiet periods shall be alternated so as to guard against over-stimulation of the child.
C. Programs/movies with violent or adult content (including soap operas) shall not be permitted in the presence of children.
D. Children five years and younger shall have a daily rest period of at least one hour. Providers that serve children in half-day programs are not required to schedule napping periods for these children.
E. While awake, children shall not remain in a crib/baby bed, swing, highchair, carrier, playpen, etc. for more than 30 consecutive minutes.
F. DISCIPLINE The provider shall establish a policy in regard to methods of discipline. Any form of punishment that violates the spirit of this standard of discipline, even though it may not be specifically mentioned as forbidden, is prohibited. This written posted policy shall clearly state ALL types of positive discipline that are used and that the following methods of discipline are prohibited:
G. ABUSE AND NEGLECT As mandated reporters, all center staff shall report any suspected abuse and/or neglect of a child in accordance with LA R.S. 14:403 to the local child protection agency. This written policy as well as the local child protection agency’s telephone number shall be posted.
H. COMPLAINT PROCEDURE Parents shall be advised of the licensing authority of the Bureau along with the current telephone number and address. Parents shall also be advised that they may call or write the Bureau should they have significant, unresolved licensing complaints. This written policy as well as the current telephone number and address of the Bureau shall be posted.
I. OPEN DOOR POLICY Parents shall be informed that they are welcome to visit the center anytime during regular hours of operation as long as their child is enrolled. This written policy shall be posted.
J. NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY Discrimination by child care providers on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, handicapping condition, ancestry or whether the child is being breastfed is prohibited. This written policy shall be posted.
5307. CHILDREN’S RECORDS
A. A record shall be maintained on each child to include:
B. The provider shall maintain the confidentiality and security of all children's records. Employees of the center shall not disclose or knowingly permit the disclosure of any information concerning the child or his/her family, directly or indirectly, to any unauthorized person.
C. The provider shall obtain written, informed consent from the parent prior to releasing any information, recordings and/or photographs from which the child might be identified, except for authorized state and federal agencies.
D. The provider utilizing any type of recordings or taping of children including but not limited to digital recordings, videotaping, audio recordings, web cam, etc. shall obtain documentation signed and dated by the parent indicating their awareness of such recordings.
5308. RETENTION OF RECORDS
A. Documentation of the previous 12 months' activity shall be available for review. Records shall be accessible during the hours the facility is open and operating.
B. For licensing purposes, children’s information shall be kept on file a minimum of one year from date of discharge from the center.
C. For licensing purposes, personnel records shall be kept on file a minimum of one year from termination of employment from the center.
5309. REQUIRED STAFF
A. Each center shall have a qualified director who is an on-site full-time employee at the licensed location and is responsible for planning, managing, and controlling the center's daily activities, as well as responding to parental concerns and ensuring that minimum licensing requirements are met. When the director is not an on-site full-time employee at the licensed location, there shall be a qualified director designee who is an on-site full-time employee responsible for planning, managing, and controlling the center's daily activities, as well as responding to parental concerns and ensuring that minimum licensing requirements are met.
B. When the director or director designee is not on the premises due to a temporary absence, there shall be an individual appointed as staff-in-charge who is at least 21 years of age. This staff shall be given the authority to respond to emergencies, inspections/inspectors, parental concerns, and have access to all required information.
C. If the number of children in care exceeds 42, the director/director designee’s duties shall consist only of performing administrative functions.
D. There shall be regularly employed staff who are capable of fulfilling job duties of the position to which they are assigned.
E. Adequate provisions for cooking and housekeeping duties shall be provided. These duties shall not interfere with required supervision of children or required child/staff ratios. F. There shall be provisions for substitute staff who are qualified to fulfill duties of the position to which they are assigned.
G. Child care staff shall be age 18 years or older. The provider may, however, include in the staff-child ratio, a person 16 or 17 years old who works under the direct supervision of a qualified adult staff. No one under age 16 shall be used as child care staff.
5310. DIRECTOR QUALIFICATIONS
A. The director/director designee shall be at least 21 years of age.
B. The director/director designee shall have documentation of at least one of the following upon date of hire as director or director designee:
5311. PERSONNEL RECORDS
A. A record for each paid and non-paid staff person, including substitutes and foster grandparents shall be on file at the center. Personnel record shall include:
B. The following information shall be kept on file for therapeutic professionals and extracurricular personnel, e.g. computer instructor, dance instructor, librarian, tumble bus personnel, etc.:
C. The following information shall be kept on file at the center for each student trainee:
5312. STAFF DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING
A. ORIENTATION TRAINING
B. QUARTERLY TRAINING
C. ANNUAL REVIEW
D. CONTINUING EDUCATION
1. The director shall provide opportunities for continuing education of staff through attendance at child care workshops or conferences, for paid and non-paid staff who are left alone with children, or who have supervisory or disciplinary authority over children. The child care staff, excluding foster grandparents, shall obtain 12 clock hours of approved training per center’s anniversary year in job related subject areas. At least three of the 12 clock hours of training for directors/director designees shall be in administrative issues. Documentation shall consist of attendance records or certificates received by staff. This is in addition to the required training hours from the Department of Health and Hospitals, pediatric first aid and infant/child/adult CPR. Medication administration training by a Child Care Health Consultant may count toward fulfilling three of the mandated 12 hours of continuing education training. All training shall have prior approval by the Department of Social Services. Original certificates shall be made available upon request.
2. Cooks or drivers who are neither left alone with children, nor have supervisory nor disciplinary authority over children shall complete at least three clock hours of training in job related topics per center’s anniversary year.
E. CPR AND FIRST AID
1. A minimum of at least 50 percent of all staff on the premises and accessible to the children at all times shall have documentation of current infant/child/adult certification in CPR. Original cards shall be made available upon request. This training shall be approved by the Department of Social Services prior to acceptance.
2. Centers with multiple buildings or floors, however, shall have at least one currently certified staff in approved infant/child/adult CPR in each building and on each floor of the center.
3. A minimum of at least 50 percent of all staff on the premises and accessible to children shall have documentation of current pediatric first aid certification. Original cards shall be made available upon request. This certification shall be approved by the Department of Social Services prior to acceptance.
4. Centers with multiple buildings or floors, however, shall have at least one currently certified staff in approved pediatric first aid in each building and on each floor of the center.
5. At least one staff in each vehicle (center provided or contract) shall have documentation of current infant/child/adult CPR certification and pediatric first aid certification.
6. At least 50 percent of the supervising staff on the field trip shall have documentation of current infant/child/adult CPR certification and pediatric first aid certification.
7. Non-vehicular excursions shall require at least one staff in attendance and accessible to children at all times with documented current certification in infant/child/adult CPR and pediatric first aid.
F. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
NOTE: For additional information contact the Office of Emergency Preparedness (Civil Defense) in your area.
5313. WATER ACTIVITIES
5315. REQUIRED CHILD/STAFF RATIOS
A. Children shall be under direct supervision at all times including naptime. Children shall never be left alone in any room or outdoors without a staff present. Children, excluding infants, may be grouped together at naptime with one staff supervising the children sleeping. All children sleeping shall be in the sight of the naptime worker.
B. While on duty with a group of children, child care staff shall devote their entire time in supervision of the children, in meeting the needs of the children, and in participation with them in their activities.
C. Individuals who do not serve a purpose related to the care of children and/or hinder supervision of the children shall not be present in the center.
5319. FOOD SERVICE AND NUTRITION
A. Well-balanced and nourishing meals and snacks shall be provided as specified under the Child and Adult Care Food Program of the United States Department of Agriculture (See Appendix A).
B. Additional servings of nutritious food over and above the required daily minimum shall be made available to children as needed if not contraindicated by special diets.
C. Meals and snacks shall be served at two and one-half to three hour intervals.
D. Current weekly menus for meals and snacks listing specific food items served shall be prominently posted. Menu substitutions shall be recorded on or near the posted menu.
E. Children’s food shall be served on individual plates, napkins, paper towels or in cups, as appropriate.
F. Providers who do not serve breakfast shall have food available for children arriving in the morning without having eaten this meal.
G. Food shall not be sold to the children. Soft drink vending machines and other food dispensers for personnel use shall be located outside of the children's play areas.
H. Infants shall be held while being bottle-fed. An infant or any child who can hold a bottle shall not be placed in a crib, on a mat, cot, etc. with the bottle unless written permission is obtained from the parent.
I. A bottle shall not be propped at any time.
J. Daily written reports to include liquid intake, food intake, child’s disposition, bowel movements, eating and sleeping patterns shall be given to parents of infants.
K. Microwave ovens shall not be used for warming infant bottles or infant food.
L. Developmentally appropriate equipment shall be used at mealtimes, such as feeding tables, highchairs, etc.
M. Drinking water shall be available indoors and outdoors to all children. Drinking water shall be offered at least once between meals and snacks to all children. Water shall be given to infants only with written instructions from parents.
N. Children are not allowed to bring food into the center except under the following circumstances:
5321. HEALTH SERVICE TO THE CHILD
A. A provider that gives medication assumes additional responsibility and liability for the safety of the children. Effective January 1, 2005, the staff person(s) administering medication shall be trained in medication administration. The training shall be obtained every two years.
B. No medication of any type, prescription, non-prescription, special medical procedure shall be administered by center staff unless authorized in writing by the parent. Authorization shall include:
C. Medication or medical procedures to be provided on an as needed basis or maintenance prescription shall be updated as changes occur, or at least every three months by the parent.
D. All medication sent to the center shall be in its original container, shall not have an expired date, and shall be clearly labeled with the child's name to ensure that medication is for individual use only.
E. The provider shall follow any special directions as indicated on the medication bottle, i.e., before or after meals, with food or milk, refrigerate, etc.
F. If medication label reads “to consult physician”, a written physician authorization with child’s name, date, medication name and dosage must be on file in order to administer the medication in addition to the parental authorization.
G. Medication administration records shall be maintained verifying that the medication was given according to parent's authorization, which includes:
H. When parents administer medication to their own children on the child care premises, the following information shall be documented:
I. The provider shall not apply topical ointments/sprays/creams (i.e. sunscreen, insect repellant, diaper rash ointment, etc.) without a written one-time authorization signed and dated from the parent, unless changes occur.
J. Upon arrival at the center, each child shall be observed for possible signs of illness, infections, bruises, injuries, physical condition, etc. When noted, results including an explanation from parent and/or child shall be documented.
K. Incidents, injuries and accidents shall be documented. Documentation shall include name of child, date and time of incident, location where incident took place, description of how incident occurred, part of body involved, and actions taken. Documentation of all incidents/injuries/accidents shall include time of parental notification and signature of person notifying the parent. The parent or designated person shall be notified immediately in the following situations:
L. Documentation of illnesses and/or unusual behavior shall be maintained. Documentation shall include child’s name, type/description of illness or unusual behavior, date and time of onset and actions taken, time of parental notification and signature of person notifying the parent. The parent or designated person shall be notified immediately in the following situations:
5323. PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
A. INDOOR SPACE REQUIRED
B. OUTDOOR SPACE REQUIRED
5325. FURNISHINGS AND EQUIPMENT
A. A working telephone capable of incoming and outgoing calls shall be available at all times and readily available at the center. Coin operated telephones or cellular telephones are not acceptable for this purpose.
B. When a center has multiple buildings and a telephone is not located in each building where the children are housed, a written plan shall be posted in each building for securing emergency help.
C. Appropriate emergency numbers such as fire department, police department, and medical facility shall be prominently posted on or near the telephone.
D. The telephone number for poison control shall be prominently posted on or near the telephone.
E. The center’s physical address shall be posted with the emergency numbers.
F. All equipment and materials shall be appropriate to the needs and ages of the children enrolled.
G. All play equipment and equipment necessary for the operation of the center shall be maintained in good repair.
H. Play equipment of sufficient quantity and variety for indoor and outdoor use encouraging physical play and quiet play/activities which is appropriate to the needs and ages of the children shall be provided.
I. Low, open shelves, bins, or other open containers shall be within easy reach of the children for the storage of play materials in each play area.
J. Individual, labeled space shall be available for each child's personal belongings.
K. Chairs and table space of a suitable size shall be available for each child two years of age or older.
L. Individual and appropriate sleeping arrangements shall be provided for each child. Each child shall be provided with a cot, mat, or crib (baby bed) of appropriate size, height, and material, sufficient to ensure his/her health and safety. Each infant shall have a crib separated from all other cribs (non-stackable). Playpens shall not be substituted for cribs.
M. Mats may be used only if the area used for napping is carpeted or if the center is centrally heated and cooled. If mats are used, they shall be of adequate size and material to provide for the health and safety of the child.
N. Each child's sleeping accommodations shall be assigned to him/her on a permanent basis and labeled.
O. Sheets for covering the cot or mat shall be provided by either the provider or the parent, unless the cots or mats are covered with vinyl or another washable surface.
P. Sheets and coverings shall be changed immediately when soiled or wet.
Q. A labeled sheet or blanket shall be provided by either the provider or the parent for covering the child.
R. Cribs, cots, or mats shall be spaced at least 18 inches apart.
S. Cribs shall have spaces between crib slats of no more than two and three-eighths inches.
T. Infant bed railings shall be in the up and locked position at all times when the child is in the bed.
U. Trampolines are prohibited.
V. Infant walkers are prohibited.
W. Toy chests with attached lids are prohibited.
5327. SAFETY REQUIREM
A. Prescription and over-the-counter medications, poisons, cleaning supplies, harmful chemicals, equipment, tools and any substance with a warning label stating it is harmful or that it should be kept out of the reach of children, shall be locked away from and inaccessible to children. Whether a cabinet or an entire room, the storage area shall be locked.
B. Refrigerated medication shall be stored in a secure container to prevent access by children and avoid contamination of food.
C. Construction, remodeling, or alterations of structures shall be done in such a manner as to prevent hazards or unsafe conditions (fumes, dust, safety hazards).
D. Secure railings shall be provided for flights of more than three steps and for porches more than three feet from the ground.
E. Gates shall be provided at the head or foot of each flight of stairs to which children have access.
F. Accordion gates are prohibited unless there is documentation on file that the gate meets requirements as approved by the Office of Public Health, Sanitarian Services.
G. Unused electrical outlets shall be protected by a safety plug cover.
H. Strings and cords (such as those found on window coverings) shall not be within the reach of children.
I. First aid supplies shall be kept on-site and easily accessible to employees, but not within the reach of children.
J. All areas of the center used by the children, including sleep areas, shall be properly heated, cooled, and ventilated.
K. Areas used by the children shall be lighted in such a way as to allow visual supervision of the children at all times.
L. The center and yard shall be clean and free from hazards.
M. The provider shall prohibit the use of alcohol, tobacco, and the use or possession of illegal substances or unauthorized potentially toxic substances, fireworks, firearms, pellet or BB guns (loaded or unloaded) on the child care premises. This notice shall be posted.
N. The provider shall post “The Safety Box” newsletter issued by the Office of the Attorney General as required by Chapter 55 of Title 46 of the LRS 46:2701–2711.
O. Fire drills shall be conducted at least once per month. These shall be conducted at various times of the day and night (if nighttime care is provided) and shall be documented. Documentation shall include:
The Bureau recommends that one fire drill every six months be held at naptime.
P. The entire center shall be checked after the last child departs to ensure that no child is left unattended at the center. Documentation shall include date, time, and signature of staff conducting the visual check.
5329. NON-VEHICULAR EXCURSIONS
A. Written parental authorization shall be obtained for all non-vehicular excursions. Authorization shall include the name of child, type and location of activity, date and signature of parent, and shall be updated at least annually.
B. The provider shall maintain a record of all non-vehicular excursions activities to include date, time, list of children, staff, and other adults, and type of activity.
5331. GENERAL TRANSPORTATION (CONTRACT, CENTER PROVIDED, PARENT PROVIDED)
Providers who transport or arrange transportation of children assume additional responsibility and liability for the safety of the children. Whether transportation is provided on a daily basis or for field trips only, these general regulations shall apply.
A. Transportation arrangements shall conform to state laws, including seat belts and child restraints. NOTE: For additional information regarding state laws, contact Office of Public Safety.
B. Only one child shall be restrained in a single safety belt.
C. The driver or attendant shall not leave the children unattended in the vehicle at any time.
D. Each child shall safely board or leave the vehicle from the curb side of the street and/or shall be escorted across the street.
E. The vehicle shall be maintained in good repair.
F. The use of tobacco in any form, use of alcohol and possession of illegal substances or unauthorized potentially toxic substances, firearms, pellet or BB guns (loaded or unloaded) in any vehicle while transporting children is prohibited.
G. The number of persons in a vehicle used to transport children shall not exceed the manufacturer's recommended capacity.
H. The provider shall maintain a copy of a valid appropriate Louisiana driver's license for all individuals who drive vehicles (staff, contracted persons, parents) used to transport children.
I. The provider shall maintain in force at all times current commercial liability insurance for the operation of center vehicles to ensure medical coverage for children in the event of accident or injury. This policy shall extend coverage to any staff member who provides transportation for any child in the course and scope of his/her employment. The provider is responsible for payment of medical expenses of a child injured while in the provider’s care. Documentation shall consist of the insurance policy or current binder that includes the name of the child care facility, the name of the insurance company, policy number, period of coverage and explanation of the coverage. If transportation is provided by parents for field trips or transportation is provided by contract, whether daily or field trip, a copy of the current liability insurance shall be maintained on file.
J. The vehicle shall have evidence of a current safety inspection. In lieu of a visual inspection of a contracted vehicle, a signed statement by the agency representative verifying the expiration date of the current inspection is acceptable.
K. There shall be first aid supplies in each provider or contracted vehicle. First aid supplies (at least one per trip) shall be available for each field trip when parents provide transportation. In lieu of a visual inspection of a contracted vehicle, a signed statement by the agency representative verifying this information is acceptable.
L. There shall be information in each vehicle identifying the name of the director and the name, telephone number, and address of the center for emergency situations. In lieu of a visual inspection of a contracted vehicle, a signed statement by the agency representative verifying this information is acceptable.
5333. FIELD TRIPS (CONTRACT, CENTER-PROVIDED, PARENT PROVIDED)
All requirements for general transportation, Section 5331, also apply to field trips. In addition, the following standards shall apply when transportation is provided/arranged for field trips:
A. The provider shall maintain a signed parental authorization for each field trip. Field trip authorization shall include the type of service (contract vehicle, center owned vehicle, parent vehicle) used to transport children, event, location, child’s name, date and time of event, parent’s signature and date.
B. At least two staff, one of whom may be the driver, shall be in each vehicle unless the vehicle has a communication device and child/staff ratio is met in the vehicle.
C. The provider shall maintain a record of all field trips taken, to include date and destination, list of passengers (children, parents, staff) (going & returning) and method of transportation.
D. If transportation is provided by parents, a planned route shall be provided to each driver and a copy maintained in the center.
E. Children shall be supervised during boarding and exiting vehicles by an adult who remains on the outside of the vehicle.
F. The driver or staff person shall check the vehicle and account for each child upon arrival and departure at each destination to ensure no child is left on the vehicle or at any destination. Documentation shall include the signature of the person conducting the check and the time the vehicle is checked for each loading and unloading of children.
5335. DAILY TRANSPORTATION (CONTRACT OR CENTER PROVIDED)
All requirements in general transportation, Section 5331, also apply for daily transportation. In addition, the following standards all apply when daily transportation is provided/arranged.
A. A staff person shall be present when the child is delivered to the center.
B. The driver plus one staff are required at all times in each vehicle when transporting any child under five years of age.
C. When transporting children five years of age and older, the driver plus one staff person shall be in each contracted or center provided vehicle unless the vehicle has a communication device which allows staff to contact emergency personnel, and the child/staff ratio is met in the vehicle.
D. Each driver or attendant shall be provided with a current master transportation list including each child's name, pick up and drop off locations and authorized persons to whom the child may be released. Documentation shall be maintained on file at the center whether provided by center or contract.
E. The driver or attendant shall maintain an attendance record for each trip. The record shall include the driver’ name, the date, name of all passengers (children and adults) in the vehicle, the name of the person to whom the child was released and the time of release. Documentation shall be maintained on file at the center whether provided by center or contract.
F. The staff shall check the vehicle at the completion of each trip to ensure that no child is left on the vehicle. Documentation shall include the signature of the person conducting the check and the time the vehicle is checked. Documentation shall be maintained on file at the center whether provided by center or contract.
5337. CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS
The provider shall maintain a contract which is signed by the provider and a representative of the transportation agency outlining circumstances under which transportation will be provided. This written contract shall be dated, time limited and shall include verbiage in Section 5331.
5339. CARE FOR CHILDREN DURING NIGHTTIME HOURS
All minimum standards for child care centers apply to providers who care for children after 9:00 p.m. and in which no individual child remains for more than 24 hours in one continuous stay. In addition, the following standards shall apply:
A. There shall be a designated "staff-in-charge" employee who is at least 21 years of age.
B. Adequate staff shall be present in the center to meet the child/staff ratios as indicated in Section 5315; however, there shall always be a minimum of at least two staff present.
C. Meals shall be served to children who are in the center at the ordinary meal times.
D. Each child shall have a separate, age appropriate bed or cot with mat or mattress covered by a sheet for each child, as well as a covering for each child (bunk beds are not allowed).
E. There shall be a posted schedule of activities.
F. Evening quiet time activity such as story time, games, and reading shall be provided to each child arriving before bedtime.
G. Physical restraints shall not be used to confine children to bed.H. The center’s entrance and drop off zones shall be well-lighted during hours of operation.