Sec. DCF 250.07 - Program

ยง DCF 250.07. Program


(a) A provider shall plan activities so that each child may be or do all of the following:

1. Be successful and feel good about himself or herself.

2. Use and develop language.

3. Use large and small muscles.

4. Use materials and take part in activities that encourage creativity.

5. Learn new ideas and skills.

6. Participate in imaginative play.

7. Be exposed to a variety of cultures.

8. Develop literacy skills.

Note: The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards are voluntary standards that were designed to help centers develop programs and curriculum to help ensure that children are exposed to activities and opportunities that will prepare them for success in school and into the future. The Standards are primarily intended as guidance on developmentally appropriate expectations and are not intended to be used as a checklist to gauge a child's progress. The Standards are based on scientific research. Copies of the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards are available on the Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners website at or through the Child Care Information Center at 1-800-362-7353. Wisconsin has an information and referral service for persons with questions or concerns about a child's development called First Step that is available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When a call is placed to First Step at 1-800-642-7837, the caller will learn about early intervention services as well as other related services in the area. When a provider or a parent has concerns about a child's growth or development a referral to a Birth-to-Three agency or the local public school should be considered to determine if the child is eligible for special services. With parental consent and consultation, it is recommended that centers who care for children who have an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) coordinate programming activities with the local school district or Birth to Three agency.

(b) A provider shall plan daily activities according to the age and developmental level of each child in care and shall include a flexible balance of all of the following:

1. Daily indoor and outdoor activities when a child is in care for more than 3 hours except that outdoor activities are not required during inclement weather or when not advisable for health reasons.

2. Active and quiet play.

3. Protection from excess fatigue and over stimulation.

4. Individual and group activities.

(c) Television, including videotapes and DVDs, may be used only to supplement the daily plan for children. No child may be required to watch television.


(a) Each family child care center shall provide positive guidance and redirection for the children and shall set clearly specified limits for the children. A provider shall help each child develop self-control, self-esteem and respect for the rights of others.


1. For purposes of this paragraph, a "time-out" is an interruption of unacceptable behavior by the removal of the child from the situation, not to isolate the child, but to allow the child an opportunity to pause, and with support from the provider, reflect on behavior and gain self-control.

2. If a provider uses time-out periods to deal with unacceptable behavior, a time-out may not exceed 3 minutes and may not be used for a child under 3 years of age.

3. The procedures for time-out periods shall be included in the center's written child guidance policy.

(c) Actions that may be psychologically, emotionally or physically painful, discomforting, dangerous or potentially injurious are prohibited. Examples of prohibited actions include all of the following:

1. Spanking, hitting, pinching, shaking, slapping, twisting, throwing, or inflicting any other form of corporal punishment on the child.

2. Verbal abuse, threats or derogatory remarks about the child or the child's family.

3. Physical restraint, binding or tying the child to restrict the child's movement or enclosing the child in a confined space such as a closet, locked room, box or similar cubicle.

4. Withholding or forcing meals, snacks or naps.

5. Actions that are cruel, aversive, humiliating or frightening to the child.

(d) A child may not be punished for lapses in toilet training.

Note: See s. DCF 250.04(8) for information on reporting suspected child abuse and s. DCF 250.04(3) (i) for rules requiring that prohibited actions to a child be reported to the department within 24 hours after the occurrence.


(a) Safe indoor and outdoor play equipment shall be provided and shall be all of the following:

1. Scaled to the size and developmental level of the children.

2. Of sturdy construction with no sharp, rough, loose, or pointed edges, in good operating condition, and anchored when necessary.

3. Placed so as to avoid danger of accident or collision and to permit freedom of action.

4. Maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.

5. Used in accordance with all manufacturers instructions and any manufacturer's recommendations that may affect the safety of children in care.

(b) Various types of play equipment shall be provided to allow for large and small muscle activity, dramatic play, creative expression and intellectual stimulation.

(c) Indoor play equipment shall be provided to allow each child a choice of at least 3 activities involving equipment when all children are involved in using equipment.

(d) Outdoor play equipment shall be provided to allow each child at least one activity when all children are using equipment at the same time.

(e) Trampolines and inflatable bounce surfaces on the premises shall not be in areas accessible to children and may not be used by the children in care.

(f) Furnishings shall be clean, durable, and safe with no sharp, rough, loose, or pointed edges.

(g) The furnishings shall include all of the following:

1. Table space and seating for each child.

2. Storage space for equipment, bedding, and childrens clothing and personal belongings.

Note: Lists suggesting kinds and numbers of equipment for centers are available from the Child Care Information Center by calling 1-800-362-7353.


(a) Children under 5 years of age in care for more than 4 consecutive hours shall have a nap or rest period.

(b) A provider shall permit children who do not sleep after 30 minutes and children who wake up early to get up and shall help them to have a quiet time through the use of equipment or activities which do not disturb other children.

(c) Each child one year of age or older who has a nap or rest period shall be provided with a sleeping surface that is clean, safe, washable, and placed at least 2 feet from the next sleeping child. The sleeping surface may be any of the following:

1. A bed.

2. A cot.

3. A padded mat.

4. A sleeping bag.

5. A crib or playpen.

(cm) Each child under one year of age who naps or sleeps shall be provided with a clean, safe, washable crib or playpen that meets the applicable safety standards in 16 CFR Part 1219 or 1220 and shall be placed at least 2 feet from the nearest sleeping child. Cribs or playpens may be placed end-to-end if a solid partition separates the crib or playpen, and an aisle not less than 2 feet in width is maintained between sleeping surfaces.

(d) Each child one year of age or older who is not using a sleeping bag shall be provided with an individually identified sheet and blanket that may be used only by that child until it is washed. Sleeping bags and bedding shall be stored in a sanitary manner and washed at least after every 5 uses or as soon as possible if wet or soiled.

(e) Infants shall sleep alone in cribs or playpens. Two related children may share a double bed. No more than one child may occupy a single size bed, cot, mat or sleeping bag.


(a) Contact with others who are ill.

1. A licensee, provider, household member, employee, volunteer, visitor or parent who has symptoms of illness or of a communicable disease that may be transmitted through normal contact may not be in contact with the children in care.

1m. A licensee, provider, household member, employee, volunteer, visitor, parent, or a child in care may be admitted or readmitted to the family child care center if the person provides a written statement from a physician that the condition is no longer contagious or if the person has been absent for a period of time equal to the longest usual incubation period for the disease under ch. DHS 145.

Note: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, has developed materials that identify those communicable diseases that are required to be reported to the local public health officer. These materials also provide additional guidance on the symptoms of each disease and information on how long an infected child shall be excluded from the center. Copies of the communicable disease chart are available on the Department of Health Services website,


a. A licensee, provider, household member, employee, volunteer, visitor or parent whose behavior with respect to any child, adult, animal or property, on or off the center's premises, raises reasonable concern for the safety of the children, may not be in contact with the children in care.

b. The department may require a licensee, provider, household member or other adult in contact with the children whose behavior gives reasonable concern for the safety of children to submit to an examination by a licensed mental health professional as a condition of licensure or employment.

Note: See also s. DCF 250.11(2) (e) which requires a written statement from a physician or licensed mental health professional when there is reason to believe that the physical and mental health of a person may endanger children in care.

3. No person with a health history of typhoid, paratyphoid, dysentery or other diarrheal disease may work in a center until it is determined by appropriate medical tests that the person is not a carrier of the disease.

4. Any child who appears to be ill shall be moved to a separate room or area and shall be provided with a bed, crib, or cot and a sheet and blanket or a sleeping bag. The licensee shall notify the parent or emergency contact and arrange for the child to be removed from the center as soon as possible.

(b) Medical log book.

1. The licensee shall maintain a medical log book that has a stitched binding with pages that are lined and numbered.

2. Pages may not be removed from the medical log book under subd. 1. and lines may not be skipped. Each entry in the log book shall be in ink, dated, and signed or initialed by the person making the entry.

3. A provider shall record all of the following in the medical log under subd. 1.:

a. Any evidence of unusual bruises, contusions, lacerations, or burns seen on a child, regardless of whether received in or out of the care of the center.

b. Any injuries received by a child while in the care of the center on the date the injury occurred. The record shall include the child's name, the date and time of the injury, and a brief description of the facts surrounding the injury.

c. Any medication dispensed to a child, on the date the medication is dispensed. The record shall include the name of the child, type of medication given, dosage, time, date, and the initials or signature of the person administering the medication.

d. Any incident or accident that occurs when the child is in the care of the center that results in professional medical evaluation.

Note: See s. DCF 250.04(8) for requirements related to reporting suspected child abuse or neglect.

(f) Medications.

1. A provider may give prescription or non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, teething gels or cough syrup to a child only under the following conditions:

a. A completed written authorization on a form provided by the department, dated and signed by the parent is on file. Authorizations that exceed the period of time specified on the label are prohibited.

Note: The department's form, Authorization to Administer Medication - Child Care Centers, is used to obtain the parent's authorization to provide medications. Information on how to obtain the form is available on the department's website,, or from any regional licensing office in Appendix A.

b. The medication is in the original container and labeled with the child's name and with dosage and administration directions.

c. A written record, including the name of the child, type of medication given, dosage, time, date and the initials or signature of the person administering the medication shall be made in the medical log on the same day that the medication is administered.

3. Medications shall be stored so that they are not accessible to children.

4. Medications requiring refrigeration shall be kept in the refrigerator in a separate, covered container clearly labeled "medications."

5. No medication intended for use by a child in the care of the center may be kept at the center without a current medication administration authorization from the parent.

6. Medication for a child in care shall be administered by the center as directed on the label and as authorized by the parent.


1. Except as provided in subd. 2., a child's hands shall be washed with soap and warm running water before meals or snacks, after handling pets or other animals, and after toileting or diapering. A child's hands and face shall be washed when soiled. For children under one year of age, hands may be washed with soap and a wet fabric or a paper washcloth that is used once and discarded.

2. If running water is not immediately available when outdoors or on field trips, soap and water-based wet wipes may be used. When running water becomes available, hands shall be washed immediately with soap and running water.

3. Disinfecting hand sanitizers may not replace the use of soap and water for washing hands.

4. Bodily secretions from a child shall be wiped with a disposable tissue.

5. All providers shall use universal precautions when exposed to blood or bodily fluids or discharges containing blood.

6. All persons working with children in care shall wash their hands with soap and warm running water before handling food, before and after assisting with toileting or diapering, after handling pets or animals, and after being exposed to blood or bodily fluids containing blood or other types of bodily secretions. If gloves are used, hands shall be washed after removal of gloves.

7. Single use disposable gloves shall be worn if there is contact with bodily fluids or tissue discharges that contain blood. Gloves shall be discarded in plastic bags.

(h) Health precautions.

1. Surfaces exposed to bodily secretions, including toys, equipment, and furnishings, shall be washed with soap and water and disinfected. The disinfectant solution used shall be one that is registered with the U.S. environmental protection agency as a disinfectant and has instructions for use as a disinfectant on the label. The solution shall be prepared and applied as indicated on the label.

2. Soap, towels or an air dryer, toilet paper, and a waste paper container shall be provided in the washroom and accessible to children.

3. Towels and washcloths shall be individual to each person and used only once. Cups, eating utensils, or toothbrushes may not be shared.

4. Wet or soiled clothing shall be changed promptly from an available supply of clean clothing.

5. Section DCF 250.09(4) applies when a child 2 years of age or older needs attention for diapering or toileting.

6. As appropriate, children shall be protected from sunburn and insect bites with protective clothing, sunscreen, or insect repellent. Sunscreen and insect repellent may only be applied upon the written authorization of the parent. The authorization shall include the ingredient strength and be reviewed and updated periodically. If sunscreen or insect repellent is provided by the parent, the sunscreen or repellent shall be labeled with the child's name. Recording the application of sunscreen or insect repellent is not necessary.

(k) Injuries.

1. Written permission from the parent to call the child's physician or refer the child for medical care in case of injury shall be on file at the center. A provider shall contact a parent of the injured child as soon as possible after an emergency has occurred or, if the injury is minor, when the child is picked up.

Note: See DCF 250.04(3) (a) regarding reporting injuries that require medical attention to the Department within 24 hours after the occurrence.

Note: The department's form, Child Care Enrollment, includes authorization for the center to obtain emergency medical care for a child. Information on how to obtain forms is available on the department's website,, or from any regional licensing office in Appendix A.

2. Superficial wounds shall be cleaned with soap and water only and protected with a bandaid or bandage.

3. Suspected poisoning shall be treated only after consultation with a poison control center.

4. The licensee shall designate a planned source of emergency medical care, such as a hospital emergency room, clinic or other constantly staffed facility and shall advise parents about that designation.


(a) Animals shall be maintained in good health and appropriately immunized against rabies. Rabies vaccinations shall be documented with a current certificate from a veterinarian.

(b) Animals that pose any risk to the children shall be restricted from the indoor and outdoor areas used by children.

(c) Licensees shall ensure that parents are aware of the presence of pets and animals in the center. If pets and animals are allowed to roam in areas of the center occupied by children, written acknowledgement from the parents shall be obtained. If pets are added after a child is enrolled, parents shall be notified in writing prior to the pets' addition to the center.

(d) Reptiles, amphibians, ferrets, poisonous animals, psittacine birds, exotic and wild animals may not be accessible to children.

Note: Psittacine birds are hooked bill birds of the parrot family that have 2 toes forward and 2 toes backward, including macaws, grays, cockatoos and lovebirds.

(e) All contact between pets or animals and children shall be under the sight and sound supervision of a provider who is close enough to remove the child immediately if the pet or animal shows signs of distress or aggression or the child shows signs of treating the animal inappropriately.

(f) Pets are prohibited in any food preparation or serving area when food is being prepared or served unless the pet is confined in a cage or kennel. Litter boxes are prohibited in any food preparation, storage or serving areas. Litter boxes and animal feeding dishes, excluding water dishes, may not be placed in areas accessible to children.

(g) Indoor and outdoor areas accessible to children shall be free of pet and animal excrement.

(i) Licensees shall ensure that the center is in compliance with all applicable local ordinances regarding the number, types and health status of pets and animals.

(CR 03-052: cr. Register December 2004 No. 588, eff. 3-1-05; corrections in (5) (a), (6) (e), (j) 2. and (m) made under s. 13.92(4) (b) 6 and 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635; CR 07-102: cr. (1) (a) 8., (2) (c) 5., (6) (f) 2. b., 5., 6., (g) 1. b. and c., am. (1) (b) (intro.), (2) (c) (intro.), 1., (3) (e), (6) (e) 1., 2., (f) 1. (intro.), (L) 1., 2., (7) (f) and (h), renum. (6) (f) 2. and (g) 1. to be (6) (f) 2. a. and (g) 1. a. and am. Register December 2008 No. 636, eff. 1-1-09. Amended by, 2015 Wis. Act 132: am. (6) (L) 3. Register February 2016 No. 722, eff. 3/1/2016 Amended by, EmR1918: emerg. r. and recr. (2) (b), am. (3) (title), cr. (3) (a) 4., 5., (f), (g), r. and recr. (4) (c), cr. (4) (cm), am. (4) (d), r. (5), cr. (6) (a) 1m., 4., r. and recr. (6) (b), r. (6) (c) to (e), (f) 2., r. and recr. (6) (g), (h), r. (6) (i), (j), (k) 5., (L), (m), (7) (h), eff. 1-30-19; CR 19-089: r. and recr. (2) (b), am. (3) (title), cr. (3) (a) 4., 5., (f), (g), r. and recr. (4) (c), cr. (4) (cm), am. (4) (d), r. (5), cr. (6) (a) 1m., 4., r. and recr. (6) (b), r. (6) (c) to (e), (f) 2., r. and recr. (6) (g), (h), r. (6) (i), (j), (k) 5., (L), (m), (7) (h) Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4/1/2020 Amended by, correction in (6) (k) 1. (Note 1) made under s. 35.17, Stats., Register April 2020 No. 772, eff. 5/1/2020)

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