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Licensing Standards for DayCare Centers

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470 IAC 3-4.1-9

Sec. 9.

(a) Personnel Required. The day nursery shall provide substitute staff to replace employees on sick leave, vacation or absent for other reasons. A responsible adult age 18 or over shall always be readily available to substitute for a regularly assigned staff member in charge of a unit of children. Such person shall be on duty when the regularly assigned staff member is away from the group, for no matter how short a period of time, whether indoors or out.

In a small day nursery one staff member may carry multiple responsibilities. The director and teacher may be the same person provided that such person meets the qualifications for director. When the group of children enrolled is small enough to require the employment of only two persons to operate the nursery, provision shall be made for the person supervising the children to be able to call the second staff member to assist in emergencies without the necessity of leaving the children unattended. All child care staff shall work under the direct supervision of a teacher or the director.

Volunteers excluding parents, shall meet all the requirements and qualifications of the positions to which they are assigned when they are counted in the child-staff ratios.

All volunteers, regardless of whether or not they are counted in the child-staff ratios, shall meet the health requirements of 470 IAC 3-4.1-8(a).

(b) Child-Staff Ratios:

(1) Persons Counted in the Child-Staff Ratio.

(A) Staff. Only persons who are responsible for and directly engaged in supervising and implementing activities for children shall be counted in determining the child-staff ratios. Persons in the day nursery with multiple roles (teacher and cook, teacher and receptionist, etc.) shall be counted only when directly engaged with the children. Assignments of maintenance and housekeeping duties shall not interfere with the direct care of children.

Persons under age 18 shall not be included in determining the number of staff required for supervision of children.

(B) Children. Children of the director and staff members, who attend the day nursery, or are on the nursery premises for supervision and care, shall be counted in the number of children in the appropriate age groups.

Any children who are in attendance for only a part of a day are counted only while in the day nursery for determining staff requirements.

(2) Child-Staff Ratio/Class Size. The child-staff ratios must be posted in a conspicuous place in the day nursery.

(A) Chart. Child-staff ratios shall be maintained during all hours of operation.

Age of Youngest Child in Group Maximum # of Children to be Supervised by One Staff Person Maximum # of Children in One Class
2 years 5 15
3 years 10
4 years 12
5 years 15
6 years & older 20

*The maximum number of children per class is also determined by available space. Please refer to 470 IAC 3-4.1-14(a)(1), Indoor Play Area.

(B) Combined Age Groups. Where there is a combination of ages within a group, the number of required staff shall be determined on the basis of the age of the youngest child.

For special joint activities, or programs of limited duration (including field trips), there may be a combination of age groups, provided the child-staff ratio is maintained.

Children may also be regrouped for short periods after the day nursery opens and prior to closing, provided that staff are present to ensure safe supervision of the children.

(C) Combining Two and Three Year Olds. A day nursery whose entire attendance of two year olds is fewer than five may combine these children with three year olds. However, the maximum class size is 15 and the child-staff ratio is five children to one staff person.

Regardless of the number of two year olds enrolled, children between the ages of 31 months and 36 months, and who are toilet trained, may be grouped with three year olds at the option of the day nursery. If this is done, a child-staff ratio of seven children to one staff person is required, and the maximum class size is 14. These children shall be cared for in an area which is separate from other children. Diapers shall not be changed on the floor.

A separate class area and a diaper changing table shall be provided for each group of up to 15 two year olds. Centers newly licensed for two year olds shall provide a toilet, handwashing lavatory, and changing table in each two year old class area. The toilet must be in a bathroom which opens directly into the two year old area. The bathroom shall be provided with a closeable door and adequate ventilation. Diapering shall meet the requirements of 470 IAC 3-4.26(b)(3), Diapering and Care of Diapers.

Separate play facilities shall also be provided for two year old children, and their play materials and equipment shall be appropriate to their age, size, and stage of development.

(D) Separate Class Areas/Play Facilities. Separate class areas shall be provided for school age children at the same time unless separate play areas are provided. Day nurseries which enroll ten or more school age children shall have at least one staff member who is qualified by training and/or experience to work with this group. Whenever a room can accommodate more children than the ageappropriate class size, separate and easily definable areas shall be provided for each class.

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