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Licensing Standards for DayCare Centers


WAC 388-150-180
Staff Pattern and Qualifications

(1) General qualifications. The licensee, staff, volunteer, and other person associated with the operation of the center, who has access to the child in care shall:

(a) Be of good character;

(b) Demonstrate the understanding, ability, personality, emotional stability, and physical health suited to meet the cultural, emotional, mental, physical, and social needs of the child in care; and

(c) Not have committed or been convicted of child abuse or any crime involving harm to another person.

(2) Center management. The licensee shall serve as or employ a director, responsible for the overall management of the center's facility and operation. The director shall:

(a) Be twenty-one years of age or older;

(b) Serve as administrator of the center, ensuring compliance with minimum licensing requirements;

(c) Have knowledge of child development as evidenced by professional references, education, experience, and on-the-job performance;

(d) Have the management and supervisory skills necessary for the proper administration of the center, including:

(i) Record maintenance;

(ii) Financial management; and

(iii) Maintenance of positive relationships with staff, children, parents, and the community;

(e) Have completed the following number of college quarter credits or department-approved clock hours in early childhood education/child development, or possess an equivalent educational background, or be a certified child development associate:

(i) In centers licensed for twenty-five or more children, the director shall have completed forty-five or more credits;

(ii) In centers licensed for thirteen through twenty-four children, the director shall have completed twenty-five or more credits;

(iii) In centers licensed for twelve or fewer children, the director shall have completed ten or more credits; and

(iv) In (i), (ii) and (iii) above, one-third of the credits may be clock hours.

(f) Have two or more years successful experience working with children of the same age level as those served by the center as evidenced by professional references and on-the-job performance;
(g) Have planning, coordination, and supervisory skills to implement a high quality, developmentally appropriate program;

(h) Have knowledge of children and how to meet children's needs; and

(i) Have completed one of the following prior to or within the first six months of employment or initial licensure, except as provided in subsection (2)(j) of this section:

(i) Twenty clock hours or two college quarter credits of basic training approved by the Washington state training registry system (STARS); or

(ii) Current child development associate (CDA) or equivalent credential or twelve or more college quarter credits in early childhood education or child development; or

(iii) Associate of arts or AAS or higher college degree in early childhood education or child development.

(j) Directors who are already employed or licensed on the effective date of this rule must complete the training required in WAC 388--150-180 (2)(i) prior to or within twelve months after the effective date of this rule.

(3) When the director does not meet the qualifications specified in subsections (2)(e), (f), (g), and (h) of this section, the director or licensee shall employ a program supervisor responsible for planning and supervising the center's learning and activity program. In such a case, the director shall have had at least one three credit college class in early childhood development. The program supervisor shall:

(a) Be twenty-one years of age or older;

(b) Meet the education, experience, and competency qualifications specified under subsection (2)(e), (f), (g), (h), (i), and (j) of this section; and

(c) Discharge on-site program supervisory duties twenty hours or more a week.

(4) For the center serving the school age child only, the program supervisor may substitute equivalent courses in education, recreation, or physical education for required education.

(5) The director and program supervisor may be one and the same person when qualified for both positions. The director or program supervisor shall normally be on the premises while the child is in care. If temporarily absent from the center, the director and program supervisor shall leave a competent, designated staff person in charge who meets the qualifications of a lead staff person.

(6) The director and program supervisor may also serve as child care staff when such role does not interfere with the director's or program supervisor's management and supervisory responsibilities.

(7) Center staffing. The licensee shall ensure the lead child care staff person in charge of a child or a group of children implementing the activity program:

(a) Is eighteen years of age or older; and

(b) Possesses a high school education or equivalent; or

(c) Has child development knowledge and experience;

(d) Has completed one of the following prior to or within the first six months of licensure or employment except as provided in subsection (7)(e) of this section:

(i) Twenty clock hours or two college quarter credits of basic training. Training shall be approved by the Washington state training and registry system (Washington STARS); or

(ii) Current child development associate (CDA) or equivalent credential or twelve or more college quarter credits in early childhood education or child development; or

(iii) Associate of arts (AA) or associate of applied science (AAS) or higher college degree in early childhood education or child development.

(e) Lead child care staff persons who are already employed on the effective date of this rule must complete the training required in WAC 388-150-180 (7)(d) prior to or within twelve months after the effective date of this rule.

(8) The licensee may assign a child care assistant or aide to support lead child care staff. The child care assistant or aide shall be sixteen years of age or older. The child care assistant or aide shall care for the child under the direct supervision of the lead child care staff person. The licensee shall ensure no person under eighteen years of age is assigned sole responsibility for a group of children. The assistant or aide, eighteen years of age or older, may care for a child or group of children without direct supervision by a superior for a brief period time.

(9) The licensee may arrange for a volunteer to support lead child care staff. The volunteer shall be sixteen years of age or older. The volunteer shall care for the child under the direct supervision of the lead child care staff person. The licensee may count the volunteer in the staff-to-child ratio when the volunteer meets staff qualification requirements.

(10) Support service personnel. The licensee shall provide or arrange for fulfillment of administrative, clerical, accounting, maintenance, transportation, and food service responsibilities so the child care staff is free to concentrate on program implementation.

(11) The licensee shall ensure completion of support service duties occurs in a manner allowing the center to maintain required staff-to-child ratios.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.15.030. 98-24-052, § 388-150-180, filed 11/25/98, effective 12/26/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.15.020 and 74.15.030. 93-18-001 (Order 3623), § 388-150-180, filed 8/18/93, effective 9/18/93. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.15.030. 91-07-013 (Order 3151), § 388-150-180, filed 3/12/91, effective 4/12/91, 90-23-078 (Order 3103), § 388-150-180, filed 11/20/90, effective 12/21/90.]


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