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Subject 290-2-2 DAY CARE CENTERS

Rule 290-2-2-.01 Legal Authority

These rules are adopted and published pursuant to the Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) Sec. 49-5-1et seq.**

Rule 290-2-2-.02 Title and Purpose

These rules shall be known as the Rules and Regulations for Day Care Centers. The purpose of these rules is to provide for the inspection, licensing and commissioning of day care centers within Georgia.**

Rule 290-2-2-.03 Definitions

In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires, the symbols, words and phrases set forth herein shall mean the following:** *

(a) "*" means that the rule after which the symbol appears must be complied with prior to the issuance of an initial license or commission and the acceptance of any children for care by the applicant for a license or commission.** *
(b) "**" means that the rule after which the symbol appears designates those rules, or parts thereof, that an after-school day care center must meet in lieu of compliance with all of the rules, in order to obtain a restricted day care center license to serve only school-age children.** *
(c) "Administrator" or "Director" or "Executive Officer" means the licensee or commission holder, or a person designated in writing by the licensee or commission holder, who is responsible for the daily on premises supervision, operation and maintenance of the center.** *
(d) "Adult" means any competent individual eighteen (18) years of age or older.** *
(e) "Chaperon" means any adult parent or other adult relative of a child enrolled in the center, who occasionally accompanies a group of children from the center on a field trip and assists the center's personnel in providing supervision of the children during the field trip. The chaperon must be under the direct supervision of center personnel at all times.** *
(f) "Child with special needs" means a child enrolled in the center who, due to a physical problem, mental health disorder, mental retardation or developmental disability, which is either permanent or temporary, requires some adaptation of the center's standard program of care or activities to accommodate the child's special needs. The special adaptations that the center agrees to provide must be in writing and the result of a mutual agreement between the center and the parents of the child with special needs. The agreement shall be made in connection with the child's enrollment or at the time that the special need becomes apparent to the center or the parents.** *
(g) "Commission" means the document issued by the department in lieu of a license upon request of the governing body which authorizes the governing body of a local church ministry, religious nonprofit school or nonprofit religious charitable organization to operate a day care center in compliance with these rules. The requirements to obtain a commission under these rules shall be identical in all respects to those for obtaining a license.** *
(h) "Commission holder" means the local church ministry, religious nonprofit school or nonprofit religious charitable organization which holds a commission from the department to operate a day care center at a particular location and which is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the day care center in accordance with these rules.** *
(i) "Correctable abuse, dereliction or deficiency" means any conduct of a licensee or commission holder which violates any of these rules wherein the department has determined that the rule violation is not the result of any of the following: flagrant and shocking intentional misconduct on the part of the licensee or commission holder or their employees, a reckless and serious disregard for the physical or mental health or the safety of a child in care whether or not a child sustains a physical injury; some causal connection between the rule violated and the death or serious injury of a child in care; or, a willful disregard of a particular rule where the licensee or commission holder has previously been cited for noncompliance with the particular rule(s) and has failed to maintain the remedial action(s) set forth in a previous plan of correction.** *
(j) "Crime" means any felony; a violation of O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-5-23, relating to simple battery, when the victim is a minor; a violation of O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-21-1, relating to contributing to the delinquency of a minor; a violation of O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-6-1et seq., relating to sexual offenses, excluding the offenses of bigamy or marrying a bigamist; a violation of O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-4-1, relating to criminal attempt when the crime attempted is any of the crimes specified by this paragraph; or any other offenses committed in another jurisdiction which, if committed in this state, would be one of the enumerated crimes listed in this paragraph.** *
(k) "Criminal record" means:** *
1. Conviction of a crime; or** *
2. Arrest, charge, and sentencing for a crime where:** *
(i) A plea of nolo contendere was entered to the charge; or** *
(ii) First offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; provided, however, that this division shall not apply to a violation of O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-13-1et seq., relating to controlled substances, or any other offense committed in another jurisdiction which, if it were committed in this state, would be a violation of O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-13-1et seq. if such violation or offense constituted only simple possession; or** *
(iii) Adjudication or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge; provided, however, that this division shall not apply to a violation of O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-13-1et seq. relating to controlled substances, or any other offense committed in another jurisdiction which, if it were committed in this state, would be a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 16 if such violation or offense constituted only simple possession; or** *
3. Arrest and being charged for a crime if the charge is pending, unless the time for prosecuting such crime has expired pursuant to O.C.G.A. Sec. 17-3-1et seq.** *
(l) "Day Care Center" or "Center" means any place operated by a person, society, agency, corporation, institution or group wherein are received for pay for group care, for fewer than 24 hours per day without transfer of legal custody, 19 or more children under 18 years of age, and which is required to be licensed or commissioned by the department.** *
(m) "Department" means the Georgia Department of Human Resources.** *
(n) "Employee" means any person, other than a director, employed by a center to perform at any of the center's facilities any duties which involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for at the facility and also includes any adult person who resides at the facility or who, with or without compensation, performs duties for the center which involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for by the center.** *
(o) "Employment history" means a record of where a person has worked for the past ten (10) years.** *
(p) "Evening care" means care provided to children at a center between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight.** *
(q) "Field trip" means an excursion or program activity with a specific destination away from the center. It does not include routine school or home pick-up and deliveries or transporting children to and from activities or events where the provider of the activities or the events assume responsibility for the children during the entirety of the event or activity, such as in dance classes or art lessons or regularly scheduled trips to the local public libraries.** *
(r) "Fingerprint records check determination" means a satisfactory or unsatisfactory determination by the department based upon a records check comparison of Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) information with fingerprints and other information in a records check application.** *
(s) "Group" means a specific number of children assigned to specific staff throughout the day. More than one group may occupy the same physical space.** *
(t) "Infant" means any child who is under twelve (12) months of age or any child who is under eighteen (18) months of age and who is not yet walking.** *
(u) "License" means the document issued by the department to authorize the licensee to whom it is issued to operate a center under these rules. The requirements to obtain a license under these rules shall be identical to those for a commission.** *
(v) "Licensee" means the person, partnership, association, corporation or agency holding a license issued by the department to operate a day care center at a particular location and having responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the day care center in accordance with these rules.** *
(w) "Nighttime care" means care provided to children at the center between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m.** *
(x) "Non-correctable deficiency" means an abuse, dereliction or violation of these rules which demonstrates any one the following: flagrant and shocking intentional misconduct by the licensee or commission holder or center staff where the licensee or commission holder knew or should have known of the staffs likelihood to commit such acts; an intentional or reckless disregard for the physical or mental health or the safety of a child in care which may or may not result in physical injury to the child by the licensee or commission holder or the center staff where the licensee or commission holder knew or should have known of the staff's likelihood to disregard; or some causal connection between the intentional violation of a rule and the death or major injury of a child in care; or an intentional disregard of a particular rule(s) which relates directly to the health and safety of a child in care where the licensee or commission holder has previously been cited for non-compliance with the particular rule(s) within the past twelve (12) months and has failed to sustain the remedial action(s) set forth in a previous plan of correction within that twelve-month period.** *
(y) "Parent" means the parent(s) with lawful custody of the child or the legal guardian(s) of a child enrolled or in the process of being enrolled in a day care center.** *
(z) "Preliminary records check application" means an application for a preliminary records check determination on forms provided by the department.** *
(aa) "Preliminary records check determination" means a satisfactory or unsatisfactory determination by the department based only upon a comparison of Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) information with other than fingerprint information regarding the person upon whom the records check is being performed.** *
(bb) "Personnel" or "Staff" means all persons including the administrator, all full or part-time employees and volunteers, who perform consistent services for the day care center and have direct or indirect contact with children at the center. Personnel does not include those relatives who function as chaperons on field trips occasionally nor does it include students in training for limited periods of time provided that these chaperons and students in training work under the direct supervision of center personnel at all times.** *
(cc) "Plan of correction" means a written plan prepared by the administrator submitted to and approved by the department which states the procedure(s), method(s) and time frame that will be used by the licensee or commission holder to correct the area(s) of non-compliance with these rules.** *
(dd) "Qualified or qualifications" means that a person possesses, in addition to the other requirements set forth in these rules, certain minimum personal and health requirements necessary to administer or be employed in a day care center. A person may be considered by the department to be qualified with respect to the minimum personal and health criteria when he or she: has no criminal record; is not suffering from a physical or mental condition which would interfere with the person's ability to perform adequately the job duties of providing for the care and supervision of the children enrolled in the center in accordance with these rules; has not made any material false statements relating to any licensure requirement to the department or the licensee or commission holder and has not been shown by credible evidence, e.g. a finding of fact made by a court, jury or department investigation or other reliable evidence, to have abused, neglected, or deprived a child or adult or to have subjected any person to serious injury as a result of intentional or grossly negligent misconduct.** *
(ee) "Qualifying experience" means verifiable experience working directly with children.** *
(ff) "Satisfactory determination" means a written determination that a person for whom a records check was performed was found to have no criminal record.** *
(gg) "School-age children" means children who are at least five (5) years old by the first of September of the current school year and who are eligible to attend public school.** *
(hh) "School-age day care center" means a day care center, or part thereof with separate physical facilities and a separate license, which provides day-time care exclusively to school-age children before and/or after the normal school day. Such programs may operate a full-day program solely for the school-age children enrolled in the program during the regular school year during those periods when school is not in session. A school-age day care center which only serves school-age children shall be eligible to receive a restricted day care license and must meet only the rules after which the symbol,"**", appears.** *
(ii) "Students in training" means students enrolled in an educational course of study which requires or permits them to observe and participate in the care of children at a day care center during a limited period of time, i.e. one (1) quarter, one (1) trimester or (1) semester, provided that they are under the direct supervision of center personnel at all times.** *
(jj) "Substitute" means a person who is routinely used to replace regular personnel and performs consistent services for the day care center during the temporary or emergency absence of regular personnel and who has a satisfactory criminal records check determination and has received orientation training. If any substitutes serve in any one (1) position longer than six (6) months, the substitutes so employed must meet all staffing requirements for that position.** *
(kk) "Supervision" means that the appropriate numbers of staff members are physically present in the area where children are being cared for and are providing watchful oversight to the children, chaperons and students in training. The persons supervising in the child care area must be alert, able to respond promptly to the needs and actions of the children being supervised, as well as the actions of the chaperons and students in training, and providing timely attention to the children's actions and needs.** *
(ll) "Unsatisfactory determination" means a written determination that a person for whom a records check was performed has a criminal record.** *

Rule 290-2-2-.04 Governing Body

Each center shall have a clearly identified governing body which shall be empowered and responsible for determining all policies and procedures and ensuring compliance with these rules and regulations. The chairperson or chief executive officer of the governing body shall complete a statement of responsibility on behalf of the governing body acknowledging the same in connection with any application for license or commission on a form provided by the department. If the center is individually owned, then the owner(s) will complete the statement of responsibility.** *

Rule 290-2-2-.05 Licenses, Commissions, and Exemptions

No person, partnership, association, corporation or entity shall operate a day care center in the State without having first obtained a license or commission to operate the center by demonstrating compliance with the necessary requirements set forth in these rules.** *

(a) Licenses and Commissions. The department may issue a temporary license or temporary commission, a restricted license or restricted commission, or a license or commission in accordance with these rules.** *
1. Temporary License or Commission. The department may in its discretion issue a temporary license or temporary commission if the health and safety of the children to be served by the center will not be endangered. A temporary license or commission will be valid for a specified period not to exceed one (1) year and may be issued in the following instances:** *
(i) when it is found that a day care center complies with all of the rules which have the

"*" designation but has not yet enrolled children; or** *

(ii) when the day care center is not in full compliance with these rules but has demonstrated satisfactory evidence that it is making progress toward meeting these rules and has submitted an acceptable plan of correction.** *
2. Restricted License or Commission. The department may in its discretion issue a restricted license or commission in lieu of a temporary or regular license or commission.

The restricted license may be granted either in connection with the initial application process for a license or commission or as a result of a subsequent determination made by the department concerning compliance with these rules. The restriction shall appear on the face of the license or commission and shall restrict a center from providing care or services which are beyond the capability of the licensee or commission holder to provide.

The restriction may also limit the number and/or age of the children served by the center.** *

3. License or Commission. A license or commission will be issued, upon presentation of evidence satisfactory to the department, that the center is in compliance with applicable statutes and these rules. The license or commission is valid for one year unless voluntarily surrendered by the holder, reduced to a restricted or temporary license or commission or suspended or revoked by the department.** *
(b) Qualifications Requirement. In order to obtain or retain a license or commission, the administrator of the center and its employees must be qualified, as defined in these rules, to administer or work in a day care center. The department may presume that the administrator and center employees are qualified, subject to satisfactory determinations on the criminal records checks. However, the department may require additional reasonable verification of the qualifications of the administrator and center employees either at the time of application for a license or commission or at any time during the license or commission period whenever the department has reason to believe that an administrator or center employee is not qualified under these rules to administer or work in a day care center.** *
1. Reasonable verification which may be required by the department may include, but need not be limited to any or all of the following: statement(s) from an attending physician or other health care professionals attesting to the mental and/or physical health of the applicant and/or staff member; letters of reference from designated persons in the community where the applicant and/or staff member intends to work or is working; certified copies of court orders and additional criminal records checks.** *
(c) License or Commission is Non-transferable. A license or commission to operate a day care center is not transferable in any way. Each license or commission shall be returned to the department immediately upon the expiration, suspension, revocation, restriction of the license or commission or termination of the operation.** *
(d) Renewal of License or Commission. A license or commission will be renewed upon the filing of a completed annual report and a determination by the department that the center presents satisfactory evidence of meeting the standards set forth in these rules.**
(e) Exemptions. All programs providing group care for children shall obtain either a license for an early care and education program or an exemption from the department. Any person or entity operating or planning to operate such a service believed to meet the criteria for exemption from licensure, as listed below, shall apply to the department for exemption by submitting the department's application for exemption.
1. The application for exemption shall be notarized and shall include:
(i) A valid and current e-mail address,
(ii) A written description of services, fees, ages of children to be served, months, days, and hours of operation and location,
(iii) Copies of written policies, advertisements, parental agreement forms, and other materials to support the criteria for exemption as determined by the department.
(iv) A sworn statement that the information provided to the department is accurate and truthful.
2. The exemptions granted by the department are exemptions from licensure, and do not affect the authority of local, regional or state health department officials, the state fire marshal, local fire prevention officials, local or regional building officials or zoning officials to inspect and approve facilities and locations. Programs operated in a residence are not eligible for exemption. Additionally, the exemption is only valid at the address listed on the application.
3. A program granted an exemption shall post in a prominent place near the front entrance of the facility both a copy of the exemption approval letter issued by the department and a notice provided by the department that will notify a parent or guardian that the program is not licensed and is not required to be licensed by the state. The notice shall be at least ½ inch letters and shall contain the department's telephone number and website address.
4. A program approved for exemption shall maintain attendance records for children. When a parent or guardian initially registers a child with an exempt program, the parent or guardian shall sign a form indicating the parent or guardian has been advised and understands that the program is not licensed and is not required to be licensed by the state. The program must maintain the attendance records and parental notification forms during the time the child is enrolled in the program and for one year after the child no longer attends the program. All records shall be made available to any authorized representative of the department upon request.
5. Any program granted an exemption from licensure that subsequently loses accreditation, closes and/or ceases operation shall notify the department in writing within five (5) business days of such a change. A program granted an exemption that has subsequent material changes in the operation of their program, such as, but not limited to, a change of physical location, a change inoperating months, days, and/or hours, or a change in the ages served shall be required to submit a new application for exemption to the department.
6. Programs granted an exemption may be required to periodically update the department on the status of their exemption and operating information such as but not limited to submitting an annual report that would contain information related to the exemption approval.
7. The department may rescind an approval for exemption when one or more of the following is determined by the department:
(i) The program no longer meets the criteria for the exemption.
(ii) The program provided false information during the exemption request process or during an investigation.
(iii) The program failed to comply with local, regional, and state health department, fire marshal, fire prevention, and building/zoning guidelines/requirements.
(iv) The program failed to provide the department with a valid and current e-mail address or with other information requested by the department, such as but not limited to, the months, days, and hours of operation, ages of children served and operating address.
(f) Exemption Categories. The following types of programs shall be exempt from licensure:
1. Programs which are owned and operated by any department or agency of state, county, or municipal government. This includes, but is not limited to, the customary school day, as defined in Georgia law, and before and/or after school programs in public schools operated by the public school system and staffed with school system employees and recreation programs operated by city or county parks and recreation departments and staffed with city or county employees.
2. Private non-public educational programs with an established curriculum for children five (5) years and older that operate during the school term for the customary school day, as defined by Georgia law.
3. A private non-public school which provides education in any grades from kindergarten through 12th grade, meets the requirements under Georgia law for private schools (See O.C.G.A. Sec. 20-2-690), and is accredited by one or more of the entities listed in O.C.G.A. Sec. 20-3-519(6)(A) and which provides care before, after, or both before and after the customary school day, as defined in Georgia law, to its students as an auxiliary service to such students during the regular school year only. The accrediting entities listed in O.C.G.A. Sec. 20-3-519(6)(A) are:
(i) The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools;
(ii) The Georgia Accrediting Commission;
(iii) The Georgia Association of Christian Schools;
(iv) The Association of Christian Schools International;
(v) The Georgia Private School Accreditation Council;
(vi) The Southern Association of Independent Schools;
(vii) The Accrediting Commission for Independent Study. (O.C.G.A Section 20-3-519(6.1)(A).
4. Accredited private non-public educational programs with an established curriculum for four-year-old children for the customary school day, as defined in Georgia law, that are not part of a full day child care learning center and are an integral part of an accredited private non-public school that provides elementary or secondary instruction or both, providing the accreditation specifically covers these ages; any before and/or after school hours for four-year-old children who attend such a program as described above, provided the children do not leave the premisesof the accredited private non-public school and the program is staffed with employees of that private non-public school.
5. Parent's Morning Out, Parent's Night Out, or similar programs which operate for no more than one session of up to four (4) consecutive hours per day and which limit attendance to no more than eight (8) hours a week per child.
6. Nursery schools, playschools, kindergartens or other educational programs for children two (2) years through six (6) years of age which operate for no more than four (4) consecutive hours per day.
7. Day camp programs for children five (5) years and older that are operated between school terms, whose primary purpose is to provide organized recreational, religious, or instructional activities. The day camp programs may operate during summer and other school breaks and shall operate for no more than twelve (12) hours per day.
8. Short-term educational or recreational activities or classes for children in which the supervision and care of the children are incidental to their participation in the activity or training in specific subjects, such as, but not limited to, music lessons, dance classes, swim lessons, etc. The provider is not assuming responsibility for supervision and care of the children outside of the classes or activities the children' participate in and shall not advertise or otherwise represent that child care services are offered.
9. Any short-term child care service provided by an establishment, such as, but not limited to, a religious facility, health club, or retail store, and such program or service meets all of the following:
(i) Operated on the premises of the establishment;
(ii) Operated for the convenience of the parents, guardians, or custodians and for the use of on-duty employees or students attending classes;
(iii) Parents, guardians, or custodians are participating in activities provided by the establishment on the premises of the establishment;
(iv) Parents, guardians, or custodians are readily available;
(v) Attendance of child in the short-term child care service is limited to no more than four (4) hours per day and no more than ten (10) hours per week, except in the instance of child care services offered at infrequent events such as, but not limited to, conferences and weddings.
10. Programs operated after the customary school day, as defined in Georgia law, for children five (5) years and older that are strictly instructional and skill-based in a single talent, ability, expertise, proficiency or subject or in closely related skills, proficiencies or subjects, including but not limited to classes such as art, cheerleading, dance, drama, gymnastics, martial arts and music, and the programs comply with all of the following:
(i) Programs provide direct instruction in the single skill or subject and/or closely related skills or subjects to every child each day the child is present;
(ii) Programs do not provide services that are not directly related to the single skill or subject or to the closely related skills or subjects, such as but not limited to homework assistance. During the hours of operation, programs may provide services related to the instruction, such as transportation and giving children time to change into proper clothes/gear;
(iii) Programs shall not advertise or otherwise represent that the program is a child care facility, an after school program, or that the program offers child care services;
(iv) Programs shall not prepare meals and snacks, but may provide ready-to-eat snacks, such as pre-packaged snacks;
(v) The majority of the program staff responsible for instruction shall possess specialized qualifications to instruct in that skill or subject, and the program shall submit documentation of such specialized qualifications of staff to the department at the time of application for exemption or as requested by the department;
(vi) Programs shall inform parents or guardians about the physical risks a child may face while participating in the program;
(vii) Such programs shall not be an integral part of a licensed child care learning center or day care center;
(viii) Enrollment information shall clearly define the duration of the program.
11. Short term educational programs offered to school-aged children in which the supervision and care of the children are incidental to their participation in the short-term educational program, and the provider is not assuming responsibility for the provision of daily child care outside the scheduled program. The majority of staff responsible for the direct delivery of education services to children possesses specialized qualifications that are directly related to the short term educational programs being offered, and the program shall submit documentation of such specialized qualifications to the department at the time of application for exemption or as requested by the department. The sole or primary purpose of such short term educational programs is:
(i) To prepare children for advancement to the next educational level through a prescribed course of study or curriculum;
(ii) To provide specialized tutoring services through a prescribed course of study or curriculum to assist children with the passage of mandatory educational proficiency examinations;
(iii) To provide specialized tutoring services through a prescribed course of study or curriculum to assist children in specific academic areas, such as, but not limited to, foreign language, mathematics, science, etc.
12. Any program or facility providing care for school-aged children that is operated by, or in affiliation with a national membership non-profit organization that was created for the purpose of providing youth services and youth development, that charges a membership fee for children and may receive monthly, weekly, or daily fees for services. Such program or facility holds membership in good standing and is certified by its national association as complying with the association's purposes, procedures, minimum standards and mandatory requirements. Such national membership organizations include, but are not limited to, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
13. Any program providing group care for children for no pay.
14. A center that is licensed by the department may request an exemption from licensure if the center's program is an integral part of an established religious congregation or religious school that conducts regularly scheduled classes, courses of study, or educational programs and is a member of or accredited by or certified by a state, regional, or national accrediting agency for religious educational instruction or a state, regional, or national accrediting agency for educational instruction as recognized and approved by the department if such accrediting entityuses standards that are substantially similar to those established by the department. The following requirements shall apply to centers seeking an exemption from licensure:
(i) A center seeking such exemption from licensure shall be required to submit to the department documentation of certification or accreditation, including a copy of its most recent certification or accreditation inspection report, and any other pertinent documentation as requested by the department, such as non-profit tax-exempt verification. The accrediting agency must conduct regularly scheduled visits to the center while such center remains accredited.
(ii) If such exemption is granted, the center shall submit annual documentation to the department verifying its continued certification or accreditation, including a copy of its most recent certification or accreditation inspection report, and other pertinent documentation as may be requested by the department.
(iii) Such exemptions granted by the department are valid as long as the center remains certified or accredited. The program shall provide the department written notice within five (5) business days of the center's loss of certification or accreditation, including a copy of such notification from the certifying or accrediting entity. The department shall rescind the center's exemption granted herein upon notification of the loss of certification or accreditation.
(iv) Any center seeking such exemption shall comply with all applicable requirements for background checks for directors/employees as required in O.C.G.A. Section 20-1A-30et seq., Chapter 290-2-2, Rules and Regulations for Day Care Centers, Chapter 591-1-1, Rules for Child Care Learning Centers, and department policies, as well as applicable local, regional, and state health department, state fire marshal, and local fire prevention guidelines/requirements while such exemption is in effect. The department retains jurisdiction over centers granted suchexemption to conduct unannounced periodic background check audits and to conduct complaint investigations regarding compliance with background check requirements, as well as compliance with local, regional, and state health department, state fire marshal, and local fire prevention guidelines/requirements.
(v) The department may rescind such exemption for a center's failure to comply with the requirements for background checks for directors/employees pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 20-1A-30et seq., Chapter 290-2-2, Rules and Regulations for Day Care Centers, Chapter 591-1-1, Rules for Child Care Learning Centers, and department policies.
(vi) The department may rescind such exemption for a center's failure to comply with local, regional, and state health department, state fire marshal, and local fire prevention guidelines/requirements.
(vii) Any center applying for such exemption that is owned and/or under the legal control/direction of the certifying or accrediting entity shall not be approved by the department.
(viii) A center seeking such exemption shall adopt and comply with the minimum standards of its certifying or accrediting entity for the operation of the center's program. Such minimum standards adopted by the center shall be published and made available to parents of enrolled or prospective children upon request.
(ix) A center granted such exemption shall comply with the requirements of O.C.G.A. Section 49-5-5(t)regarding providing notice to parents of enrolled children if the center does not carry liability insurance.
(x) A center granted such exemption shall post in a conspicuous place in the facility a copy of the exemption granted by the department and shall notify the parent and guardian of each child under the care of the facility in writing that the center has been granted an exemption from licensure by the department. The copy of the exemption posted by the Center shall be at least 1/2 inch letters and shall contain the department's telephone number and website address in case any parent or prospective parent has any questions regarding the exemption.

Rule 290-2-2-.06 Applications

An application for a license or commission to operate a day care center shall be submitted to the department on the forms provided by the department.** *

(a) Applicant Defined. The individual completing the application for a license or a commission shall be competent and at least eighteen (18) years of age.** *
1. When the center is owned by a sole proprietorship, the individual proprietor shall apply for the license of commission, complete the statement of responsibility and serve as the licensee or commission holder;** *
2. When the center is owned by a partnership, the general partners shall apply for the license or commission, complete the statement of responsibility and serve as the licensee or commission holder;** *
3. When the center is owned by an association, the governing body of the association shall authorize the application for the license or commission and complete the statement of responsibility and the association shall serve as the licensee or commission holder;** *
4. When the center is owned by a corporation, the governing body of the corporation shall authorize the application for the license or commission and complete the statement of responsibility and the corporation shall serve as the licensee or commission holder.** *
(b) Time for Filing. An application for a license or commission shall be submitted at least thirty (30) days prior to the proposed opening date of the new day care center.** *
(c) Criminal Records Check Required. The director and employees of a center must submit to criminal records checks in connection with any application for a license or commission.** *
1. Preliminary Records Check. Before a license or commission to operate a day care center may be issued there shall be on file with the department:** *
(i) A satisfactory preliminary criminal records check determination on the administrator; and** *
(ii) A preliminary records check application for all employees.** *
2. Ongoing Requirements. Before a person may become a director or an employee in a licensed or commissioned day care facility, the holder of the license or commission shall cause the person to be employed to submit a preliminary records check application to the department.** *
(i) No person having an unsatisfactory determination as to his or her criminal record may be a director or employee of a licensed or commissioned center.** *
3. Penalties. A license or commission is subject to suspension or revocation and the department may refuse to issue a license or commission if a director or employee does not undergo the records checks applicable to that director or employee and receive a satisfactory determination. A director of a center having an employee whom that director knows, or should reasonably know, to have a criminal record shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.** *
(d) Amended License or Commission. If there is to be a change in the name of the program or center, changes in the ages of the children to be served, an increase in the regular hours of operation such that the center would be providing evening or night-time care in addition to day time care, changes in the services provided, additions to or changes in the use of the building by the licensed or commissioned day care center, an application for an amended license or commission shall be submitted at least thirty (30) days prior to the change, except in the case of an emergency, if an emergency situation arises which makes it impossible to give thirty (30) days notice, the management of the center shall notify the department by telephone and shall submit an application for an amended license as soon as management becomes aware of the change that will be necessitated by the emergency situation.** *
1. In no case, however, shall a new owner operate the day care center without first securing a new license or commission from the department.** *
(e) Separate Licenses or Commissions. A separate license or commission application is required for each address or location at which a center is proposed to be operated even when all of the proposed centers are owned by the same person or entity. A separate license or commission is also required for each center operated at a single location by the same or different persons or entities.** *
(f) Notice of Denial. If the department determines that the applicant does not comply with these rules and determines that the issuance of a temporary or restricted license is not appropriate, the department will provide a written notice of the denial of licensure or commission and the opportunity for a hearing to the applicant.** *
(g) False or Misleading Information. The application for a license or commission, including the application for a criminal records check must be truthfully and fully completed. In the event that the department has reason to believe that the application has not been completed truthfully, the department may require additional verification of the facts alleged. The department may refuse to issue a license or commission where false statements have been made in connection with the application or any other documents required by the department.** *
(h) Designation as Licensed or Commissioned. No center shall claim to be a licensed or commissioned center unless it has been issued a current and valid license or commission by the department.** *

Rule 290-2-2-.07 Inspections and Investigations

The department is authorized and empowered to conduct investigations and on-site inspections of any day care center required by these rules to be licensed or commissioned. The proposed and current licensee or commission holder and staff shall cooperate with any inspection or investigation by responding truthfully to any legitimate departmental inquiry.** *

(a) Initial Inspection. Following receipt and review of the complete application package, the department may conduct an on-site inspection of the center to assess compliance with these rules.** *
(b) Consent to Entry. An application for a license or commission to operate a day care center or the issuance of a license or commission by the department constitutes consent by the applicant, the proposed holder of the license or commission and the owner of the premises for the department's representative, after displaying identification to any center staff, to enter the premises at any time during operating hours for the purpose of inspecting the facility, including both scheduled and unscheduled inspections and includes consent for meaningful access to all staff, parts of the premises, all children present, and all records required by these rules. The department shall have the right to photocopy or reproduce by any means any record required by these rules to be maintained and as needed for any inspection or investigation.**
(c) Other Inspections. The department may conduct on-site inspections of a center in the following instances:**
1. annually or at other regular intervals as the department may determine or at the expiration of the current license or commission; or**
2. upon receiving a report alleging child abuse, neglect or deprivation which occurred while the child was in the care of the center director or employees; or**
3. upon receiving a complaint concerning the center which could endanger the health, safety or welfare of the children in care; or**
4. upon receipt and review of a request for an amended license or commission, where the department determines that an on-site inspection is advisable; or**
5. upon the department or its duly authorized representative being made aware of any flagrant abuses, derelictions or deficiencies during the course of the department's inspection or at any other time. The department shall immediately investigate such matters and may make an on-site inspection so as to take such actions as conditions may require; or**
6. subsequent to the receipt of a plan of correction, as determined necessary by the department, to monitor whether the plan of correction is being complied with by the center personnel.**
(d) Failure to Allow Access. Failure to allow access of the department's representative to the center, center staff, or the children receiving care at the center, or the records required by these rules or failure to cooperate with a departmental inspection or investigation shall constitute good cause for the denial, restriction, revocation or suspension of a license or commission.** *
(e) False or Misleading Statements. No licensee or commission holder shall make or condone any employee making false or misleading statements to the department in connection with any authorized investigation of inspection being conducted by the department.** *

Rule 290-2-2-.08 Admission and Enrollment

The center shall not accept a child for enrollment or continue the child's enrollment in the center where the center staff determines that services necessary to protect the health and safety of the child while at the center cannot be provided. No child shall be admitted for care to the center without enrollment records having been completed on the child in accordance with the requirements set forth in Rule 290-2-2-.10.** *

Rule 290-2-2-.09 Administration and Staff Requirements

If the holder of the license or commission is not an individual serving as the actual administrator or director of the center, the holder of the license or commission shall appoint and identify to the department in writing an administrator or director who shall be responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the center.** *

(a) If the administrator is absent from the center at any time during the hours of operation, there shall be an officially designated person on the center site to assume responsibility for the operation of the center who shall have full access to all records required to be maintained under these rules.** *
(b) Staffing Requirements for Administrator. The holder of a license or commission issued after the effective date of these rules who serves as the administrator of the center and the administrator of a center hired after the effective date of these rules must meet the following minimum requirements throughout employment:** *
1. Never have been shown by credible evidence, e.g. a court or jury, a department investigation or other reliable evidence to have abused, neglected or deprived a child or adult or to have subjected any person to serious injury as a result of intentional or grossly negligent misconduct as evidenced by an oral or written statement to this effect obtained at the time of application; and** *
2. Be at least twenty-one (21) years of age; and** *
3. Have current evidence of successful completion of a biennial training program in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a triennial training program in first aid which have been offered by certified or licensed health care professionals and which dealt with the provision of emergency care to infants and children; and** *
4. Not be suffering from any physical handicap or mental health disorder, which would interfere with the applicant's ability to perform adequately the job duties of providing for the care and supervision of the children enrolled in the center in accordance with these rules; and** *
5. Not have a criminal record; and** *
6. Participate in the orientation and training required by these rules; and** *
7. Not have made any material false statements concerning qualifications requirements either to the department or the proposed licensee; and** *
8. Meet one of the following sets of minimum academic requirements and qualifying experiences at the time of employment:** *
(i) a high school diploma or general education diploma (G.E.D.) and one (1) year of qualifying child care experience; or** *
(ii) a Child Development Associate credential, or a Child Development and Related Care Diploma from a vocational institute accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or similar credential where the course of study includes an intensive practicum in child care as part of the curriculum and which is approved by the department; or** *
(iii) an associate's degree in early childhood education and six (6) months of qualifying child care experience; or** *
(iv) a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a field other than early childhood education or child development and three (3) months qualifying work experience; or** *
(v) a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in early childhood education and child development.** *
(c) Staffing Requirements for Teachers/Lead Caregivers. The center shall have a designated teacher/lead caregiver for each group of children. The teacher/lead caregiver, hired after the effective date of these rules, shall meet all of the following minimum requirements:** *
1. Never have been found by credible evidence, e.g. a court or jury, a department investigation or other reliable evidence to have abused, neglected or deprived a child or adult or to have subjected any person to serious injury as a result of intentional or grossly negligent misconduct as initially evidenced by an oral or written statement to this effect obtained by the administrator from the employee at the time of hiring; and** *
2. Be at least eighteen (18) years of age; and** *
3. Have current evidence of successful completion of a biennial training program in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a triennial training program in first aid which have been offered by certified or licensed health care professionals and which dealt with the provision of emergency care to infants and children if the caregiver is to be counted as part of the fifty percent (50%) of the child care staff with the required current evidence of CPR and first aid training; and** *
4. Not be suffering from any physical handicap or mental health disorder, which would interfere with the person's ability to perform assigned job duties adequately and in accordance with these rules; and** *
5. Not have a criminal record; and** *
6. Have either a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED) or one (1) year's qualifying child care experience if hired after the effective date of these rules; and** *
7. Participate in the orientation and training required by these rules; and** *
8. Not have made any material false statements concerning qualifications requirements either to the department or the licensee or administrator.** *
(d) Staffing Requirements for Caregivers/Aides. The center may employ caregivers/aides to assist the teacher/lead caregiver in the care of the children in any group within the center. No caregiver/aide shall be solely responsible for a group of children. Caregivers/aides shall meet all of the following minimum requirements if hired after the effective date of these rules:** *
1. Never have been found by credible evidence, e.g. a court or jury, a department investigation or other reliable evidence to have abused, neglected or deprived a child or adult or to have subjected any person to serious injury as a result of intentional or grossly negligent misconduct as evidenced initially by an oral or written statement to this effect obtained at the time of caregiver's employment; and** *
2. Be at least sixteen (16) years of age; and** *
3. Have current evidence of successful completion of a biennial training program in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a triennial training program in first aid which have been offered by certified or licensed health care professionals and which dealt with the provision of emergency care to infants and children if the caregiver is to be counted as part of the fifty percent (50%) of the child care staff with the required current evidence of CPR and first aid training; and** *
4. Not be suffering from any physical handicap or mental health disorder, which would interfere with the person's ability to perform assigned job duties adequately and in accordance with these rules; and** *
5. Not have a criminal record; and** *
6. Participate in the orientation and training required by these rules; and** *
7. Not have made any material false statements concerning qualifications requirements either to the department or the licensee or administrator.** *
(e) General Staffing Requirements. The center shall have qualified and sufficient direct-care, clerical, housekeeping and maintenance employees to insure full compliance with these rules without neglecting the supervision of the children. Staff shall supervise all independent contractors, volunteers, chaperons, and students in training whenever they are in the presence of the children. The center staffing policies shall comply with the following:
1. Contagious Diseases. Staff, or any other persons being supervised by the staff, shall not be allowed in the center who knowingly have, or present symptoms of a fever or diarrhea.** *
2. Smoking Limited. Staff, or other persons, shall not smoke or use tobacco except in designated enclosed rooms or areas which are totally separated from the child care areas either within the center premises, on the center playgrounds or on any vehicle being used to transport children during the hours that the center is in operation.** *
3. Prohibited Substances. Staff, chaperons and students in training shall not be under the influence of or consume alcohol, marijuana or other controlled substances on the center premises during the hours of operation or at any other time or place where there are children present for whom the center staff is responsible.** *
4. Assignment of Employees. Staff with diaper changing responsibilities shall not be simultaneously assigned to kitchen food preparation duties.** *
5. Work Schedules. Staff shall not regularly be scheduled to perform child care duties for more than twelve (12) hours within any twenty-four (24) hour period.** *
6. Substitute Employees. The center shall provide for substitute staff when regular staff is absent from work. All substitute employees shall be at least eighteen (18) years of age. Substitute caregiver staff shall be informed of these rules and the center's policies and procedures for the age group for which they will be providing care. Substitute service staff shall be informed of the center's policies and procedures necessary to the proper performance of their job duties in compliance with these rules.** *
7. First Aid and CPR. At least fifty percent (50%) of the caregiver staff shall have current evidence of first aid training and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. There must always be an employee with current evidence of first aid training and CPR on the center premises whenever children are present and on any center-sponsored field trip.** *
(f) Staff Training. Prior to assignment to children or task, all employees hired after the effective date of these rules shall be oriented in accordance with these rules. Employees continuing to be employed with the center after the effective date of these rules shall receive the on-going training set forth below in subsection (b).** *
1. Orientation. Orientation shall include instruction in:** *
(i) The center's policies and procedures,** *
(ii) Emergency weather plans,** *
(iii) The employee's assigned duties and responsibilities,** *
(iv) Reporting requirements for suspected cases of child abuse, neglect or deprivation; communicable diseases and serious injuries,** *
(v) the rules and regulations set forth in Rule 290-2-2-.11, .12, .13 and .14. Such instruction shall require new staff to be generally familiar with the health and safety requirements for caring for the children that are set forth in the specified sections.** *
(vi) Childhood injury control,** *
(vii) Within the first year of employment, all employees hired after the effective date of these rules, who provide any direct care to the children, shall obtain ten (10) clock hours of training or instruction from an accredited school or department-approved source in child care issues. Custodial, maintenance personnel or volunteers, who provide no direct care to the children, do not have to meet this training requirement. At least six (6) of the clock hours must be divided as follows:** *
(I) Four (4) clock hours of training in any of the following topics: disease control, cleanliness, basic hygiene, illness detection, illness disposition and childhood injury control;**
(II) Two (2) clock hours of training in identifying, reporting and meeting the needs of abused, neglected or deprived children; and**
(viii) Within the first year of employment, the administrator and the person primarily responsible for food preparation hired after the effective date of these rules shall receive four (4) clock hours of training in food nutrition planning, preparation, serving, proper dish washing and food storage.
2. Ongoing Training. Within one (1) year of the effective date of these rules and thereafter on an annual basis, all supervisory and caregiver personnel (regardless of the date of hiring) shall attend ten (10) clock hours of training which is task focused in early childhood education or child development or subjects relating to job assignment and is offered by an accredited college, university or vocational program or other department-approved source.** *
3. Documentation of Training. Evidence of orientation and training shall be documented in the personnel file of each staff member which shall be available to the department for inspection.** *
(g) Grouping of Children and Staff: Child Ratios. The center must establish groupings of children for care which comply with the staffing ratios and requirements set forth below. Staff, such as the director or service workers (food, maintenance, and clerical staff, etc.), shall be counted in the staff: child ratio only during the time that they are giving full attention to the direct supervision of the children. Service staff routinely acting as child care workers shall meet the qualifications of the respective caregivers.** *
1. Employees shall be assigned so that in so far as possible children receive care from the same employee each day;** *
2. Children shall be supervised at all times.** *
3. Unless otherwise provided in these rules the following staff: child ratios and maximum number of children in a group shall be maintained by the center whenever it is open as of the date specified:** *

As of the effective date of these rules, the ratios shall be:

Group Age No. of

Adults No. of

Children Infancy to 1-1/2 yrs 1 3-7 * 1-1/2 yrs to 2-1/2 yrs 1 4-10 * 2-1/2 yrs to 3-1/2 yrs 1 5-12 * 3 to 4 years 1 10-15 * 4 to 5 years 1 15-18 ** 5 to 6 years 1 15-20 ** * 6 years and older 1 20-25 ** * As of September 1, 1991, the ratios shall be:

Ages of Children Staff:

Child

Ratio Maximum

Group

Size Infants less than one(1) year old or children under eighteen (18) months who are not walking 1:6 12 * One (1) years old who are walking 1:8 16 * Two (2) year olds 1:10 20 * Three (3) year olds 1:15 30 * Four (4) year olds 1:18 36 * Five (5) year olds 1:20 40 ** * Six (6) year olds 1:25 50 ** *

4. Children may be combined in mixed-age groups provided that infants and children younger than three (3) years are not grouped with children three (3) years and older except as set forth below. In mixed-age groups, the required staff: child ratios shall be based on the ages of the youngest children in the group if more than twenty percent (20%) of the children in the mixed-age group belong to younger age grouping(s).** *
(i) During early morning times of arrival and late afternoon times of departure, infants and children younger than three (3) years may be grouped with older children so long as staff: child ratios and group size are met based upon the age of the youngest child in the group.
(ii) Children who turn three (3) years of age during the regular school year may remain grouped with other two (2) year olds for the remainder of the school year provided that the continued placement in the younger group is with the agreement of the older child's parents and is developmentally appropriate for the child.
5. Maximum group size does not apply to outdoor play on the playground routinely used by the center or for special activities in the center lasting no more than two (2) hours. However, required staff: child ratios must be maintained.**
6. During day-time scheduled rest or sleeping periods for children ages three (3) years and older, the staff: child ratio may be double the number of children to each staff required by Rule 290-2-2-.09(g)3. provided that:
(i) At least one (1) staff person is in each room providing direct supervision of the children; and
(ii) All staff required by Rule 290-2-2-.09(g)3. relating to staff: child ratios are in the center and available to assure safe evacuation in an emergency.
7. Staff: child ratios as required in Rule 290-2-2-.09(g)3. shall be maintained during evening and nighttime care except when a majority of the children are sleeping when the ratios may be doubled in those areas where the majority of the children are sleeping. However, the staff required by the regular staff: child ratios set forth in Rule 290-2-2-.09(g)3. must be available on the premises of the center to resume supervision of the children whenever a majority of the children in care in an area are no longer asleep or an emergency situation arises.
(h) Staffing Requirements for Water-Related Activities. Whenever the center chooses to allow the children to participate in water-related activities, such as swimming, fishing, boating or wading, the center shall determine that the persons supervising the children for water-related activities meet the following training requirements, whether or not these persons are employed by the center. The center shall also provide for the following special staff: child ratios during the water-related activity.** *
1. Staff and Training Requirements. There must be a minimum of one (1) center staff member on duty directly supervising the children at all times when one (1) or more children are engaged in water-related activities. Where the water is over two (2) feet deep, either the center staff member or the employee provided by the water facility to supervise the use of the facility by children must have the following:** *
(i) current evidence of having completed successfully a training program in lifeguarding offered by a water-safety instructor certified by the American Red Cross or YMCA or YWCA or other recognized standard-setting agency for water safety instruction. However, this advanced life saving training is only required if the children will be in water that is over two (2) feet in depth; and** *
2. Staff: Child Ratios for Water-Related Activities. The center shall also maintain the following staff: child ratios during any water-related activities:** *
(i) For water-related activities in water over two (2) feet in depth, the center staff shall provide continuous supervision of the children in accordance with the following:** *

Ages of Children Staff:Child Ratio Under two and one-half (2-1/2) yrs. 1:2 * Two and one-half (2-1/2) to four (4) yrs. 1:5 * Four (4) yrs. and older who cannot swim a distance of fifteen (15) yards unassisted 1:6 ** * Four (4) yrs. and older who can swim a distance of fifteen (15) yards unassisted 11:15 ** * In lieu of requiring each child to take a swimming test to determine whether the child can swim a distance of fifteen (15) yards unassisted, center staff may accept copies of certificates or cards from a recognized water safety instruction organization showing that the child has successfully completed a swimming class which required the child to swim a distance of fifteen (15) yards unassisted.

(ii) For water-related activities in water that is less than two (2) feet deep throughout, such as a self-contained wading pool less than two (2) feet in depth, continuous supervision must be provided by center staff in accordance with the staff: child ratio set forth in Rule 290-2-2-.09(g)3. ** *
(I) The wading pool shall be cleaned and filled with clean water for each day's usage and emptied when not in use.** *
(iii) At least one (1) additional staff member above the required staff: child ratio for water-related activities set forth in paragraphs (i) and (ii) shall be available to rotate among the groups as needed when any of the following circumstances are present:** *
(I) the majority of the children in a group are not accustomed to, or are afraid of the water; or** *
(II) the majority of the children in a group comprised of children who cannot swim a distance of 15 yards unassisted, cannot touch the bottom of the water-facility without submerging their heads; or** *
(III) the water-facility is particularly crowded; or**
(IV) the children have special needs which impact on their ability to participate safely in the water-related activity** *
(i) Staffing Requirements for Transporting Children. Whenever the center transports children for any reason, the driver of the vehicle shall be at least eighteen (18) years of age and possess a valid driver's license as required for the class of vehicle that the driver will be operating for the center; and** *
1. Either the driver or another staff person present on the vehicle must have current evidence of successful completion of a biennial training program in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a triennial training program in first aid offered by certified or licensed health care professionals and which dealt with the provision of emergency care to infants and children; and** *
2. On field trips, in addition to the required staff: child ratio contained in Rule 290-2-2-.09(g)3., an additional employee, chaperon or student in training, who is at least sixteen (16) years of age shall be available to assist in the supervision of each group of twenty-five (25) children; and** *
3. When transporting children, the center shall provide:** *
(i) A minimum of two (2) staff members (the driver and non-driver) in the following situations:** *
(I) When three (3) or more children under three (3) years of age are transported, or*
(II) When seven (7) or more children under five (5) years of age occupy the vehicle, or*
(III) When eighteen (18) or more children five (5) years of age and older occupy the vehicle; and** *
(ii) A third employee, who is at least eighteen (18) years of age, shall be provided in the vehicle when transporting children in the following situations:** *
(I) When more than eight (8) children under three (3) years of age occupy the vehicle with other children, or*
(II) When more than twenty (20) children under five (5) years of age occupy the vehicle with other children.*
(iii) When more than thirty-six (36) children under the age of five (5) occupy the vehicle the staff: child ratios as set forth in Rule 290-2-2-.09(g)3. shall be met in lieu of the ratios set forth above.*
(iv) Whenever more than thirty-six (36) children five (5) years and older are transported on the vehicle with no other children under the age of five (5), the staff: child ratio on the vehicle of one (1) staff for each additional twenty (20) children shall be maintained on the transporting vehicle.** *

Rule 290-2-2-.10 Record Keeping and Reporting

The following records shall be maintained on file at each center subject to the exceptions listed herein. The records shall be maintained in an organized manner and shall be accessible to the Department.** *

(a) Records on Administrator and Employees. The file for each administrator and employee shall contain:** *
1. Identifying information to include:** *
(i) Name,** *
(ii) Date of Birth,** *
(iii) Social Security number,** *
(iv) Current address, and** *
(v) Current telephone number;** *
2. Employment history;** *
3. Evidence of the following as applicable to the position held:** *
(i) Education,**
(ii) Qualifying work experience,** *
(iii) Orientation, which shall include the following:** *
(I) Date of orientation;** *
(II) Description of orientation;** *
(III) Signature of person or a representative of the organization providing the training; and** *
(IV) Signature of the person receiving the training;** *
(iv) All training required by these rules which shall include:** *
(I) Title of Training:** *
(II) Date of training;**
(III) Trainer's signature;**
(IV) Location of training; and**
(V) Number of clock hours obtained;**
4. Verification of a satisfactory criminal records check determination;** *
5. Daily attendance records or other employee payroll records for the employee for the preceding six (6) month period, which may be stored away from the center provided that the center notifies the Department of its intention to store these records off-site, provides the Department with the name, address and phone number of the custodian of these records and allows the Department, in its discretion, to have access to these records at the custodian's location immediately or access at the center within seven (7) business days of a department representative's request. The Department may, in its discretion, accept photocopies of the requested records which are provided within seven (7) business days of the department representative's request for the same.**
6. Statement completed by the staff member or other documentation regarding qualifications.** *
(b) Records on Children. The following records shall be maintained on file for each child enrolled in the center and shall be accessible to the department:**
1. Identifying information about the child to include: name, date of birth, sex, address, living arrangement if not with both parents and name of school, if any;**
2. Identifying information about the parents to include: names of both parents, home and work addresses, and home and work telephone numbers;**
3. Name(s) and addresses of the person(s) to whom the child may be released;**
4. Identifying information about the person(s) to contact in emergencies when the parent cannot be reached to include: name(s) and telephone number(s);**
5. Signed agreement between the holder of the license or commission or a person designated by the holder and the parent to include:**
(i) Description of general services to be provided by the center to the child including whether the center is providing meals and snacks;**
(ii) Identification of the child's primary source of health care to include:**
(I) Physician's or clinic's name, and**
(II) Telephone number;**
(iii) Authorization for obtaining emergency medical care for the child when the parent is not available;**
(iv) Statement regarding known allergies or other physical problems, mental health disorders, mental retardation or developmental disabilities which would limit the child's participation in the center's program and activities;**
(v) Description of any special procedures to be followed in caring for the child, including any special services which the center agrees to provide to a child with special needs;**
(vi) A description of the information that will be required of the parent before the center will dispense any medication and the parents' acknowledgment that they will provide all the necessary information. The authorization will include when applicable:**
(I) Date,**
(II) Full name of the child,**
(III) Name of medication,**
(IV) Prescription number, if any,**
(V) Dosage,**
(VI) The dates to be given,**
(VII) The time of day medication is to be dispensed,**
(VIII) Signature of parent,**
(IX) Verification that medication was dispensed according to parents' authorization, including the signature of staff member who dispensed the medication; and**
(vii) Parents' acknowledgment of the following:**
(I) that when the parents, or persons authorized by the parents, pick up or drop off their child at the center, they will not allow their child to enter or leave the center without being escorted and that the center will not permit the child to enter or exit the center without an escort; and**
(II) that the parents are responsible for keeping the center advised of any significant changes as the changes occur in the information that the parents provided at the time of enrollment concerning phone numbers, work locations, emergency contacts, family physician, etc.**
(III) that where the school-age day care center does not agree to provide routine meals and/or snacks, as appropriate, for the children, the parents agree that they shall provide the children with nutritious meals and snacks daily as appropriate.**
6. Documentation of incidents requiring professional medical attention, other than simple first aid performed by center staff, to include:**
(i) Child's name,**
(ii) Type of illness or injury,**
(iii) Date of illness or injury,**
(iv) How injury or illness occurred,**
(v) Staff present,**
(vi) Method of notifying parent, and**
(vii) Services provided to the child;**
7. Written parental authorization for the child to participate in field trips, special activities away from the center and water-related activities occurring in water that is more than two (2) feet deep if the center participates in any such activities.**
8. Parental authorization if the center is to provide routine transportation for the child to or from school, home or center. The authorization shall specify the following:**
(i) Routine pick up location,**
(ii) Routine pick up time,**
(iii) Routine delivery location,**
(iv) Routine delivery time,**
(v) Name of any person authorized to receive the child; and the procedure to be followed if the authorized person is not present at the drop-off site to receive the child; and**
9. Evidence of age-appropriate immunizations or a signed affidavit against such immunizations shall be maintained for each child enrolled in the center on a form provided by the department;
(i) No child shall continue enrollment in the center for more than thirty (30) days without such evidence; and
10. The child's daily attendance records for the six (6) preceding months which need not be filed in each child's record; and**
11. Transportation checklists which need not be filed in each child's record.**
(c) Required Reports. The administrator shall report or cause to be reported the following:**
1. Child Abuse, Neglect or Deprivation. Whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that a child has been physically injured or has suffered death by a parent or caretaker by other than accidental means; provided, however, that physical forms of discipline need not be reported where the same does not result in injury to the child; or a child has been neglected, exploited or deprived or sexually assaulted or sexually exploited. Sexual exploitation occurs when a parent or caretaker allows, permits, encourages or requires a child to engage in prostitution or when the parent or caretaker allows, permits, encourages or requires a child to engage in other sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual or print medium depicting such conduct as defined in O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-12-100. Any suspected incident of child abuse, neglect or deprivation shall be reported to the local County Department of Family and Children Services in accordance with O.C.G.A. Sec. 19-7-5.**
2. Communicable Diseases. Any cases or suspected cases of notifiable communicable diseases shall be reported to the local county health department as required by the rules of the department regarding Notification of Disease, Chapter 290-5-3.**
3. Death, Serious Injury or Emergency Situation. Within twenty-four (24) hours or the next work day following the reportable situation to the Child Care Licensing Office, the following:**
(i) Any death of a child while in the care of the center;**
(ii) Any serious illness or injury requiring hospitalization or professional medical attention other than first aid of a child while in the care of the center;**
(iii) Any fire;**
(iv) Any structural disaster; and**
(v) Any emergency situation that requires temporarily relocating children.**
4. Criminal Record. The name of any employee who acquires a criminal record as defined in these rules if the director knows, or reasonably should know, of the employee's criminal record shall be reported to the District Child Care Licensing Office.**
5. Annual Reports. Within forty-five (45) days of the center's receipt of an annual report form from the department, the administrator shall submit to the department a complete annual report on the form provided. The annual report may be used in determining licensure requirements.**

Rule 290-2-2-.11 Operations, Health, Safety and Activities

Each center shall be operated in accordance with the following:** *

(a) Policies and Procedures. Each center shall establish policies and procedures which shall be kept current and made available to the parents and used to govern the operations of the center. The policies and procedures shall:** *
1. Be consistent with applicable laws, regulations and these rules;** *
2. Include a written description of services to be provided which specifies the following:** *
(i) Ages of children served,** *
(ii) Months of operation,** *
(iii) Days of operation,** *
(iv) Hours of operation,** *
(v) Dates center is closed,** *
(vi) Admission requirements, including parental responsibilities for supplying and maintaining accurate required record information and escorting child to and from center,** *
(vii) Standard fees, payment of fees, fees related to absences and vacations and other charges such as insurance, transportation, etc.** *
(viii) Transportation provided, if any;** *
3. The policies and procedures shall also include written procedures for the following:** *
(i) Guidance and discipline techniques,** *
(ii) Handling emergency medical care, including place(s) the children will be taken for emergency medical care,** *
(iii) Administering medication and recording noticeable adverse reactions to the medication,**
(iv) Notifying parents of their child's:** *
(I) Illness,** *
(II) Injury, and** *
(III) Exposure to a notifiable communicable disease,** *
(IV) Noticeable adverse reactions to prescribed medication(s),** *
(v) Exclusion of sick children,** *
(vi) Exclusion of children with communicable diseases as defined on the chart of communicable diseases which contains recommendations for the exclusion of sick children and their readmission and is provided by the department,** *
(vii) Protection of children in the event of:** *
(I) Severe weather,** *
(II) Fire, and** *
(III) Physical plant problems, such as a power failure, that affects climate control or structural damages, and** *
(viii) the center's transportation of children to or from school or home, if provided, to include the procedure to be followed if no one is home or at the designated drop-off site to receive a transported child.** *
(b) Posted Notices. Each center shall post in a designated area for public viewing near the front entrance the following:** *
1. The current day care center license or commission,** *
2. A copy of these rules,** *
3. A notice provided by the Department which advises parents of their right to review a copy of the center's most recent licensure or commission evaluation report upon request to the center director. The center shall provide any parent with a copy of this evaluation report upon request.** *
4. A copy of the current communicable disease chart, as provided by the department,** *
5. A statement allowing parental access to all child care areas upon notifying any staff member of his or her presence,** *
6. Names of persons responsible for the administration of the center in the administrator's absence,** *
7. The current week's menu for meals and snacks,** *
8. Emergency plans for severe weather and fire; and** *
9. A statement requiring visitors to check in with staff when entering the center.** *
(c) Confidential Information. Information pertaining to the children enrolled at a center is considered confidential and may not be released by center staff without first obtaining written permission signed by the parents except in the following situations. Relevant information relating to the children's family situations, medical status and behavioral characteristics on the children enrolled at the center at any time shall be shared by center staff among caregivers on the center caregiver staff, with members of the Department or with other persons authorized by these rules or the law to receive such information, or with other persons in an emergency situation involving the child.**
(d) Parental Access. The custodial parent(s) of a child shall, at any time the child is in attendance, be permitted access to all child care areas of the center and shall make his or her presence known to center staff prior to removing the child from the center.**
(e) Health and Hygiene. The center shall meet the following minimum criteria:** *
1. The department's current communicable disease chart of recommendations for exclusion of sick children from the center and their readmission shall be followed.**
2. A child shall not be accepted nor allowed to remain at the center if the child has the equivalent of a one hundred and one (101) degree or higher oral temperature and another contagious symptom, such as, but not limited to, a rash or diarrhea or a sore throat.**
3. Parents of any child who becomes ill or is injured shall be notified immediately of any illness or injury requiring professional medical attention, or any illness which may not require professional medical attention but which produces symptoms causing moderate discomfort to the child, such as, but not limited to, any of the following: elevated temperature, vomiting or diarrhea.**
(i) Parent's specific instructions shall be obtained, and followed if appropriate, until the child is picked up or is able to return to the child's group.**
(ii) When a child shows symptoms of illness during the day, the child shall be moved to a quiet area away from other children where the child shall be supervised and provided the necessary attention until such time as the child leaves the center or is able to return to the child's group.**
4. If the child becomes ill or experiences an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication or is injured during the day and the illness, reaction or injury does not warrant professional medical attention or causes less than moderate discomfort to the child, the parents shall be notified of the illness, reaction or injury by the end of the day on which the illness, reaction or injury occurred.**
5. Parents of all children enrolled shall be notified, in writing, of the occurrence of any of the illnesses on the communicable disease chart, as provided by the department, within twenty-four (24) hours after the center becomes aware of the illness or the next working day.**
6. The center shall have a written plan which outlines how emergency medical services will be obtained. When a medical emergency arises involving a child, the center staff shall seek prompt emergency medical treatment and provide any certified or licensed emergency medical persons with immediate access to the child.** *
7. Each building of the center and any vehicle used by the center for transportation of children shall have a first aid kit which shall at least contain:** *
(i) Scissors,** *
(ii) Tweezers,** *
(iii) Gauze pads,** *
(iv) Adhesive tape,** *
(v) Thermometer,** *
(vi) Syrup of ipecac (to be used only upon the advice of the physician or the poison control center),** *
(vii) Ban-aids, assorted sizes,** *
(viii) An anti-bacterial ointment,** *
(ix) Insect-sting preparation,** *
(x) An antiseptic cleansing solution,** *
(xi) Triangular bandages,** *
(xii) Rubber gloves, and** *
(xiii) Cold pack.** *
8. The first aid kit, together with a first aid instruction manual which must be kept with the kit at all times, shall be stored so that it is not accessible to children but is easily accessible to staff.**
9. Except for first aid, personnel shall not dispense prescription or nonprescription medications to a child without specific written authorization from the child's physician or parent:**
(i) Authorizations to dispense medications shall be limited to two (2) weeks, unless otherwise prescribed by a physician.**
10. Personnel shall only dispense medications that are provided by the parent and meet the following criteria:**
(i) The medication shall be in the original labeled container,**
(ii) The medication container shall be labeled with the child's full name, and**
(iii) Medicines which are no longer to be dispensed shall be returned to the child's parent immediately.**
11. Non-emergency injections shall only be administered by appropriately licensed persons unless the parent and physician of the child sign a written authorization for the child to self-administer the injection.**
12. the center shall maintain a record of all medications dispensed to children by personnel to include: the date, time and amount of medication that was administered, any noticeable adverse reactions to the medication and the signature or initials of the person administering the medication.**
13. all prescription and non-prescription medications shall be kept in a locked storage cabinet or container which is not accessible to the children and stored separate from cleaning chemicals, supplies or poisons.**
14. Medications requiring refrigeration shall be placed in a leakproof container in a refrigerator that is not accessible to the children.**
15. Personnel shall, to the extent possible, keep children clean, dry and comfortable.**
16. Children's hands shall be washed with soap and running water:**
(i) Prior to eating meals or snacks, and**
(ii) After toileting.**
17. Washcloth hand washing shall be restricted to children under the age of two (2) years and to those children with special needs who are not capable of washing their own hands.**
(i) An individual washcloth shall be used for each child.**
(ii) Washcloths shall be used only one time between laundering.**
18. Between each diaper change, unless the child is changed in his own crib, the diaper change surface shall be:**
(i) Cleaned with a disinfectant, and**
(ii) Dried with a single-use disposable towel.**
19. Personnel shall wash their hands with soap and warm running water immediately:**
(i) Before feeding each child,**
(ii) After:**
(I) Each diaper change,**
(II) Using tobacco products,**
(III) Eating,**
(IV) Drinking,**
(V) Toileting,**
(VI) Being contaminated by other means; and**
(VII) Prior to eating.**
20. The diaper changing area shall be clear of:
(i) Formulas,
(ii) Food, food utensils and food preparation items, and
(iii) Any items which a child could reach while being changed which might harm a child.
21. Separate containers shall be used for storing soiled disposable items, such as disposable diapers and disposable washcloths and soiled non-disposable items such as cloth diapers, washcloths and bed linens.
22. Soiled item storage containers shall be:
(i) Waterproof or equipped with a leakproof disposable liner,
(ii) Covered,
(iii) Easily cleaned, and
(iv) Maintained in such a manner so as the contents of the container are never accessible to the children.
23. Children's soiled or wet clothing shall be stored in individual plastic bags after having been rinsed thoroughly.
24. After each use, toilet potty chairs shall be:
(i) Emptied by disposal in a flush toilet, and
(ii) Cleaned with a disinfectant.
25. Soiled laundry shall be stored in covered containers and kept separate from clean laundry.**
26. If laundry is done on center premises, the laundry area shall:
(i) Be located outside the children's activity rooms or areas, and
(ii) Not be used as a passageway by children to travel from one area to another whenever any soiled or clean laundry is exposed.
27. All parts of the center shall be kept clean and in good repair.** *
28. Hygienic measures, such as, but not limited to, screened windows, covered containers for food and proper waste disposal procedures shall be utilized to minimize the presence of rodents, flies, roaches and other vermin at the center.** *
29. Floor coverings shall be tight, smooth, free of odors and washable or cleanable.** *
30. The following shall be cleaned with a disinfectant as specified:
(i) Tubs after each use,
(ii) Showers after each use,
(iii) Bathroom areas daily, and
(iv) Food service areas daily.
31. The following children's personal items shall be kept clean:** *
(i) Combs,** *
(ii) Toothbrushes, and** *
(iii) Cloth towels.** *
32. Each child's personal items shall:**
(i) Be kept on individually labeled racks, in cubbies or lockers,
(ii) Separated from the articles used by other children, and,**
(iii) Not used by any other child prior to being laundered or disinfected.**
33. No persons shall be permitted to use the same utensil for drinking or eating without the utensil having been thoroughly cleaned between uses.**
34. Drinking fountains, if available, shall;** *
(i) Be safe and kept clean,** *
(ii) Have regulated pressure,**
(iii) Not be mounted on sinks used for diaper changing activities, and** *
(iv) Have an angle jet with an orifice guard above the rim.** *
35. Single service drinking cups shall be provided when appropriate drinking fountains are not available.** *
(i) Cups shall be discarded after each use unless the cups are sanitized in a dishwasher between each use.** *
36. Garbage and organic waste shall be stored in containers lined with plastic liners and having tight fitting covers.** *
37. Trash and garbage shall be removed from the building daily, or more often if necessary, to maintain the premises in a clean condition.** *
38. Rooms with toilets and lavatories shall be equipped within easy reach of children with the following:** *
(i) Soap,** *
(ii) Toilet tissue, and** *
(iii) Single use towels or cloth towels used only once in between launderings.** *
39. To reduce the transfer of airborne diseases, sleeping and resting equipment shall be placed in the children's area as follows:
(i) There shall be a minimum of a twenty-four inch (24") corridor between each row of sleeping or resting equipment,
(ii) There shall be a minimum of twelve inches (12") between each piece of sleeping and resting equipment in each row of equipment, and
(iii) Children shall be placed on sleeping equipment so that one child's head is toward another child's feet in the same row.
40. Sleeping equipment shall be arranged in the child care areas during evening and nighttime care so that the children's sleep will not be unnecessarily interrupted by delivery and pick-up of other children.
(f) Activities. The center shall provide a variety of daily activities appropriate for the children's chronological ages and developmental levels. Children with special needs shall be integrated into the activities provided by the center unless contraindicated medically or by parental agreement.**
1. Variety of Activities. Activities shall be planned for each group to allow for:**
(i) Indoor and outdoor play,**
(ii) A balance of quiet and active periods,**
(iii) A balance of supervised free choice and caregiver-directed activities,**
(iv) Individual, small group, and large group activities,**
(v) Large muscle activities, such as, but not limited to, running, riding, climbing, balancing, jumping, throwing, or digging;**
(vi) Small muscle activities, such as, but not limited to, building with blocks or construction toys, use of puzzles, shapes, nesting or stacking toys, pegs, lacing, sorting beads, or clay;
(vii) Language experiences such as, but not limited to, listening, talking, rhymes, fingerplays, stories, use of film strips, recordings or flannel boards;
(viii) Arts and crafts, such as, but not limited to, painting, coloring, cutting, or pasting;
(ix) Dramatic play such as, but not limited to, play in a home center, with dolls, puppets, or dress up;
(x) Rhythm and music such as, but not limited to, listening, singing, dancing, or making music; and
(xi) Nature and science experiences such as; but not limited to, measuring, pouring, activities related to the "world around us" such as nature walks, plants, leaves or weather, or experiences in using the five senses through sensory play.
2. Schedules. A daily schedule for each group shall be developed to reflect routines and activities. Schedules shall be:*
(i) Flexible but routinely followed to provide structure,*
(ii) Posted in each group's room or area, and*
(iii) Made available to parents upon request.*
3. Outdoor Activities. Outdoor activities shall be provided daily, weather permitting, in accordance with the following:**
(i) Centers operating five (5) hours or more per day shall provide each child who is not an infant at least one and one half(1 ½) hours of outdoor activity per day:**
(I) Infants shall spend at least one (1) hour daily out of doors; and
(ii) Centers operating less than five (5) hours per day shall provide a brief outdoor period for the children daily.**
(iii) A child may be excused from outdoor activities for a limited period of time if there is documentation that outdoor activity is medically contraindicated or there is an occasional written request by the parent that the child be excused from outdoor activities for a very limited amount of time because of special circumstances.**
4. Individual Attention. Personnel shall provide individual attention to each child as evidenced by:**
(i) Responding promptly to the child's distress signals and need for comfort.**
(ii) Playing with and talking to the children.**
(iii) Providing and assisting the child with personal care in a manner appropriate to the child's age level, i.e. providing the child privacy in dressing, diapering and toileting functions as the chronological age of the child dictates.**
5. Routines for Children. Personnel shall provide routines for toileting, eating, resting, napping (depending upon the age of the children), intervals between activities, and doing school homework, if any.**
(i) Children shall be allowed as they feel the need to:
(I) Go to the toilet, and
(II) Get drinking water;
(ii) Supervised nap or rest periods during the day shall be provided for children under five (5) years of age;
(iii) Quiet activities for school age children, and other children who are not asleep shall be provided.**
(I) Children who do not sleep during nap or rest period shall not be required to remain lying down for more than one (1) hour during the day; and
(iv) Opportunities for each child to make choices in a variety of activities shall be offered.**
(I) The use of entertainment media, such as television, video taped programs or movies and video or computer games shall be limited to:**
I. Television programs or computer software produced for the benefit of audiences comprised of young children;
II. "G" - rated movies, i.e. movies that have been rated by the motion picture industry as suitable for a general audience which includes young children, or movies that have not been rated but which have been fully previewed by the administrator who has determined that the movies were produced for the benefit of young children and are appropriate for viewing by young children.
III. No more than two (2) hours daily per child or group; and**
IV. Provided only at times when alternative activities are available for children who choose not to participate.**
(v) Staff shall assist and encourage each child to become independent in the development of self-help skills, such as washing hands and face, dressing, eating and toileting.
6. Activities for Children under Three. Children less than three (3) years of age shall:
(i) Be allowed time to play on the floor daily;
(ii) Not be routinely left in cribs or playpens except for rest or sleep; and
(iii) Not spend more than one-half(½) hour of time consecutively in confining equipment, such as swings, highchairs,jumpseats, carriers or walkers.
7. Evening Activities. During evening and nighttime care, activities shall be provided based on children's ages, hours of care and length of time in care:
(i) Quiet activities and experiences shall be available immediately prior to bedtime.
8. Field Trips. The center shall obtain written permission from the parent in advance of the child's participation in any field trip.**
(i) The field trip permission notice shall provide details of the trip including:**
(I) The name/address of the trip destination,**
(II) The date of the trip,**
(III) Time of departure, and**
(IV) Estimated arrival time back at the center; and**
(ii) The written parental approval shall include:**
(I) Field trip destination,**
(II) Parent's signature, and**
(III) Date of approval.**
(iii) A list of children and adults participating in the field trip and an emergency medical information card on each child to include allergies, special medical needs and conditions, current prescribed medications that the child is required to take on a daily basis for a chronic condition, the name and phone number of the child's doctor, the local medical facility that the center uses in the area where the center is located and the telephone numbers where the parents can be reached, shall be:**
(I) Left at the center; and**
(II) Taken on the trip and in the possession of the adult in charge of the trip.**
(iv) Each child on a field trip shall have on his person:
(I) His or her name; and
(II) The center's name, address and telephone number.
(g) Safety. Disciplinary actions used to correct a child's behavior, guidance techniques and any activities in which the children participate or observe at the center shall not be detrimental to the physical or mental health of any child.**
1. Personnel shall not:**
(i) Physically or sexually abuse a child, or engage in or permit others to engage in sexually overt conduct in the presence of any child enrolled in the center, or**
(ii) Inflict corporal/physical punishment upon a child, or**
(iii) Shake, jerk, pinch or handle roughly a child, or**
(iv) Verbally abuse or humiliate a child which includes, but is not limited to, the use of threats, profanity, or belittling remarks about a child or his family, or**
(v) Isolate a child in a dark room, closet, or unsupervised area, or**
(vi) Use mechanical or physical restraints or devices to discipline children, or**
(vii) Use medication to:**
(I) Control children's behavior without written medical authorization issued by a licensed professional and given with the parent's written consent, or**
(II) Discipline, or**
(viii) Restrict unreasonably a child from going to the bathroom, or**
(ix) Punish toileting accidents, or**
(x) Force feed a child or withhold feeding a child regularly scheduled meals and/or snacks, or**
(xi) Force or withhold naps, or**
(xii) Allow children to discipline or humiliate other children, or**
(xiii) Confine a child for disciplinary purposes to a swing, highchair, infant carrier, walker or jumpseat, or**
(xiv) Commit any criminal act, as defined under Georgia law which is set forth in O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-1-1et seq., in the presence of any child enrolled in the center.**
2. Sleeping and resting equipment shall be arranged to:
(i) Avoid obstructing access to exit doors,
(ii) Provide the teacher-caregiver access to each child, and
(iii) Prevent children's access to cords hanging from window treatments and other hazardous objects.
3. Children shall not be permitted:**
(i) In the kitchen except as part of a planned, supervised learning experience, or**
(ii) To wear around their necks or attached to their clothing, pacifiers or other hazardous items, or
(iii) To participate in a swimming activity or any activity away from the center without the parents' written permission.**
4. Infants and children shall not be left unattended while being diapered or having their clothes changed on the diaper changing surface.
5. All unused electrical outlets within reach of children shall have protective caps specifically designed to prohibit children from placing anything in the receptacle. Electrical outlets in use which the children can reach shall be made inaccessible to the children.
6. Heating and cooling equipment shall be protected to prevent children from touching it.
7. Fans, space heaters, etc. shall be positioned or installed so as to be inaccessible to the children.**
8. An operable telephone shall be readily available in the center with the following telephone numbers posted in a conspicuous place next to each telephone. In those areas of the state serviced by the 911 emergency number, 911 may be posted in lieu of the phone numbers required for (ii), (iii) and (iv) below:** *
(i) A physician or hospital,** *
(ii) An ambulance or rescue squad service,** *
(iii) The local fire department,** *
(iv) The local police department,** *
(v) The county health department, and** *
(vi) The regional poison control center.** *
9. Construction and maintenance work shall take place only in areas that are not accessible to the children.** *
10 Interior center door locks shall permit personnel to open the locked room from the outside of the room in an emergency.
11. All floor level windows or full-length glass doors shall be constructed of safety glass with decals applied at the eye level of the children or such windows or doors shall have protective devices covering the glass designed to prevent the children from getting cut by the glass should it break for any reason.** *
12. Doors to rooms not approved for child care, other than the kitchen doors, shall be latched or locked so children cannot wander into those areas. Children shall not be permitted access to any area not approved for child care, including the kitchen.** *
13. The center premises shall be free of plants and shrubs which are poisonous or hazardous.** *
14. When permanent swimming or wading pools are located on the center premises, applicable local regulations regarding the design, construction, operation, and maintenance shall be followed.**
15. All swimming and wading pools shall be:**
(i) Inaccessible to children except during supervised activities; and**
(ii) Operated and maintained in accordance with acceptable health standards.**
16. The center shall have available at all times:** *
(i) A licensed driver; and**
(ii) A vehicle which meets vehicle safety rules; or** *
(iii) A plan approved by the department for alternative emergency transportation.** *
17. Children shall not be transported in vehicles, or parts thereof, which are not designed for the purpose of transporting people, such as but not limited to truck beds, campers or any trailered attachment to a motor vehicle.**
18. The center shall develop a written transportation plan to ensure that children who are using transportation contracted for or provided by the center are accounted for in all situations arising from the use of the transportation.** *
(i) The transportation plan shall include a checklist for accounting for the loading, and unloading of children at any location.
(ii) All transportation checklists shall contain the signature of the person conducting the check.
(iii) All transportation checklists shall be turned over to the person in charge of the center immediately upon arrival of the children at the center.
(iv) Following delivery of children to homes/designated destinations, either an oral or written report, shall be submitted to the person in charge of the center.
(I) When an oral report is given, the written checklist shall be turned over to the person in charge on the next day of operation.
(v) Transportation checklists shall be maintained as part of the records of the center for one (1) year.
(vi) At the completion of every trip, each vehicle shall be checked to assure that no child is left on the vehicle.**
(vii) Immediate action shall be taken to locate children missing from the transporting vehicle, the field trip site, the center or the children's homes if the center was responsible for transporting the children to their homes and the children were not delivered to the physical possession of the parents or other designated adults.**
(viii) Vehicles used for transporting children shall be maintained in accordance with these standards established by the department:** *
(I) Each vehicle shall have a satisfactory annual safety check of: tires, headlights, horn, tail-lights, brakes, suspension, exhaust system, steering, windshields and windshield wipers;** *
(II) A copy of the inspection report (Form #699), or its equivalent, shall be maintained in the center or in the vehicle.** *
(ix) The transportation plan shall require that an emergency medical information record be maintained in the vehicle on each child being transported by the center. The emergency medical information card for each child shall include a listing of the child's allergies, special medical needs and conditions, current prescribed medications that the child is required to take on a daily basis for a chronic condition, the name and phone number of the child's doctor, the local medical facility that the center uses in the area where the center is located and the telephone numbers where the parents can be reached.** *
(I) Inspection reports shall include the name of the person performing the safety check and the date that the inspection was performed.** *
I. The interior of each transportation vehicle shall be;** *
A. Equipped with a fire extinguisher inaccessible to the children and a functioning heating system;** *
B. Clean;** *
C. Free of hazardous objects or other non-essential items which could impede the children's access or egress from the vehicle or could cause injury to the children if the items were thrown about the vehicle as a result of a collision;** *
D. In safe repair; and,**
II. No window, except the driver's in a transporting vehicle shall be opened to more than fifty percent (50%) of its capacity at any time children are on board.
III. Each vehicle used to transport children shall contain the following current information:**
A. Names of all children transported and each child's:**
(A) Pick up location,**
(B) Pick up time,**
(C) Delivery location,**
(D) Delivery time,**
(E) Length of time on the vehicle,**
(F) Alternate delivery location if parent is not at home, and**
(G) Name of person to receive the child:**
a. A child shall not be dropped off at any location if there is no one to receive the child; and**
B. Identification of the center's:**
(A) Name,**
(B) Driver, and**
(C) Telephone number.**
19. The motor shall be turned off, the brake set and the keys removed whenever the driver leaves the vehicle.**
20. Transporting vehicles shall be parked or stopped so that no child will have to cross the street in order to:**
(i) Meet the vehicle; or**
(ii) Arrive at a destination.**
21. Any vehicle used by the center to transport children shall have vehicle seats which are securely fastened to the body of the vehicle.** *
22. All children under three (3) years of age transported in a vehicle provided by or used by the center shall be secured in a child passenger restraining system approved by the United States Department of Transportation under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 in effect on January 1, 1983. The child passenger restraining system must be installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer's directions for such system.*
23. There shall be no more than three (3) persons in the front seat of a transporting vehicle, including the driver. However, no child under the age of four (4) shall be permitted to ride in the front seat of the vehicle.**
24. In all vehicles required by federal or state law to be equipped with seat safety belts and those vehicles which have seat safety belts, all transported children three (3) years of age and older shall be secured with a safety seat belt installed in accordance with the manufacturer's directions and used in accordance with the manufacturer's directions with respect to restraining, seating or positioning the child being transported in the vehicle. No vehicle used by the center in transporting children shall exceed the manufacturer's rated seating capacity for the vehicle. The center shall maintain on file proof of the manufacturer's rated seating capacity for each vehicle the center uses.** *
25. A child shall not be left unattended in a vehicle.**
26. Unless accompanied by his parent, no child shall be required to travel more than forty-five (45) minutes on each trip between the day care center and destination point, excluding field trips.
27. The center shall assume responsibility for the child from the time and place the child is picked up until the child is delivered to his or her parents or to a responsible person designated by his parents.**
28. Animals shall be controlled to assure that:** *
(i) Proper sanitation of the premises is maintained; and** *
(ii) Animals are not a hazard to children, personnel or visitors at the center. No animals, such as, but not limited to, pit bull dogs, ferrets and poisonous snakes, which may have a vicious propensity, shall be permitted on the day care center premises at any time there are children on the premises; and**
(iii) Horses or other farm animals shall not be quartered on any property over which center staff exercises any control that is located within five hundred (500) feet of the building in which the center is located.** *
29. All animals shall be confined in pens or covered areas except for specific teacher-directed learning experiences.** *
(i) Animal pens and confinement areas shall be kept clean and,** *
(ii) Animals shall be properly vaccinated and documentation of the vaccinations shall be maintained at the center.**
30. Immediately prior to the center closing and being locked at the end of the business day, the staff member charged with the responsibility of locking the center shall make a physical inspection of the entire premises to verify that no child is left on the center's premises.**
31. The center shall not allow any person to remain on the center premises if the person does not have a legitimate reason for being on the premises.**
32. The center staff shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations.**

Rule 290-2-2-.12 Physical Environment and Equipment

A person planning the construction of a new center or any structural changes to an existing center shall obtain the following approvals and submit evidence of the same to the department:** *

(a) Required Approvals. The center shall be approved by the local zoning, authority,** *
(b) The center plans shall be approved prior to construction or renovation by:** *
1. The appropriate fire marshal or state inspector,** *
2. The local building official, and** *
3. The department.** *
(c) All water sources, if other than an approved city or county system, shall be approved by the proper authority having jurisdiction.** *
(d) In all new centers, all sewage disposal systems, if other than an approved city or county system, shall be approved by the local county health department and specify the number of persons the system is approved to serve.** *
(e) The center shall submit proof of a compliance with applicable laws and regulations issued by the state fire marshal, the proper local fire marshal or state inspector, including a certificate of occupancy if required prior to receiving any children for care.** *
(f) Physical Plant Requirements. The following spaces shall not be used as activity areas for children:** *
1. Basement areas in excess of twenty-five (25) linear feet from a window;*
2. Rooms with floor levels lower than three (3) feet or more below ground level on all sides; and*
3. Any area unapproved for use by authorities having jurisdiction.**
(g) The center shall be used only for the purpose of child care during the hours that the center is in operation.** *
(h) Ceilings in the center shall be at least seven (7) feet in height.*
(i) The center and the surrounding premises shall be kept clean and free of debris. The center shall be:** *
1. Maintained at a temperature range of sixty-five (65) degrees Fahrenheit to eighty-five (85) degrees Fahrenheit depending upon the season,** *
2. Lighted with a minimum of twenty-five (25) foot candles of illumination except during scheduled nap or rest periods. Areas used for napping shall be lit dimly, and** *
3. Ventilated either by mechanical or natural means to provide fresh air and control unpleasant odors.** *
(j) The indoor area, i.e. the room(s) used for the play, rest and eating activities, shall provide thirty-five (35) square feet of usable space per child:** *
1. Kitchens, bathrooms, closets, halls, storage areas or rooms, offices, rooms designated for staff use, other single use areas, and space occupied by adult size furniture shall be excluded in determining usable space.** *
(k) Upon approval by the department, licensees or commission holders may designate two (2) specific one (1) hour periods each day when only twenty-five (25) square feet of space per child is provided for children three (3) years of age and older in their assigned rooms or areas:**
1. Interested licensees or commission holders shall submit a written request for such designation on forms provided by the department.** *
(l) Child care rooms shall have outside windows which receive natural sunlight and equal not less than five percent (5%) of the floor area in each room, unless central heating and air conditioning are provided.*
1. Facilities which do not have a functioning central heating and airconditioning system shall make fifty percent (50%) of all required windows operable for ventilation. Any openings used for ventilation shall be screened.** *
2. For centers first licensed after the effective date of these rules and for centers that are renovated after the effective date of these rules, the diapering areas shall be ventilated by functioning exhaust fans and a duct system or by the required operable windows.*
(m) Children under three (3) years of age shall be housed in separate physical areas from older children except during the early morning times of arrival and late-afternoon times of departure when mixed-age groups are permitted.*
(n) For evening and nighttime care, separate changing areas shall be provided for children of the opposite sex eight (8) years of age and older.** *
(o) Toilets and lavatories which are accessible to the children shall be located on each floor, in or adjacent to the child care areas or rooms.*
(p) Flush toilets and lavatories (hand washing sinks) with running water shall be provided in the following minimum ratios for the use of all children:*

1.

Number of Children

Toilets and Lavatories

 
 

1 - 12

1

*

 

13 - 25

2

*

 

26 - 50

3

*

 

51 - 75

4

*

 

76 - 100

5

*

 

101 - 125

6

*

 

126 - 150

7

*

 

151 - 175

8

*

Each additional group of twenty-five (25) children shall require one (1) additional toilet and lavatory.

(i) For children being potty-trained, at least one (1) flush toilet shall be provided. Two (2) nursery potty chairs may be substituted for each subsequent required toilet.
2. In lieu of the ratios set forth in subsection 1. above, school age day care centers shall provide at least one (1) toilet and (1) lavatory for each group of twenty-five (25) children.**
(q) When child-size fixtures are not provided, platforms or sets of steps to assist children who are unable to use the fixtures comfortably shall be available at the toilets and lavatories.*
(r) In centers first licensed after the effective date of the rules and centers that remodel or add to existing plumbing facilities, the bathroom area shall be fully enclosed and ventilated to the outside of the building with either an open screened window or functioning exhaust fan and duct system. Centers without fully enclosed bathrooms shall ensure that there is adequate ventilation to control odors and adequate sanitation measures to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.*
(s) A copy of the hand washing chart, provided by the department, shall be posted above or beside each lavatory used by adults.*
(t) Diapers shall be changed in the child's own crib or on a diaper changing surface that is used for no other purposes other than changing clothes in each room where infants or any other children wearing diapers are served.*
1. The diaper changing surface shall be:*
(i) Smooth,*
(ii) Non-porous, and*
(iii) Equipped with a guard or rail to prevent falls.*
(u) The following items shall also be provided at the diapering area:*
1. Soap,*
2. Individually dispensed, single-use hand towels,*
3. Single-use wash cloths, and*
4. Covered storage container for soiled items.*
(v) In centers first licensed after the effective date of these rules and centers that renovate existing plumbing facilities, a hand washing lavatory with running heated water shall be located adjacent to the diapering area. Flush sinks shall not be used for hand washing. Cleansing procedures in existing facilities shall be approved by the department.*
(w) Staff shall wash their hands after each diaper change they perform.*
(x) Individual storage spaces which are accessible to children who are not infants shall be provided for each child's:**
1. Outer garments, and**
2. Personal belongings.**
(y) Locked or securely fastened storage spaces or cabinets shall be used for the storage of supplies, seasonal toys, decorations and other excess equipment. Children shall not be permitted access to these storage spaces or cabinets.**
(z) The following shall be kept in a locked area out of the reach of children and separate from food storage areas and used by the staff in such ways as to be inaccessible to the children:**
1. All potentially hazardous equipment, such as, but not limited to, lawn and garden tools, repair equipment, maintenance and cleaning equipment, and razors;**
2. Non-food related products under pressure in aerosol dispensing cans;**
3. Flammable materials and liquids;**
4. Corrosive materials;**
5. Cleaning supplies;**
6. Insecticides;**
7. Poisons;**
8. Office supplies; and**
9. Industrial-sized or commercial buckets with a capacity of three (3) gallons or more or any other similar device with rigid sides which would be unlikely to tip over if a toddler fell into the container head first.
(aa) For centers first licensed after the effective date of these rules, the center shall provide or have ready access to an outdoor play area. The minimum size of the outdoor area must be equal to one hundred (100) square feet times one-third (1/3) of the center's licensed capacity for children.** *
1. At least one hundred (100) square feet shall be available for each child occupying the outside play area at any one time;** *
2. Groups of children may be rotated if necessary so that one hundred (100) square feet per child is provided at all times;**
3. Outside play areas shall be adjacent to the center or in an area which can be reached by a safe route or method approved by the department;** *
4. Play areas shall be protected from traffic or other hazards by a four (4) foot or higher secure fence or other barrier approved by the department;** *
(i) Fencing material shall not present a hazard to children, and shall be maintained so as to prevent children from leaving the play area by any other means than through an approved access route;** *
(ii) Fence gates shall be kept closed except when persons are entering or exiting the area;** *
5. The outdoor play space shall have a surface suitable for varied activities;*
(i) Hard surfaces, such as gravel, concrete, or paving shall not exceed one-fourth (¼) of the total outdoor play area;*
6. Outside play areas shall be kept:** *
(i) Clean,** *
(ii) Free from litter,** *
(iii) Free of hazards such as, but not limited to, non-resilient surfaces under the fall-zone of play equipment, rocks, exposed tree roots and exposed sharp edges of concrete or equipment;** *
7. Shaded areas shall be provided in the outside play areas;*
8. All outside play equipment shall be arranged so as not to obstruct supervision of children; and** *
9. Climbing and swinging equipment shall be:** *
(i) Anchored, and** *
(ii) Have a resilient surface beneath the equipment and the fall-zone from such equipment which is adequately maintained by the center to assure continuing resiliency.** *
(bb) Any outside storage or equipment area shall be locked or separated from the children by a barrier or be enclosed and shall not be accessible to the children.** *
(cc) Sufficient parking areas shall be provided to permit safe discharge and pick up of children.** *
(dd) The center shall provide outside lighting at entrances and exits used by children when the center provides evening or nighttime care.** *
(ee) General Requirements. All equipment shall be used only by the age-appropriate group of children and shall be:**
1. Free from hazardous conditions such as, but not limited to, sharp, rough edges or toxic paint;** *
2. In safe operating condition;** *
3. Placed so as to minimize danger of accident or collision;** *
4. Placed so as to permit the children's freedom of movement; and** *
5. Kept clean.** *
(ff) Toys For Children Under Three. All toys used by children less than three (3) years of age shall be appropriate for the age of the children using the toys. These toys shall be:
1. Easily cleaned;
2. Non-toxic and lead-free;
3. Too large to be swallowed by a child and not capable of causing asphyxiation or strangulation;
4. Have no sharp pieces, edges or points or small parts which may be pried off by a child;
5. Be free of rust; and
6. Cleaned with a disinfectant daily.
(gg) Accessibility Of Toys. A variety of age-appropriate toys and play materials shall be stored on low open shelves accessible to children in each room or assigned area. Infants and children shall not be permitted to play with toys which are not designed for their particular age group or younger. Projectile launchers of any sort, such as dart guns, pop guns, and slingshots etc. shall not be allowed at the center. Balloons shall not be accessible to preschool children.**
(hh) Outdoor Equipment. The outdoor play equipment shall provide an opportunity for the children to engage in a variety of experiences and shall be age-appropriate. For example, toddlers shall not be permitted to swing in swings designed for school-age children. The outdoor equipment shall be free of lead-based paint, sharp corners and shall be regularly maintained in such a way as to be free of rust and splinters that could pose significant safety hazard to the children.*
(ii) Tables. There shall be table space provided for each child who is able to sit at a table unassisted.** *
1. An appropriately-sized chair or bench shall be provided for each child who is not an infant and who is able to use a chair or bench.** *
(jj) Feeding Chairs. A feeding chair or similar equipment designed for feeding children shall be provided for the use of each child being fed who is capable of sitting up but who is unable to sit unassisted at a table.*
1. High chairs or similar equipment shall have:*
(i) A broad base to prevent tipping;*
(ii) A surface that the child cannot raise;*
(iii) A strap or other device which prevents the child from sliding out of the chair; and*
(iv) A feeding surface; free of cracks.*
(kk) Cleaning of Tables and Feeding Chairs. After each use, table tops and high chairs or similar equipment shall be cleaned with a disinfectant.*
(ll) Sleeping Equipment. Individual sleeping equipment shall be available for each child.*
1. A crib with a mattress shall be available for each infant.*
(i) Cribs shall be of sturdy construction with bars no more than two and three-eighths inches (2 3/8") apart.*
(I) Stack cribs shall not be used.*
(II) If crib mobiles or other mobiles are used in the center, the mobiles shall be placed or installed in such a manner so as to be incapable of being touched by any infant or child.*
(ii) Each crib mattress shall be at least two inches (2") thick and covered with a waterproof, washable material.*
(iii) Locks and latches on the dropside of the crib shall be safe and secure from accidental release.*
(iv) Crib sides shall always be up and the fastenings secured when a child is in the crib, except when personnel are standing at the side of the crib giving the child personal attention.
(v) There shall be no restraining devices of any type used in the crib unless prescribed in writing by a physician. Staff shall be responsible for using the restraints safely and in accordance with the prescription.
(vi) Loose plastic materials shall not be used in cribs.
(vii) Each crib shall have individual crib-size bedding, including a sheet and cover which is:
(I) Changed daily or more often if necessary, and
(II) Changed prior to a change of occupant.
(viii) Before a change of occupant, each crib and mattress shall be cleaned with a disinfectant.
2. Depending on the developmental stage of the one (1) year old child, a crib or playpen or mat or cot shall be available for resting or sleeping. A crib shall not be used with an infant who has learned how to climb out of the crib.*
(i) Playpens shall have a two inch (2") mat.*
(ii) Playpens shall be stored outside of children's activity room or area when the children are not napping or resting.*
3. A cot or mat shall be available for each child who is two (2) years or older who is required to take a nap.*
(i) Cots and mats, if stored in the children's activity room or area, shall be arranged so as to:*
(I) Prevent children's access to them, and*
(II) Allow maximum use of play space.*
(ii) Mats shall be:*
(I) Covered with waterproof material,*
(II) Washable, and*
(III) At least two inches (2") thick.*
4. For nighttime care, each child, except infants who require individual cribs, shall be provided an individual:*
(i) Bed with four inch (4") mattress, or*
(ii) Cot with a two inch (2") pad.*
5. Sleeping and resting equipment shall be:*
(i) Of sound construction,*
(ii) Of sufficient size to accommodate comfortably the size and weight of the child,*
(iii) Marked for individual use and used by the same child daily, and*
(iv) Kept clean.*
6. Sleeping equipment shall be covered with a clean sheet or similar covering.*
(i) Sheets shall either be individually marked or laundered daily, and*
(ii) Individually marked sheets shall be laundered weekly, or more frequently as needed;*
7. A light weight cover shall be available for each child's use.*
(i) Covers shall either be individually marked or laundered daily, and*
(ii) Individually marked covers shall be laundered weekly, or more frequently as needed.*
8. Pillows shall not be used by children under two (2) years of age.*
9. When used for older children, pillows shall be:*
(i) Assigned for individual use, and*
(ii) Covered with individually marked pillow cases or covered with cases that are laundered daily; and*
(iii) Individually marked pillow cases shall be laundered weekly, or more frequently as needed.*

Rule 290-2-2-.13 Emergency Situations

A center shall have a written plan for handling emergencies, including but not limited to severe weather, loss of electrical power or water and death, serious injury or loss of a child, which may occur at the center. No center personnel shall impede in any way the delivery of emergency care or services to a child by licensed or certified emergency health care professionals.** *

Rule 290-2-2-.14 Food Services and Nutrition

The center shall ensure that the children receive nutritious meals and snacks in accordance with the following:**

(a) A written feeding plan for children under one (1) year of age shall be obtained from parents:
1. Instructions from the parents shall be updated regularly as new foods are added or other dietary changes are made; and
2. The parent shall sign the feeding plan.
(b) The feeding plan shall be posted in the child's assigned room and shall include:
1. The child's feeding schedule;
2. The amount of formula to be given;
3. Instructions for the introduction of solid foods;
4. The amount of food to be given; and
5. Notation of any type(s) of commercial premixed formula which may not be used in an emergency because of food allergies.
(c) When formula is provided by the center, only commercially prepared, ready-to-feed formula shall be used. When formula or expressed milk is provided by the parents, it shall be provided in individually marked baby bottles. Any unused formula or milk shall be discarded or returned to the parent at the end of the day.
1. All baby bottles shall be clearly labeled with the individual child's name and marked with the current day's date.
(i) Only the current day's dated formula shall be served; and shall be refrigerated at a temperature of forty-five (45) degrees Fahrenheit or below.
(d) Center personnel shall hold and feed infants under six (6) months of age and older children who cannot hold their own bottles or sit alone:
1. Baby bottles shall never be propped; and
2. The infant's head shall be elevated while feeding.
(e) Honey shall not be served to children under one (1) year of age.
(f) As soon as the feeding plan indicates that a child is ready for solid foods, the child shall be fed from individual spoons and individual containers or dishes.
1. A child shall not be fed directly from the original baby food container if the contents are to be fed to the child at more than one (1) meal or to more than one (1) child.
(g) As soon as the children exhibit a desire to feed themselves, the children shall be assisted and encouraged to:
1. Feed themselves, and
2. Drink from individual cups.
(h) Food shall be served:
1. In individual plates or bowls for each child, and**
2. With individual utensils of a size appropriate for the age of the child.**
(i) Beverages shall be served in individual glasses or cups.**
(j) Children shall be encouraged but not forced to eat.**
(k) Children shall be:
1. Given necessary assistance in feeding;
2. Encouraged to try a variety of foods in order to develop good nutritional habits.
(l) Powdered non-fat dry milk shall only be used for cooking purposes.
(m) Food and drinks shall be prepared in an area that is not used for diaper-changing and as close to serving time as possible to protect children and personnel from food-borne illnesses.
(n) Any portions of food or drink which are served to children or placed on the table for service and are not consumed at that meal or snack by the children to whom the portions are served shall be thrown away.
(o) The center shall provide a menu listing all meals and snacks to be served during the current week except for school-age day care centers where the food may be provided by the parents by agreement between the school-age day care center and the parents. The menu shall be:*
1. Dated, and*
2. Posted near the front entrance of the center in a location conspicuous to parents.*
(p) Menu substitutions shall be recorded on the posted menu.
(q) Menus shall be retained at the center for six (6) months.
(r) When a child requires a modified diet for medical reasons, a written statement from a medical authority shall be on file. When a child requires a modified diet for religious reasons, a written statement to that effect from the child's parents shall be on file.**
1. All caregiver personnel shall be informed of the diet restrictions for the child; and
2. Only food that complies with the prescribed dietary regimen but still meets the food and nutrition requirements shall be served to the child.
(s) Each center shall have designated space for food preparation and storage areas separate from rooms used by children.*
(t) Food preparation surface areas shall be nonporous with no unsealed cracks or seams.*
(u) Kitchen lights shall be shielded.*
(v) Ventilation shall be provided either by mechanical or natural means so as to provide fresh air and control of unpleasant odors in the food preparation area.*
(w) Water supply and sewage disposal systems, if other than community systems, shall be approved by the local county health authorities.** *
(x) Staff shall wash their hands and arms thoroughly with soap and warm water before starting food service work and shall wash hands during work hours as often as may be necessary to remove soil and contamination as well as after visiting the toilet room.** *
(y) Food purchased from a caterer shall be prepared in a facility with a current food service permit, and shall be maintained at a safe temperature (forty-five (45) degrees Fahrenheit or below for foods requiring refrigeration or one hundred forty (140) degrees Fahrenheit for foods which must be heated prior to serving) until served.*
(z) All perishable and potentially hazardous foods shall be refrigerated at a temperature of forty-five (45) degrees Fahrenheit or below and served promptly after cooking. Freezer temperature shall be maintained at zero (0) degrees Fahrenheit or below.** *
(aa) Food shall be in sound condition, free from spoilage and contamination and shall be safe for human consumption.**
(bb) All raw fruits and vegetables shall be washed thoroughly before being cooked or served. Food not subject to further washing or cooking before serving shall be stored in such a manner as to be protected against contamination.**
(cc) Containers for food storage other than the original container or package in which the food was obtained shall be impervious and non-absorbent, have tight fitting lids or covers and labeled as to contents.**
(dd) Containers of food shall be stored above the floor on clean surfaces, in such a manner as to be protected from splash and other contamination.**
(ee) Eggs, pork, pork products, poultry, and fish shall be thoroughly cooked.**
(ff) Meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, bakery products and processed foods shall have been inspected under an official regulatory program.**
(gg) Hot foods shall be maintained at a temperature of one hundred forty (140) degrees Fahrenheit or above except during serving. Hot foods shall not be served at a temperature which would cause the children to burn their mouths upon consuming the food.
(hh) Staff shall not use tobacco in any form while engaged in food preparation or service, or while in the food preparation area or while cleaning equipment and utensils.
(ii) Chipped or cracked dishes shall not be used.**
(jj) Food service equipment and preparation areas shall be kept clean and free of accumulation of dust, dirt, food particles and grease deposits.**
(kk) Non-disposable dishes, glasses and silverware shall be properly cleaned by pre-rinsing, or scraping, washing, sanitizing and air drying. A three (3) compartment sink or a dishwasher with a sani-cycle or capability of maintaining a rinse water temperature of a minimum of one hundred fifty (150) degrees Fahrenheit and a two (2) compartment sink shall be available. Dishes, glasses and silverware shall be rinsed in the approved dishwasher or rinsed in a chemical sanitizing agent and air dried.** *
(ll) Garbage shall be stored in trash containers with lids. Containers shall be emptied and cleaned as needed. Acceptable facilities, including water and detergent or steam, shall be provided and used for cleaning containers. Areas around outside containers shall be kept clean.** *
(mm) Poisons, medicines, cleaning chemicals, razors, aerosol cans, etc. shall be kept in a safe, or locked location that is inaccessible to the children.** *
(nn) Children shall be served all meals and snacks scheduled for the period during which they are present. In those school-age day care centers where the parents of children enrolled provide the meals and snacks, the center shall ensure that no child remains at the center without receiving the scheduled nutritious meals and snacks. The following meals and snacks shall be scheduled and served by the center when appropriate:** *
1. Breakfast or a morning snack shall be served to each child;** *
2. Lunch;** *
3. An afternoon snack;** *
4. Supper shall be served during evening care;** *
5. An evening snack shall be served prior to bedtime; and*
6. There shall be a period of at least two (2) hours between each required meal or snack.
(oo) Meals and snacks with serving sizes dependent upon the age of the child shall meet nutrition guidelines as established by the United States Department of Agriculture Child Care Food Program.** *
(pp) Meals and snacks shall be varied daily.
(qq) Additional servings of nutritious food shall be offered to children over and above the required daily minimum, if not contraindicated by special diets.
(rr) Soft drink vending machines and other food dispensers shall not be maintained on center premises for the children's use:*
1. Dispensers for personnel use shall be outside of the children's areas.
(ss) Drinking water shall be available to all children.** *
1. Drinking water shall be offered at least once between meals and snacks to children under three (3) years of age.
(tt) Peanuts, hot dogs, raw carrots, popcorn, fish with bones and grapes shall not be served to the children under three (3) years of age. Children older than three (3) years of age may be served these foods provided that the foods are cut in such a way as to minimize choking.
(uu) Foods and drinks with little or no nutritional value, i.e. sweets, soft drinks, etc. shall be served only on special occasions and only in addition to the required nutritious meals and snacks.

Rule 290-2-2-.15 Waivers and Variances

The department may, in its discretion, grant waivers and variances of specific rules upon application or petition being filed on forms provided by the department. The department may establish conditions which must be met by the center in order to operate under the waiver or variance granted. Waivers and variances may be granted in accordance with the following considerations:**

(a) Variance. A variance may be granted by the department upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the particular rule or regulation that is the subject of the variance request should not be applied as written because strict application of the rule would cause undue hardship. The applicant or petitioner must also show that adequate standards affording protection for the health, safety and care of the children exist and will be met in lieu of the exact requirements of the rule or regulation in question.**
(b) Waiver. The department may dispense entirely with the enforcement of a rule or regulation by granting a waiver upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the purpose of the rule or regulation is met through equivalent standards affording equivalent protection for the health, safety and care of the children.**
(c) Experimental Variance or Waiver. The department may grant waivers and variances to allow experimentation and demonstration of new and innovative approaches to delivery of services upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the intended protections afforded by the rule or regulation which is the subject of the request are met and that the innovative approach has the potential to improve service delivery.**

Rule 290-2-2-.16 Enforcement and Penalties

No day care center shall operate in the State without a license or commission unless the department determines that it is exempt from licensure or commission requirements. A license or commission to operate a day care center may be denied, revoked, restricted or suspended in accordance with the following:**

(a) Refusal of a License or Commission. The department shall refuse to issue any license or commission upon a showing of:**
1. Noncompliance with the Rules and Regulations for Day Care Centers which are designated in writing to the center as being related to children's health and safety; or, flagrant and continued operation of an unlicensed facility in contravention of the law; or prior license denial or revocation within one (1) year of application; or,**
2. the department may refuse to issue a license or commission where the applicant, or the agent of the applicant, denies the department's representative access to the center for the purposes of determining whether a license or commission will be granted; or,**
3. the department may refuse to issue a license or commission where the director or employees of the center do not undergo the applicable records check and receive satisfactory determinations.**
(b) Revocation of a License or Commission. The department may revoke any license or commission in the following instances:**
1. where the department's representative is refused access to the center for the purpose of determining whether the center is in compliance with these rules; or,**
2. where the department determines that a non-correctable deficiency, abuse or dereliction exists in the operation or management of the center; or,**
3. where the department determines that a correctable abuse, dereliction or deficiency in the operation or management of the center has not been corrected within a reasonable time after:**
(i) having been brought immediately to the attention of the administrator of the center by a department representative; and,**
(ii) having been advised in writing of the deficiencies and setting a time not to exceed ten (10) working days for the filing of an acceptable plan of correction; and,**
(I) the licensee or commission holder fails to submit an acceptable plan of correction to the department within the specified time limits. In determining whether a plan of correction is acceptable, the department will consider the extent of the deficiencies, whether the licensee or commission holder has previously been cited for the same deficiencies, the history of compliance including whether the licensee or commission holder has sustained compliance with previous plans of correction, and whether the correction required can be maintained over time; or**
(II) the licensee or commission holder fails to follow the accepted plan of correction;**
4. where the director or employees of a center do not undergo the applicable records checks and receive satisfactory determinations;**
5. where there is a flagrant abuse, dereliction or deficiency that constitutes shocking intentional misconduct.**
(c) Suspension of a License or Commission. The department may suspend the license or commission to operate a center in the following instances:**
1. where the director or employees of a center do not undergo the applicable records checks and receive satisfactory determinations or**
2. where the department finds that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action and incorporates a finding to this effect in its order summarily suspending the license pending proceedings for revocation or other action, which proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined.**
(d) Restriction of a License or Commission. The department may restrict or limit the holder of a regular, restricted or temporary license or commission from providing certain kinds of care or services to children or limiting the number and/or age of the children who may be served if the department determines that the holder of the license or commission either cannot comply with these rules or has not complied with these rules.**
(e) Emergency Order. Notwithstanding other remedies available to the department which may be pursued at the same time, the commissioner or his designee may order the emergency placement of a monitor or monitors in a center in accordance with the following:**
1. the department's rules and regulations are being violated which threaten the health, safety, or welfare of children in care and when one or more of the following conditions are present:**
(i) the center is operating without a license or commission; or,**
(ii) the department has denied the application for the license or commission or has initiated action to revoke the existing license or commission of the center; or,**
(iii) children are suspected of being subjected to injury or life-threatening situations or the health or safety of a child or children is in danger.**
2. A monitor may be placed in the center for no more than ten (10) consecutive calendar days, during which time the monitor shall observe conditions and regulatory compliance with any recommended remedial action of the department. Upon expiration of the ten (10) day period, should conditions warrant, the initial ten (10) day period may be extended for an additional ten (10) day period. The monitor shall report to the department. The monitor shall not assume any administrative responsibility within the center, nor shall the monitor be liable for any actions of the center. The salary and related costs and travel and subsistence allowance as defined by department policy of placing a monitor in a center shall be reimbursed to the department by the center, unless the order placing the monitor is determined to be invalid in a contested case or by final adjudication by a court of competent jurisdiction, in which event the costs associated with the monitor shall be paid by the department.**
3. The emergency order shall contain the following:**
(i) The scope of the order;**
(ii) The reasons for the issuance of the order;**
(iii) The effective date of the order if other than the date the order is issued;**
(iv) The person to whom questions regarding the order are to be addressed; and**
(v) Notice of the right to a preliminary hearing.**
4. Unless otherwise provided in the order, an emergency order shall become effective upon its service to the owner of the center, the director of the center, or any other agent, employee, or person in charge of the center at the time of the service of the order.**
5. The request for a preliminary hearing shall be made in writing within five (5) days from the time of service, excepting weekends. The request must be made to the representative of the department designated in the order. Unless a request is made to appear in person, the preliminary hearing shall consist of an administrative review of the record, written evidence submitted by the center affected, and a preliminary written argument in support of its contentions.**
6. If a request is made to appear in person at the preliminary hearing, the center shall provide the name and address of the person or persons, if any, who will be representing the center in the preliminary hearing.**
7. Upon receipt of a request for a preliminary hearing, the department shall set and give notice of the date, time and location of the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing shall be held as soon as possible after a request therefor but in no event later than seventy-two (72) hours after such request, provided that a center may request that such hearing be held earlier; provided, however, that in no event will a hearing be held on a weekend or holiday.**
8. If a personal appearance is requested, the preliminary hearing shall consist of a review of the evidence in the record, any additional evidence introduced at the hearing, and any arguments made. A recording shall be made of the hearing.**
9. The department shall, where practicable, issue an immediate oral order and shall, in all instances, issue a written order within four (4) business days after the close of the hearing.**
10. Pending final appeal of the validity of any emergency order issued as provided for pursuant to O.C.G.A. Sec. 49-5-90et seq., such emergency order shall remain in full effect until vacated or rescinded by the commissioner or his designee.**
11. The department is not precluded from taking any actions permitted by other laws or regulations during the time that an emergency order is in force.**
(f) Right to a Hearing. The department's action revoking or refusing to renew or issue a license or commission required pursuant to O.C.G.A. Sec. 49-5-12 shall be preceded by notice and opportunity for a hearing and shall constitute a contested case within the meaning of the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act", O.C.G.A. Sec. 50-13-1et seq. except that only thirty (30) days' notice in writing from the commissioner's designee shall be required prior to license or commission revocation and except that the hearing held relating to such action by the department may be closed to the public if the hearing officer determines that an open hearing would be detrimental to the physical or mental health of any child who will testify at that hearing.**
1. In connection with the department instituting proceedings to revoke, suspend, refuse to renew or restrict a previously issued license or commission, the department shall provide notice sent by certified mail setting forth the facts or conduct which has warranted the department's action. The notice shall inform the licensee or commission holder of the opportunity to demonstrate that the licensee or commission holder was in full compliance with all lawful requirements for the retention of the license or commission at the time that the facts or conduct warranting the revocation, suspension or restriction action allegedly occurred. However, this notice shall not be required in the following instances:**
(i) The department finds that the public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, in which case summary suspension of the license may be ordered pending proceedings for revocation or suspension or other action, which proceeding shall be promptly instituted and determined; or**
(ii) The department's order is expressly required, by judgment or a statute, to be made without the right to or hearing or continuance of any type.**
2. The notice of revocation, suspension or restriction of a license or commission becomes effective thirty (30) days from the day of notice unless the licensee or commission holder requests a hearing. A request for a hearing must be made in writing within ten (10) days of receipt of the notice of revocation, suspension or restriction.**
(g) Notice of Hearing. If the licensee or commission holder requests a hearing, a notice of hearing shall be mailed or served personally on the licensee or commission holder. The notice shall contain the following:**
1. a statement of the date, time, place and nature of the hearing;**
2. a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;**
3. a reference to the particular section of the statutes and rules involved;**
4. a short and plain statement of the matters asserted. The department may refer to any child that is the subject of a deficiency or violation in the notice by the child's initials. The name of the child so referenced will be released orally to the licensee or commission holder upon written request to the department. If the department is unable to state the matters in detail at the time, the notice may be limited to a statement of the issues involved. Thereafter, upon application approved by the hearing officer, a more definite and detailed statement shall be furnished; and**
5. a statement as to the right of any party to subpoena witnesses and documentary evidence through the department.**
(h) Inspection Warrants. If a department representative is denied entrance to a center which is believed to be subject to licensure, an application for an inspection warrant may be made by the department to a court of competent jurisdiction and, if granted, used to gain entry to that center.**
(i) Injunctive Relief. The department may, without regard to the availability of other remedies, including administrative remedies, seek an injunction against the continued operation of a center without a license or commission or the continued operation of a center in willfull violation of O.C.G.A. Sec. 49-5-1et seq. or of any regulation of the department or in violation of any other order of the board of the department.**
(j) Criminal Penalties. The criminal penalties which may be imposed for violation of these rules are as follows:**
1. Any person who violates the provisions of O.C.G.A. Sec. 49-5-12 or who hinders, obstructs, or otherwise interferes with any representative of the department in the discharge of that person's official duties in making inspections or in investigating complaints shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.**
2. Any person who shall make, utter, execute, or submit to the department any oral or written representation, knowing the same to be false, for the purpose of obtaining anything of value, including any service, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.**
3. Any day care center which operates without a currently valid license or commission issued by the department is subject to the provisions of O.C.G.A. Sec. 49-5-12(p)which provides upon conviction of operating a day care center without a license or commission, for a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than two hundred dollars ($200) for each offense. Each day of operation without a license or commission constitutes a separate criminal offense.**
(k) Civil Penalties. The department may assess civil penalties in accordance with the following:**
1. A fine, not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) may be assessed by the department against any person who**
(i) violates any licensing or commissioning provision of O.C.G.A. Sec. 49-5-1et seq. or any rule, regulation, or order issued under O.C.G.A. Sec. 49-5-1et seq. or any term, condition, or limitation of any license, commission or registration certificate under O.C.G.A. Sec. 49-5-1et seq. thereby subjecting a child in care to injury or a life-threatening situation; or,**
(ii) commits any violation for which a license or commission may be revoked.**
2. If any violation is a continuing one, each day of such violation will constitute a separate violation for the purpose of computing the applicable civil penalty.**
3. Whenever the department proposes to subject a person to the imposition of a civil penalty, it shall notify such person in writing. The notice shall set forth the following:**
(i) the date, facts, and nature of each act or omission with which the person is charged;**
(ii) the specific and particular provisions of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated section, the rule, regulation, order, license, or commission certificate involved in the violation;**
(iii) each penalty which the department proposes to impose and its amount;**
(iv) that the person has an opportunity to show in writing, within ten (10) days of the receipt of the notice, why such penalty should not be imposed;**
(v) that the failure to pay the civil penalty, subsequently determined by the department, if any, may result in collection through a civil action (lawsuit); and**
(vi) that the person also has the right to appeal the imposition of the civil penalty pursuant to the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act, O.C.G.A. Sec. 50-13-1et seq. by filing a timely request for a hearing.**
4. The written notice of the intention to impose a civil penalty shall be sent by registered or certified mail by the department of the last known address of such person.**
5. The amount of the civil penalty will be assessed in accordance with the following:**
(i) a penalty of five hundred dollars ($500) may be assessed for any violation of these rules which has resulted in a disabling or permanent injury or the death of a child;**
(ii) a penalty ranging from three hundred one dollars ($301) to four hundred ninety-nine dollars ($499) may be assessed for any violation of these rules which has resulted in an injury or harm to a child but has left no disabling or permanent physical damage;**
(iii) a penalty ranging from fifty dollars ($50) to two hundred ninety-nine dollars ($299) may be assessed for any violation of these rules which demonstrates a reckless and serious disregard for the physical or mental health or safety of a child in care but which may or may not result in physical injury to a child or for any other violation of these rules for which a license may be revoked.**
6. The department will consider in assessing a civil penalty the severity of the rule violation, the duration of non-compliance, the licensee's or commission holder's prior licensure or commission history and the voluntary reporting of the violation for which the fine is being imposed by the licensee or the commission holder.**
7. The assessment of a civil penalty will not preclude the department from taking any additional actions authorized by law or regulation including but not limited to license or commission restriction, suspension, revocation, emergency monitors or the seeking of an injunction against the continued operation of the center.**
(l) Complaints. All complaints concerning a licensed or unlicensed day care center may be submitted to the department by telephone, letter or personal conference. Complaints will be investigated by a department representative, if appropriate. A written report of the findings of the investigation will be sent to the complainant upon request where authorized by law.**

Rule 290-2-2-.17 Severability

In the event that any rule, sentence, clause or phrase of any of these rules and regulations may be construed by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal, unconstitutional, or otherwise unenforceable, such determination or adjudication shall in no manner affect the remaining rules or portions thereof. The remaining rules or portions thereof shall remain in full force and effect, as if such rule or portions thereof so determined, declared or adjudged invalid or unconstitutional were not originally a part of these rules.**

Rule 290-2-2-.18 Notice of Revocation or Emergency Suspension Actions

(1) The Department shall provide notice of its actions to revoke the license or seek an emergency suspension of the center's license to operate to parents, guardians, and others who may have children in the care of the center. This notice, together with the Department's complaint intake phone number and website, shall be provided to parents, guardians, and others through the following methods:
(a) The posting of the official notice of the revocation or emergency suspension action and any final resolution at the center by Departmental staff in an area that is visible to the parents and guardians whose children attend the center;
(b) The posting of the official notice of the revocation or emergency suspension action and any final resolution on the Department's website; and
(c) The distribution by Departmental staff of a brief notice of the initial filing of action to revoke or suspend the center's license to the parents or guardians, or persons authorized to pick up the children from care for the parents or guardians, who are at the center at the time that the notice of revocation or emergency suspension is posted by the Department.
(2) In addition, the Department may share any notice of the revocation or emergency suspension action and any information pertaining thereto with any other agencies which may have an interest in the welfare of the children in care at the center.
(3) When the Department has posted a notice of revocation and/or emergency suspension actions in the center, the center shall ensure that the notice at the center continues to be visible to the parents, guardians, and others throughout the pendency of the revocation and emergency suspension actions including any appeals. Where the center provides transportation of the children in care to and from the center and the parents, guardians, or others responsible for the care of the children do not come to the center on a regular basis, the center shall send home with the children on the day that it is delivered by Departmental staff copies of the brief notice of the revocation or emergency suspension action to the parents, guardians, or others who are responsible for the care of the children enrolled in the center.
(4) The center shall have posted at the center in an area that is readily visible to the parents, guardians, and others any inspection reports that are prepared by the Department during the pendency of any revocation or emergency suspension action.
(5) It shall be a violation of these rules for the center to permit the removal or obliteration of any notices of revocation, emergency suspension action, resolution, or inspection survey reports posted by the Department on the premises of the center during the pendency of any revocation or emergency suspension action.

Rule 290-2-2-.19 Infant-Sleeping Safety Requirements

In order to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), staff shall put an infant to sleep on the infant's back unless the center has been provided a physician's written statement authorizing another sleep position for that particular infant. The infant shall be placed for sleeping on a firm, tight-fitting mattress in a sturdy and safe crib. If the crib has side bars, the bars shall be no more than two and three-eighths inches (2 3/8") apart. Any crib used for sleeping shall have a tight-fitting bottom crib sheet with no pillows, quilts, comforters, bumper pads, sheepskins, stuffed toys, or other soft items in the crib. If a blanket is required for the comfort of the infant, the infant's feet shall be placed at the foot of the crib and the infant shall be covered with the blanket only to chest level with the blanket tucked firmly under the crib mattress. The infant's sleeping area shall be maintained within a temperature range of sixty-five (65) to eighty-five (85) degrees depending upon the season. When an infant can easily turn over onto his or her stomach, staff shall continue to put the infant to sleep initially on the infant's back but allow the infant to roll over onto his or her stomach as the infant prefers. Positioning devices that restrict an infant's movement in the crib shall not be used unless a physician's written statement authorizing its use is provided for that particular infant.