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Old 06-03-2010, 07:26 AM
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Default Outside Regulations?

What are the regulations regarding outside ages? How old does a child in your childcare have to be to be able to play outdoors alone? Do they have to be within sight and sound of the daycare provider or how does this work? I live in Minnesota and I don't really understand this rule and how to distinguish what is okay and what isn't. I have a few school agers starting soon and I know they are going to want to spend the majority of their days outdoors in which I want them to be able too, but I won't be able to do this with all of the other small children I have, so I guess I am wondering what is okay as far as letting kids play outdoors alone. I have a huge swingset with a fenced in backyard. I live in a split level and have a great view of my entire backyard. Please any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Also is it legal to use baby monitors. Like when the infants are napping can I use a monitor to take the older kids outside?
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:05 PM
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Default Play outside

You need to check with your county family child care licensor who can tell you what the licensing rules are. In general, you must be within sight or sound of all children. Each county may have a slightly different interpretation of the licensing rule which is why you want to hear what your county licensor has to say. If what the licensor says is not clear to you, ask to see a copy of Rule 2. Tom Copeland
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:21 PM
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You need to check with your county family child care licensor who can tell you what the licensing rules are. In general, you must be within sight or sound of all children. Each county may have a slightly different interpretation of the licensing rule which is why you want to hear what your county licensor has to say. If what the licensor says is not clear to you, ask to see a copy of Rule 2. Tom Copeland
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:40 PM
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What are the regulations regarding outside ages? How old does a child in your childcare have to be to be able to play outdoors alone? Do they have to be within sight and sound of the daycare provider or how does this work? I live in Minnesota and I don't really understand this rule and how to distinguish what is okay and what isn't. I have a few school agers starting soon and I know they are going to want to spend the majority of their days outdoors in which I want them to be able too, but I won't be able to do this with all of the other small children I have, so I guess I am wondering what is okay as far as letting kids play outdoors alone. I have a huge swingset with a fenced in backyard. I live in a split level and have a great view of my entire backyard. Please any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Also is it legal to use baby monitors. Like when the infants are napping can I use a monitor to take the older kids outside?
I don't think we can allow any age child at any time to be outside without direct supervision meaning we have to be outside with them. I wouldn't even consider doing it.

I would never allow that age group outside without outdoor suprevision. IME they are BY FAR the highest risk group for injury and harming one another. They are the highest risk group for destroying property.

I think you may be wrong about this: I know they are going to want to spend the majority of their days outdoors I think YOU may want them to be outside but they will most likely not. Especially after the first couple of weeks. My experience with this generation of school agers is that they are highly dependent on screen time and adult generated activities.

I know some providers enjoy this age group but I find them to be the most difficult age group to self entertain. I find they need really really close supervision. Mixing them in with infants and toddlers is a huge safety issue. They also don't take a nap which would not work for me.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:01 PM
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I'm in Minnesota as well. I think in ALL cases it is best to check with your licensor if you have any questions. I don't know what county you are in, but mine offers a supervision class that is very beneficial in helping to navigate the rule; and it counts as training hourse of course!

My licensor has said that school aged children DO NOT need direct supervision when they are outside. In fact, on the forms section of the licensing website there is a release form for schoolagers to attend activities outside of the daycare property WITHOUT supervision of the provider. I copied and pasted it for you:

I give permission for my school-age child, , to
participate in (name of activity),
outside the residence. I understand that my child will not be under the supervision of
the day care provider, substitute, or helper.

ALL of my schoolagers have one on file allowing them to go to the park across the street from my home.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:23 PM
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I think that even if it wasn't against regulations, that being outside with a baby monitor while the baby is inside might still be a big liability. There's a lot more noise outside that might make hearing the baby on the baby monitor harder. It would also take much longer to get to the baby if something does happen. And if you do have to run inside because something is happening to the baby, you would be leaving a bunch of kids outside or have to take the time to round them all up before responding to the baby.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:30 PM
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I'm in Minnesota as well. I think in ALL cases it is best to check with your licensor if you have any questions. I don't know what county you are in, but mine offers a supervision class that is very beneficial in helping to navigate the rule; and it counts as training hourse of course!

My licensor has said that school aged children DO NOT need direct supervision when they are outside. In fact, on the forms section of the licensing website there is a release form for schoolagers to attend activities outside of the daycare property WITHOUT supervision of the provider. I copied and pasted it for you:

I give permission for my school-age child, , to
participate in (name of activity),
outside the residence. I understand that my child will not be under the supervision of
the day care provider, substitute, or helper.

ALL of my schoolagers have one on file allowing them to go to the park across the street from my home.
Are you sure that form isn't for them to go to stuff like girl scouts, baseball practice or summer school? I can't imagine the parents can sign off your supervision like that. If you are being paid for their care how can the parents sign off your supervision? Hmmmmm that's interesting.

When I first started doing day care I allowed a school ager to walk my dog and go play with my neighbors in the subdivision close to my house. I had all the talks with him about not going into anyones house and exactly where he could go. Within a few weeks he was supposed to be walking my dog and went into a neighbors house I never met and just hung out to play Nintendo. I figured it out when the dog wasn't panting when he got back. It didn't make sense that he walked her for 20 minutes and she wasn't winded.

Ahh those were the days. Being able to send kids OUTSIDE to play as I did my entire childhood. We were never allowed to play indoors in the summer. We came in to go to the bathroom and eat lunch. Had to take drinks from the hose outside. If we came in too often to go to the bathroom we were called on it.

I think allowing them to be off property without you would really pose a problem with attending to them in an emergency. Would you be able to get all the kids out the door with you immediately and supervise them while you were attending to a broken ankle? That would be tough for me to do.

You know something that is funny. In my State you can have a Staff Assistant but even WITH basic first aid, cpr, mandatory reporter etc. that Staff Assistant can NEVER be alone with the children. I have one now that's been with me for about fifteen months and I can't leave her in the house with the children or allow her outside to supervise them. I have to be physically present any time she has the kids.

If I were allowed to let shcool agers outside without an adult with them.. what do you think would be safer? The staff assistant supervising the kids outside or the kids outside by themselves? Silly hugh?

For one State to allow school agers outside without an adult and another State not to allow an adult who could have their OWN day care alone to be alone with any kids at any time if she works for a home day care.

My Staff assistant qualifies to have her own home day care. With her age and her current training she could operate a home day care with six kids by herself. She could go work at a Center and have 15 school agers every day all day long without another adult physically present in the room with her. But if she works for me.. she has to be DIRECTLY supervised at all times. When she is approved by the DHS after a child abuse check and a criminal background check they send a "notice of decision" saying she is approved to work at my day care. If she was at a center they would just receive a notice saying she has passed and can work there. When she works for a home day care they send a letter sayig she is approved AND in BIG BOLD letters it says "you are never to be alone with the children". LOL

But in your State the kids can outside by themselves....

crazy

I DO think school agers and even 4-6 year olds should be able to play outside without an adult phsycially out there as long as you can see what they are doing from indoors and hear what's going on. I don't think my State does though. When asked in training what "careful supervision at all times" meant we were told we can't even go to the bathroom without having all the kids WITH us every time we go. This was DHS trainers saying this.

We protested saying that it's inappropriate for us to potty in front of the kids or change our girly girl stuff in front of them.. their response? Put the kids in the hallway right outside the door or in the bathroom with you and turn the kids back away from you but you must be able to see and hear them at all times they are up.

WOW what a difference a State makes
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
When asked in training what "careful supervision at all times" meant we were told we can't even go to the bathroom without having all the kids WITH us every time we go. This was DHS trainers saying this.

We protested saying that it's inappropriate for us to potty in front of the kids or change our girly girl stuff in front of them.. their response? Put the kids in the hallway right outside the door or in the bathroom with you and turn the kids back away from you but you must be able to see and hear them at all times they are up.

WOW what a difference a State makes
That's crazy!! It sounds like my licensing proccess was much easier than it is in many other states. Here in Hawaii you don't have to take any training classes or anything like that to get licensed. You just have to go through one interview and have your house certified as well as one child observation.

When my case manager was out at my house I asked her about what they consider supervision and she told me that you have to be within sight or sound of the children. She told me I could have a baby monitor down stairs and be upstairs as long as I could here them. Of course I don't do that unless they are napping and I am making my bed or something. I do use a baby monitor if I am outside with the toddlers and the infant is sleeping inside. I have a pretty small fully enclosed yard however and it would be easy to rally the kids inside if the baby began to cry.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:43 PM
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I'm in NY state and we can allow schoolagers out of our sight (on daycare property) with written permission from the parent as long as we check on them every 15 min.

I have 2 school age daycare girls and my own 4 girls and they play outside very well together. I have a large window in direct view of them so I peak out at them a lot when I have to be inside with the little ones. It really does depend on the kids too..I had school age kids last year that I couldn't trust to be outside by themselves..and they are no longer here due to behavior.

I was wondering about the baby monitor outside too...I don't have any infants..my daycare boys are 2, 17 months, and 4....I looked in my regulation book and all I could find was I have to remain on the same floor level while kids are napping. My house is only a single level..but I'm guessing it will be a no no. I will be calling to ask..while they are napping it would be nice to pop outside on the deck watching the other kids play on the playset...I don't see much harm with it as I'm only a couple steps away from the back door, but rules can be strict for safety so it's always best to check first.
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:36 AM
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Are you sure that form isn't for them to go to stuff like girl scouts, baseball practice or summer school? I can't imagine the parents can sign off your supervision like that. If you are being paid for their care how can the parents sign off your supervision? Hmmmmm that's interesting.
Yep! Lucky me!!!

This is from the rule summary:

"Supervision: A caregiver must be within sight
or hearing of an infant, toddler or preschooler at
all times so that the caregiver is capable of intervening to protect each child’s health and safety. The provider must be available for assistance and care for school-age children."

And yes, the waiver form is for ANY activity that I am not supervising. If they were going to scouts and an adult wasn't picking them up, then it would cover them to and from scouts. If an adult was signing them out, I wouldn't need a waiver. Same deal, kids leaving to go to the park across the street or kids leaving (on their own) to go to scouts.
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:38 AM
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For the record, the schoolagers that I am speaking of are going in to 5th grade. This is the 2nd year that I have allowed them to go to the park without me. I wouldn't dream of allowing my younger schoolagers even to play outside of my fenced area without me. Common sense, it's a good thing.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:47 AM
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For the record, the schoolagers that I am speaking of are going in to 5th grade. This is the 2nd year that I have allowed them to go to the park without me. I wouldn't dream of allowing my younger schoolagers even to play outside of my fenced area without me. Common sense, it's a good thing.
You are so lucky.

That's an awesome reg for you. You get to use your JUDGEMENT which we seem to be allowed to do less and less... right?

The only thing I would encourage you to do.. which you probably have already thought of.. .is to set up a plan to get your body over to the park in an instant should there be an injury where the kid can't move. I would drill that with the kids and practice it a few times so you can feel comfortable should the time come that you need to do that.

I had an experience a couple of years ago when my then co-provider (who could be alone with eight kids) had my son and her daughter at the park. My son decided to jump off the top of the equipment and hurt his ankle. He couldn't move.

I had kids in my house and had to scramble to get over there (500 feet). I ended up having to put him in his wagon.. drive up to the nearest point on the sidewalk.. and then off to the ER. It was a challenge with two of us.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:10 AM
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Is this Tom Copeland author of many of Daycare.com members' favorite family childcare books!?!?!?! WELCOME TO OUR SITE!
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:38 PM
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I have a question along the same lines. I have a 3 year old and a 4 year old at a day care that I have had nothing but issues with. Both my kids came home with bleeding bug bites all over their heads.. the kids told me that they were outside all day.. my 3 year old ran out of the house and I didn't realize it and I asked her why she said she doesn't need to ask at "Daniell's" I brought this up to her and she was very snotty and said I don't have to be outside with children over 2 I watch them out my window... BTW yard is not fenced in...
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:33 AM
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I have a question along the same lines. I have a 3 year old and a 4 year old at a day care that I have had nothing but issues with. Both my kids came home with bleeding bug bites all over their heads.. the kids told me that they were outside all day.. my 3 year old ran out of the house and I didn't realize it and I asked her why she said she doesn't need to ask at "Daniell's" I brought this up to her and she was very snotty and said I don't have to be outside with children over 2 I watch them out my window... BTW yard is not fenced in...
I would check your State Regs. They should be readily available in PDF on your States Childcare Resource page.

Now, if your provider is not Registered/Licensed then the rules would not apply to her. They are unregulated therefore can afford to have better prices (no mandatory$ training, equipment$/compliancy$ inspections or annual Fee$-fees) so many people choose to go that route. It is up to you to decide which provider to use.

As with anything, open communication with your provider is paramount to your happiness with her.

I, personally, am not allowed to leave any child I am caring for, for pay, unsupervised. If my restroom was any further away from my playroom I would have to do my daycare space in the main room instead. This goes for even 11-13 year olds. Also, a LOCKED 4 foot/4 sided fence is required. It gets very expensive to be Registered/Licensed.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:15 PM
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thanks. She is licensed and that is why we have to pay her for 36 hrs of babysitting even though we only have her babysit for 12 hrs... because she is licensed we have to pay a minimum of 144 a week regardless of how many hrs we take the kids unless it goes over the 36 hrs then it is at a rate of 2 dollars a kid per hour.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:42 PM
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thanks. She is licensed and that is why we have to pay her for 36 hrs of babysitting even though we only have her babysit for 12 hrs... because she is licensed we have to pay a minimum of 144 a week regardless of how many hrs we take the kids unless it goes over the 36 hrs then it is at a rate of 2 dollars a kid per hour.
Yeah, that is pretty common. My clients must do the same BUT they are all here almost 50 hours a week each. I am open 10 hours a day, there are kids here until 5 minutes of closing and all are in the drive as I open each morning.

The State limits the number of kids I can keep (6), my portion of the monthly bills stay the same...so divide the bills by the number of kids allowed and you have the rate I charge. I bet your provider is doing the same unless she is not married and must charge more.

I do hope you get things smoothed out soon. There is a perfect provider out there for every family.
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