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Purpose and Authority

3320.1. Statement of intent.

This chapter establishes the foundational standards necessary to protect the health, safety, well-being and the rights of all children who receive care in Pennsylvania’s child care centers. These regulations are the baseline requirements that must be satisfied in order to obtain and maintain a certificate of compliance. Regulatory requirements have been established to support high quality early childhood education programs that:

(a) Recognize parents/guardians as a child’s primary teacher and advocate.

(b) Provide care that promotes the development of the whole child.

(c) Promote school readiness which can lead to improved educational outcomes for young children.

(d) Recognize and reflect the diversity within the Commonwealth and contribute to equitable practices in early childhood education.

3320.2. Applicability.

(a) This chapter applies to child care centers.

(b) Child care facilities that meet the requirements of this chapter are eligible to be issued a certificate of compliance after the Department measures and determines compliance as prescribed under this chapter.

(c) This chapter applies to the following programs:

(1) Activities provided by a child care center located in a non-residential space or private residence.

(2) Activities provided at the parent’s/guardian’s work site when the parent/guardian is not present in the child care space.

(3) Activities provided in private or public, profit or nonprofit facilities.

(4) Activities provided before or after the hours of instruction when the child is required to attend public, nonpublic or private schools.

(5) Activities provided before or after the hours of instruction when the child attends a private nursery school program.

(6) An approved Early Head Start or Head Start Program providing child care services either before or after its regularly scheduled program.

(d) This chapter does not apply to:

(1)  Activities provided pursuant to a written agreement between the Department and a relative of the child that permits care by a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle or sibling of the child who is 18 years of age or older and does not reside within the same household as the child.

(2) Activities furnished in places of worship during religious services.

(3) Activities provided in drop-in locations that do not have a routine schedule for the days or hours of care provided the parent(s)/guardian(s) remain on-site.

(4) Activities provided in a facility to older school-age children that does not have a routine schedule for the days or hours of care for children in attendance provided the children are older school-age.

(5) Activities provided in a facility where the parent/guardian of a child is always present and available when child care services are being provided.

(6) Activities provided during the hours of instruction when the child is required to attend public, nonpublic or private schools.

(7) Activities provided during the hours of instruction when the child attends a private nursery school program regulated by PDE or under a PDE private academic school license.  Private nursery schools and preschools must be operated by a bona-fide religious institution.  The minimum age for entrance into the program may not be less than 2 years 7 months before the first day of the school year.

(8) A facility or a space in a facility in which care is provided exclusively to school-age children, including the following:

(i) A part-day, school-age program that operates for less than 90 days per calendar year from the date the program opens to the date the program closes. This clarification does not apply to a legal entity that has a certificate of compliance to operate a child care center and that increases its enrollment to include school-age children in the summer and on school holidays.

(ii) A part-day, school-age program that operates 2 hours or less per day.

(9) Part-day, school-age program for children who are between the ages of 6 years of age or older but under 16 years of age provided the program has a single purpose for the children’s attendance and that purpose is the only focus of the program.

(10) Tutoring centers and educational testing and remedial centers licensed by PDE under 22 Pa. Code Chapters 61 and 63 (relating to tutoring centers and educational testing; and remedial centers).

(11) Educational assistance programs operated under the authority of school districts directly or under contract with an outside provider approved by PDE.

(12) Early Head Start or Head Start programs operated by an approved federal grantee.

(e) A legal entity seeking to operate a child care center as defined in this chapter shall apply for a certificate of compliance in accordance with the requirements established in this chapter and Chapter 20 (relating to licensure or approval of facilities and agencies).

(f) If a child care facility operates both a private academic school under the authority of PDE and a child care center under the authority of this chapter, the legal entity shall apply for approval to operate from both Departments. The facility shall comply with 22 Pa. Code Part II (relating to State Board of Private Academic Schools) and this chapter.

(g) Upon request, a facility as specified under subsection (f) shall provide verification that the facility is licensed as specified in subsection (f).

(h) Upon request, a facility shall provide verification that the legal entity operating the facility is a bona-fide religious institution.

3320.3. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

ACIP—The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services.

ADA—The Americans with Disabilities Act.

Age level—The grouping category appropriate for the child’s age.

(i) Infant—A child from birth through 12 months of age.

(ii) Young toddler—A child from 13 months through 24 months of age.

(iii) Older toddler—A child from 25 months through 35 months of age.

(iv) Preschool child—A child from 3 years of age and older and 5 years of age and younger but does not fit the definition of young school-age child as specified in this chapter.

(v) Young school-age child— A child who is attending a public, nonpublic or private school system and is between the ages of 5 until the date the child starts the 5th grade of a public, nonpublic or private school system.  A child who is 5 years of age, but who is not attending a public, nonpublic or private school, is considered a preschool child.

(vi) Older school-age child—A child who attends the 5th grade of a public, nonpublic or private school system through 15 years of age.

Appeal—A written, signed and dated statement requesting reconsideration or modification of a Departmental decision that negatively affects the certificate of compliance of the facility. An appeal is made by the facility operator or by the facility’s legal entity.

Applicant—A legal entity that applies to operate a certified child care center.

 

Body of water (or bodies of water)—A natural area or human-made area or device that contains or holds a depth of more than two inches of water. Examples include swimming pools, ditches, canals, fishponds, water retention areas, excavations, and quarries.

CACFP—Child and Adult Care Food Program—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s sponsored program whose child care component provides nutritious meals to children enrolled in child care facilities  throughout the country.

CPSCThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

CPSLChild Protective Services LawTitle 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Chapter 63 (relating to the Child Protective Services Law).

CRNPCertified Registered Nurse Practitioner.

 

Career pathway level Refers to the level of qualifications and competencies needed for each role within the ECE profession located online.

Certificate of compliance—A document issued by the Department to a legal entity permitting the entity to operate a specific type of facility at a specific location for a specific period of time according to applicable Department regulations.  A certificate of compliance approves the operation of a facility subject to Article IX of the Human Services Code (62 P.S. § §  901—922) or licenses the operation of a facility subject to Article X of the Human Services Code (62 P.S. § §  1001—1088).

 

Certified space—The indoor and outdoor space on the child care center premises approved by the Department for the purpose of providing child care services.

 

ChildA person whose chronological age is under 16 years of age.

Child abuse and neglectChild abuse as defined in 23 Pa. Code Chapter 63.

 

Child care centerAs defined by Article X of the Human Services Code (62 P.S. §§ 1001—1088), refers to any premises in which child care is provided at the same time to seven or more children unrelated to the operator.

 

Child care experience—Care for a child in lieu of care by the parent/guardian for part of a 24-hour day. The term includes care of foster children in a court-supervised arrangement. The term does not include care of related children who reside with an individual; online-only experience; or supervised onsite training in the case of a student who is fulfilling the requirements of a secondary or postsecondary child care training or educational curriculum.

Child with a developmental delay, disability or individual care planA child with one or more of the following as identified on one or more of an IFSP, IEP, individual care plan, written behavioral plan, service agreement, or special needs assessment in place for the child as determined by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, CRNP, licensed psychologist or certified behavior analyst:

(i) A significant delay, for children under 9 years of age, in one or more of the following areas:

(1) Physical development.

(2) Cognitive development.

(3) Communication development.

(4) Social or emotional development.

(5) Adaptive development.

(ii) A condition that makes it more difficult for the child to do certain activities or effectively interact with the world around them. The nature of the conditions may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, a combination of         multiple factors, or otherwise unknown.

(iii) An increased risk for having a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.

Communicable diseaseA disease as defined in the Department of Health’s regulation in 28 Pa. Code  27.1.

Continuity of careThe practice in which primary caregivers and children stay together for as long as possible, preferably for the children’s first three years, creating opportunities for caregiver-child, caregiver-family, and child-child relationships to develop and deepen over time. Continuity of care seeks to minimize the number of transitions that children experience over the course of the day, week, program year, and to the extent possible, during their enrollment, with special attention on children from birth through three years of age.

CurriculumA written plan that reflects the program’s philosophy, goals and objectives for the children in care as well as guidelines to target the children’s development in areas relating to cognitive, social-emotional, language, and fine and gross motor domains.

 

DEPThe Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth.

DOHThe Department of Health of the Commonwealth.

DepartmentThe Department of Human Services of the Commonwealth.

Developmentally appropriateRefers to one or more of the following:

(i) Interactions with children that recognize and respect the child’s chronological and developmental age.

(ii) Interactions and activities that are planned with the chronological and developmental age and needs of the individual child in mind.

(iii) Reflects the developmental level of the individual child.

(iv) Reflects knowledge about how children grow and learn.

Drop-in facilities—Child care facilities that do not have a routine schedule for the days and hours of care for the children in attendance provided the parents/guardians remain on site.

ECE—Early childhood education.

ELS—Early Learning Standards—refers to the Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood, which reflect standards that are research-based according to age and development, and form the foundation for curriculum, assessment, instruction and intervention within ECE programs. The standards provide a framework for learning and the foundational information for what children should know and be able to do.

Electronic record—A record generated, communicated, received or stored by electronic means for use in an information system or for transmission from one information system to another.

Emergency preparedness and response plan—A written plan demonstrating a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action to ensure effective coordination in case of emergencies or during incident response. Includes the procedures used to call for emergency medical assistance, to reach parents/guardians or emergency contacts, to arrange for transfer to medical assistance, and to render first aid to the injured person.

Expulsion—Refers to the permanent removal of a child from a child care program.

Facility—A child care center.

Facility personAn individual who volunteers at or is employed by a child care facility.

Family engagement and partnership—Consistent with Pennsylvania’s Family Engagement Birth through College, Career, Community Ready Framework, refers to effective interactions with families that:

(i) Are intentional, meaningful, and impactful.

(ii) Value and support families in their role as their child’s primary teacher.

(iii) Recognize the value of partnerships between a child’s parents/guardians and one or more of the operator or teaching staff that are strengths-based, inclusive, culturally and linguistically responsive, and that rely on two-way communications and interactions, all with a focus on the shared goal of positive learning and developmental outcomes for children.

 

Fire safety professionalAn individual knowledgeable and competent in fire inspections, fire detection, fire suppression systems and practices, fire service training, emergency preparedness planning and emergency evacuation whose competence is demonstrated by membership in a professional organization which promotes fire safety education.

Fiscal year—July 1 through June 30.

 

Good repair—Materials and components are unbroken and can be used by children as intended by the manufacturer or builder.

Group size—The number of children assigned to staff occupying an individual classroom or well-defined space within a larger room in accordance with the staff:child ratio as required under this chapter.

Hygiene—Protective measures taken by individuals to promote health and limit the spread of infectious diseases.

IEP—Individualized Educational Program—A written document, derived from Part B of IDEA 2004 that is designed to meet a child’s individual educational program needs. The main purposes for an IEP are to set reasonable learning goals and to state the services provided as defined in 22 Pa. Code §§  14.101 and 14.131—14.13.

IFSP—Individualized Family Service Plan—A written document derived from Part C of IDEA 2004 that is formulated in collaboration with the family to meet the needs of a child with a developmental delay or disability, to assist the family in its care for a child’s educational, therapeutic, and health needs, and to deal with the family’s needs to the extent to which the family wishes assistance as defined in 22 Pa. Code §§ 4226.5 and 4226.71—4226.77.

Immunizations—Vaccines that are given to children and adults to help them develop protection (antibodies) against specific infections. Vaccines may contain an inactivated or killed agent or a weakened live organism.

Inaccessible to children—Refers to preventing a child from reaching, entering, using, or getting to items, areas, or materials of a child care facility.

Individual care plan—A document that provides specific health care information, including any medications, procedures, precautions, or adaptations to diet or environment that may be needed to care for a child with chronic medical conditions or special health care needs. Care plans also describe signs and symptoms of impending illness and outline the response needed to those signs and symptoms. A care plan is completed by a health care professional and must be updated as specified in this chapter.

Infant—A child from birth through 12 months of age.

 

Initial provisional certificate of compliance—A one-time certificate of compliance issued by the Department to a new facility that has not yet begun to operate as consistent with Article X of the Human Services Code (62 P.S. § 1008(b)).

Inspection—A review of facility operations to determine compliance with applicable laws or regulations, conducted by an agent of the Department.

Inspection summary—A document prepared by an agent of the Department describing each regulatory noncompliance item confirmed as a result of a facility inspection.

 

Legal entity—A person, society, corporation, governing authority or partnership that is legally responsible for the administration and operation of one facility or several child care facilities, or one type of facility or several types of child care facilities.

Maximum capacityThe maximum number of children authorized by the Department to have in care at any given time. Includes any children on-site at the child care center and any children in transit to or from the program or other activities such as field trips while the children are signed into the care of the program.

Medical marijuana—Medical marijuana as defined by and authorized under the Medical Marijuana Act (35 P.S. §§ 10231.101—10231.2110).

Negative sanction—A negative action taken by the Department under the authority of Chapter 20 and applicable sections of the Human Services code against the legal entity of a child care facility when the legal entity either has or is applying for a certificate of compliance under this chapter.

Non-traditional care—Care provided between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays and anytime on the weekends.

 

Nonrenewal—The written refusal of the Department to issue a certificate of compliance to a legal entity previously granted a certificate of compliance at the same location.

Older school-age child—A child who attends the 5th grade of a public, nonpublic or private school system through 15 years of age.

Older toddler—A child from 25 months through 35 months of age.

Operating hours—The hours listed in the child care program’s family handbook when the program is open and providing care and services to children.

Operator—The legal entity or the person designated by the legal entity to serve as the individual having responsibility to ensure compliance with the Department’s requirements under this chapter and under Chapter 20.

PA PSCECE—The Pennsylvania Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators—The general knowledge and skills that educators must know and be able to demonstrate. They are not the standards and competencies needed for specific professions and occupations within the ECE field.

PDE—The Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Parent/guardian—The child’s natural or adoptive mother or father, guardian, or other legally responsible person.

Pest—An animal, plant, or insect that has a harmful effect on humans, food or living conditions.

Pesticides—A chemical used to kill pests, particularly insects.

Pet—A domestic or tamed animal, reptile or bird kept for companionship or pleasure.

Physician—An individual licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy as consistent with the requirements specified in 1 Pa. C.S.A. § 1991.

Potentially hazardous food—A food that consists in whole or in part of milk or milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish or other ingredients capable of supporting rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms.

Premises—The certified and uncertified space at the certified address, including the buildings, land and residences.

Preschool child— A child from 3 years of age and older and 5 years of age and younger but does not fit the definition of young school-age child as specified in this chapter.

Preservice training— Refers to the professional development standards or requirements that must be completed:

  • Prior to issuance of a certificate of compliance under this chapter.
  • Prior to working unsupervised with children.

Professional developmentA continuum of learning and support opportunities designed to prepare individuals for work with and on behalf of young children and their families, as well as opportunities that provide ongoing experiences to enhance this work. These opportunities lead to improvements in the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions of ECE professionals. Professional development programs encompass both education and training programs.

Professional development plan—A plan developed in collaboration between the teaching staff and a member of the leadership team utilizing available sources of evidence that outlines or details necessary professional development to enhance the effectiveness of the teaching staff.

Program agreement—A document entered into and executed by each of the operator and a child’s family that outlines the agreed-upon terms and conditions of the child’s enrollment, and the extent to which services are to specifically be provided.

 

Provisional certificate of compliance—A certificate of compliance indicating substantial, but not complete, compliance with program licensure or approval regulations that has been issued by the Department following the issuance of a negative sanction as consistent with Articles IX and X of the Human Services Code (62 P.S. §§ 901—922 and 1001—1088).

Public water systemA system for the provision to the public of water for human consumption that has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year. The term includes:

(i) Collection, treatment, storage and distribution facilities under the control of the operator of the system and used in connection with the system.

(ii) Collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under control of the operator which are used in connection with the system.

(iii) A system which provides water for bottling or bulk hauling for human consumption.

Regional office of child care—Departmental offices responsible for certified child care facilities located in counties assigned to the regional office of the Department. A certificate of compliance is issued by a regional office to the legal entity responsible for the operation of a child care center.

Relative—A parent, child, stepparent, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.  As applied to facilities subject to approval under Article IX of the Human Services Code, the term also includes a stepbrother, stepsister or first cousin.

Revocation—The Department’s written retraction of a certificate of compliance which occurs prior to expiration of the facility’s certificate of compliance.

SIDSSudden Infant Death SyndromeThe sudden death of an infant under one year of age, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history.

SUID—Sudden Unexplained Infant Death—The sudden, unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant.

SanitizeTo reduce germs on inanimate surfaces to levels considered safe by public health codes or regulations.

School-age childFor the purposes of ECE settings, refers to a child who is attending or who has attended a public, nonpublic or private grade school or kindergarten and meets age requirements as specified by PDE.

Screen timeTime spent watching television or videos, playing video or computer games, and using the internet.  Includes passive digital media, such as noninteractive videos or streaming media, and interactive digital media, such as educational and age-appropriate technology, including programs, applications (apps), noncommercial television programming, videos, streaming media, and ebooks.

Service agreement—A service agreement as defined in 22 Pa. Code § §  15.2 and 15.7 (relating to definitions; and service agreement).

Staff:child ratioThe maximum number of children permitted per teaching staff person.

SuperviseEnsuring the health and safety of the children in care by:

(i) Scanning the environment looking and listening for both verbal and nonverbal cues to anticipate problems and plan accordingly.

(ii) Visibly checking children repeatedly and with little time in between.

(iii) Positioning oneself to visually see all areas accessible to children.

(iv) Attending to children and being aware of what children are always doing.

(v) Being available and able to promptly assist or redirect a child as necessary.

Suspension—Refers to an action that is administered as a consequence of a child’s inappropriate behavior that requires the child not be present in the program or program activities for a specified period of time.

Teaching staffRefers to individuals included in the staff:child ratio who work directly with the children in care in a facility. Includes individuals as qualified under this chapter to serve as a director, teacher, assistant teacher or aide.

TransitionThe process or period of time to change from one activity, place, grade level, or sleeping arrangement to another.

USDAThe U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Uncertified space—The indoor and outdoor areas of the premises not approved by the Department as certified space that must be made inaccessible while children are in care.

Volunteer—An individual 16 years of age or older who is not included in the staff:child ratio, who assists on a regular and repeated basis in implementing daily program activities under the supervision of a teaching staff person, and who is not paid but rather gives their time to provide services at a child care program.

Waiver— Refers to the process for a legal entity to make a written request to the Department for an exemption from one or more of the requirements as specified in this chapter.

Water play activitiesActivities that involve the use of water such as sprinklers, and water play tables that are less than two inches.

WeaponAny object, device, or instrument designed as a weapon or capable of threatening or inflicting serious bodily harm or which may be used to inflict self-injury.

Young school-age childA child who is attending a public, nonpublic or private school system and is between the ages of 5 until the date the child starts the 5th grade of a public, nonpublic or private school system.  A child who is 5 years of age, but who is not attending a public, nonpublic or private school, is considered a preschool child.

Young toddlerA child from 13 months through 24 months of age.

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Partnerships with Families and Communities

3320.11. Communication with families.

(a) The operator shall establish policies that ensure communications with all parents/guardians including those whose preferred language is not English or those who require alternative communication methods, including oral, written, non-verbal, or visual modes of communication(s) which are understandable and accommodating to parents/guardians, or both.

(b) Information about the child care program’s written policies under this section must be included in the family handbook.

3320.12. Family engagement and program access.

(a) The operator shall establish a written plan to encourage and promote family engagement and partnership. The written plan must include documentation of outreach to families consistent with the most recent publication of Pennsylvania’s Family Engagement Birth through College, Career, Community Ready Framework. The family engagement plan must:

(1) Be reviewed at least once every 12 months and updated as needed.

(2) Be included in the family handbook. If the written plan was updated following the annual review, the family handbook must be updated to reflect the revised written plan.

(b) The operator shall maintain on file at the facility a written file that documents general announcements sent to parents/guardians to promote family participation. The written file must be updated at least once every 12 months and include documentation of at least the following:

(1) Invitation for the parent/guardian and the child, when possible, to visit the program in person or virtually prior to the child being enrolled.  During any such visit, the parent/guardian and child shall be provided with information about the program. Information shall be shared with the child at an age-appropriate level.  Parents/guardians and children shall be provided with the opportunity to ask questions.

(2) Invitation to meet with parents/guardians at least once every six months to discuss their child’s growth and development as documented on a Department form.

(c) The child’s parent/guardian must be permitted free access to the child care program, without prior notice, whenever their child is in care, unless a court of competent jurisdiction has limited the parental right of access to the child or unless the provisions in § 3320.34 (relating to release of children) apply. A copy of any court order impacting on parental rights must be maintained on file in the child’s records.

(d) For facilities located in a building certified by the Department of Education, the program must satisfy the requirements for program access of the Department of Education, as consistent with § 3320.107 (relating to pertinent laws and regulations).

3320.13. Family handbook.

(a) The operator shall provide the parent/guardian with the following program information:

  1. Contact information for the program, including the child care center address and phone number, and a means for electronic correspondence, if applicable.
  2. The child care program’s days and hours of operation, including observed holidays and program closure dates.
  3. The program’s general fee information.
  4. Information on where to find lesson plans and the activity schedule.
  5. Information about the child care program’s written policies relating to communications as specified in § 3320.11.
  6. Information on the program’s written plan for family engagement as specified in 3320.12.
  7. Outdoor policies.
  8. Any responsibilities for the parent/guardian to provide supplies.
  9. Information about sign in and sign out of children.
  10. Photography, videography, and surveillance policies.
  11. Policies prohibiting the use and possession of tobacco, alcohol, and other prohibited substances as consistent with § 3320.99.
  12. Supervision policies, including reference to the staff:child ratio requirements during normal routines, nap time, on excursions or trips outside the facility, and during transportation, if applicable.
  13. Health policies, including for when a child should be excluded from care, and for when a facility person or child becomes ill while in care.
  14. Information on how incidents and accidents that occur are documented and how the information is shared with parents/guardians.
  15. Medication administration policies.
  16. Statement allowing external professionals, such as nursing care staff, early intervention professionals, and intensive behavioral health service professionals, into the child care program to provide support services to children with a developmental delay, disability, or individual care plan.
  17. Information on behavioral guidance and the program’s discipline policies, with a focus on positive behavior supports and the prohibition of corporeal punishment.
  18. Policies supporting the reduction of expulsion and suspension of children.
  19. Policies supporting the inclusion of all children.
  20. Religious and cultural activities.
  21. Policies to support children in transitions between developmental stages.
  22. Policies and procedures required under § 3320.34 for how the child care program handles situations involving when the child is late or for when no authorized person arrives to pick up a child from care.
  23. Information about how the parent/guardian can raise concerns or make complaints.
  24. Information on where the parent/guardian can access the Department’s regulations.
  25. Contact information for the Department’s regional office of child care.
  26. Emergency preparedness and response plan, including provisions regarding the means for transporting a child to emergency care, and staffing provisions to ensure continuity of care in the event of an emergency.
  27. The teaching staff’s role as mandated reporters, including policies and procedures for the reporting of suspected child abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, or maltreatment as consistent with the CPSL and § 3320.102 (relating to child abuse reporting).

(b) In addition to the requirements in subsection (a), if offered by the child care program, the family handbook must include provisions relating to the following:

(1) Infant and toddler care, including diapering and feeding, and safe sleep requirements as specified in § 3320.66 (relating to sleep and rest).

(2) School-age child care, including homework supervision policies as specified in § 3320.31 (relating to activities and programming).

(3) Transportation policies, including information for when children are taken on off-site field trips.

(4) The presence of any animals on the facility premises, including information for how the animals are to be cared for.

(5) Water activities.

(6) Overnight or non-traditional care.

(7) Supports for children transitioning to kindergarten or for self-care.

(c) The information specified in subsections (a) and (b) shall be included in the family handbook and provided to the parent/guardian in written or electronic format. Parent(s)/guardian(s) shall sign an acknowledgement stating that they have received the information at the time of enrollment. The acknowledgement must be maintained in the child’s records.

(d) The operator shall review the information in the family handbook at least once every 12 months to ensure the information remains accurate and current. The annual reviews shall be documented with the date and name of the individual who conducted the review.

(e) When updates are made to the family handbook, the operator shall provide parents/guardians with the updated version in written or electronic formats. The parents/guardians shall sign an updated acknowledgment stating that they have received the updated information.  The updated acknowledgment shall be maintained in the child’s records.

3320.14. Family information.

(a) At the time of enrollment, the operator shall confer with the child’s parents/guardians to attempt to obtain information about the child and family in at least the following regards:

(1) The child’s strengths and areas for growth, including for the child’s physical development, behavior, health, linguistic development, learning patterns, and social health issues.

(2) Information about the child’s developmental delay, disability, or individual care plan, if applicable.

(3) The child’s unique characteristics, traits, fears, and concerns.

(4) The family’s routines or events, behavior management, family beliefs, culture, language, and child-rearing practices.

(5) The family’s goals for the child(ren).

(b) The operator shall ensure that information obtained in subsection (a) is shared only with the teaching staff who care for the child and is used to support each child’s unique characteristics, strengths, learning style and needs.

3320.15. Program agreement.

(a) A program agreement shall be signed by each of the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the operator at the time of the child’s enrollment. The program agreement shall specify at least the following information:

  1. The child’s full name, date of birth, address, and as applicable, the child’s preferred name.
  2. The parent(s)/guardian(s) full name(s), address(es), and contact information, including working telephone numbers for when the child is in care.
  3. The parent’s/guardian’s preferred language or mode of communication, or both, as specified in § 3320.11.
  4. The date of the child’s first day of attendance and, if applicable, the date of withdrawal from the program.
  5. The child’s schedule for the days of attendance, including arrival and departure times.
  6. The child’s normal tuition fees to be charged per day, week, or month, including information about the terms of payment in the event the child care program may be forced to close because of unforeseeable circumstances.
  7. The services to be provided to the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the child that are included in the tuition fees.
  8. Any optional services that may be offered to the family and the child as well as the fees associated with the additional services.
  9. The person(s) designated by a parent/guardian to whom the child may be released as specified in § 3320.34 (relating to release of children) and as specified by any custody agreements or court orders.
  10. Information related to any one or more of an IFSP, IEP, individual care plan, written behavioral plan, service agreement, Section 504 plan, or special needs assessments currently in place for the child, including whether the parent/guardian will share the respective plan with the program.
  11. The persons, organizations or agencies designated by the parent(s)/guardian(s) who can provide services, including health care, early intervention, and evaluations, to the child while the child is receiving child care services

(b) The program agreement specified in subsection (a) shall include the following signed attestations from the parent/guardian:

(1) The parent/guardian has the legal authority to enroll the child in care and make decisions related to child care.

(2) The parent/guardian has received written or electronic information related to the program’s procedures and policies as specified in § 3320.13 (relating to family handbook).

(3) The parent/guardian acknowledges and agrees to update the program agreement and the emergency contact information every six months or as soon as changes occur.

(4) The parent/guardian has received a copy of the agreement.

(c) The program agreement shall include a list of optional activities the program offers. The parent/guardian shall indicate consent or decline consent for each of the following optional program activities:

  1. The child going on excursions nearby to the facility.
  2. The child going on field trips outside of the facility premises. Parents/guardians shall be provided with information at least 14 calendar days before going on a trip.  The information must include the date and time of the trip, the destination, and transportation arrangements.
  3. The child being transported by the program. Parents/guardians shall be provided with information in advance of being transported that includes the type, frequency, and the destinations for when and where children are transported.
  4. The child being transported to and from the program on a routine basis in vehicles owned, operated, or contracted by the program, including to and from public school or to and from home when these are offered by the program.
  5. The child participating in wading activities.
  6. The child participating in swimming activities.
  7. The child participating in gardening activities.
  8. The child using equipment as a part of the child care program’s activities as specified in § 3320.74 (relating to sources of heat and accessible equipment).

(d) A copy of the agreement shall be provided to the parent/guardian at the time of enrollment. The program shall retain a copy of the agreement in the child’s records.

(e) Every six months, or as soon as changes occur, the program and the parent/guardian shall review the signed agreement and make changes as necessary. Documentation of review shall include the date and signature of each of the operator and parent(s)/guardian(s). A copy of the updated agreement shall be provided to the parent/guardian, and a copy shall be included in the child’s records.

3320.16. Emergency contact information.

(a) At the time of enrollment, the parent(s)/guardian(s) shall provide emergency contact and consent information for their child(ren) on forms provided by the Department. The forms must be completed and signed by the parent/guardian prior to the child attending the program.

(b) The emergency contact information must include the following information:

(1) The name and birth date of the child.

(2) As applicable, the home and work addresses and telephone numbers for the parent(s)/guardian(s).

(3) The name and telephone number for at least one individual, other than the parent/guardian, who shall be contacted in the event of an emergency when the parent(s)/guardian(s) cannot be reached.

(i) If more than one individual is listed, the individuals shall be listed in order of preference for contact.

(ii) If the parent/guardian cannot list or does not wish to list an emergency contact person, the parent/guardian shall verify the preference in writing.

(4) The person(s) designated by the parent/guardian to whom the child may be released, as specified in § 3320.34 (relating to release of children).

(5) The name, address, and telephone number of the child’s physician or routine medical care provider.

(6) Information on the child’s specific medical needs, including information about known allergies, known medical conditions, medications, and any medical or dietary information relevant in case of a medical emergency, including information described in the child’s individual care plan, if applicable.

(7) Information about the child’s health insurance coverage or other medical benefits, including the policy number, if applicable.

(c) In addition to the requirements of subsection (b), the parent/guardian shall provide written consent for the following:

(1) Consent to obtain emergency medical care for the child.  The consent shall include consent for the program to transport the child to and from emergency medical care.

(2) Consent for the program to administer minor first-aid procedures.

(d) Emergency contact information for each child shall be present in each child care space where children are receiving care.

(e) When children leave the facility premises, the operator shall ensure the emergency contact information is present as specified in subsection (d) for the duration of the excursion.

(f) The operator shall ensure the Department’s forms for the emergency contact information and the parent/guardian consent are reviewed and updated by the parent/guardian every six months, or as soon as there is a change in the information.

(g) Documentation of the reviews and updates specified in subsection (f) shall include the date of review and the signature of the parent(s)/guardian(s).

(h) When updates are made to the emergency contact information, the operator shall ensure the updated information is provided to the teaching staff.

3320.17. Consent for transportation.

(a) The operator shall obtain written permission from the parent/guardian prior to transporting the child.  The written permission shall include:

(1) When and where the child is to be transported.

(2) The expected time of departure and arrival.

(3) Contact information for the individual providing transportation.

(4) Acknowledgment of the child care program’s emergency transportation plan as specified in § 3320.70.

(b) Parents/guardians may give standing written permission consistent with subsection (a), valid for up to 12 months, for the routine transportation of children to and from the program in vehicles owned, operated, or contracted by the program, including to and from public school or to and from home when these are offered by the program.

(c) Consistent with subsection (a), for a child who has a developmental delay, disability, or individual care plan that may require special care or specialized equipment such as lifts, ramps, or safety vests during transportation, the parent/guardian shall provide written instruction to the owner/operator to be implemented during transportation.

(d) Written permissions and instructions required under this section must be provided to the operator or attendant of a vehicle transporting the child and to teaching staff persons accompanying children on an excursion.  The written permissions and instructions must be maintained on file at the facility.

(e) This section does not apply to parents/guardians of a school-age child who is transported to or from a child care program in vehicles owned, operated or contracted by the school district.

3320.18. Inclusion of a child with a developmental delay, disability, or individual care plan.

(a) The operator shall establish a written program policy to ensure the inclusion of children who may have a developmental delay, disability, or individual care plan. The policy must include the following:

(1) Requirements to ensure that reasonable accommodations are offered to include a child with a developmental delay, disability, or individual care plan as consistent with applicable Federal and State laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

(2) Requirements to ensure that adult individuals who provide services and supports for children as described in subsection (a) are permitted access to the program and to the child’s classroom and learning environment. The services and supports shall be outlined in one or more of the child’s IFSP, IEP, individual care plan, written behavioral plan, service agreement, Section 504 plan, or special needs assessments.

(3) Procedures for how the program will collaborate and work with adult individual(s) who provide services and supports for a child with a developmental delay, disability, or individual care plan.

(4) Provisions to ensure that one or more of an IFSP, IEP, individual care plan, written behavioral plan, service agreement, Section 504 plan, or special needs assessments, with family permission, are shared with the program and are contained in the child’s records.

(5) Procedures to obtain written permission, signed and dated by the parent/guardian, for one or more of a child’s IFSP, IEP, individual care plan, written behavioral plan, service agreement, Section 504 plan, or special needs assessments to be shared with the program.  Documentation shall be included in the program agreement for parents/guardians who decline to share this information.

(i) The written permission shall be maintained with the child’s records.

(ii) For parents/guardians who decline to share this information, documentation of this election shall be included in the program agreement.

(b) The operator shall ensure that teaching staff are trained on the written program policy specified in subsection (a).

(c) The operator shall ensure that parents/guardians are contacted to discuss unexpected observations of any developmental, medical, or behavioral concerns of the child. The operator shall provide information to the child’s parents/guardians about appropriate resources and possible referrals.

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Professional Development, Training and Requirements

3320.21. Director qualifications and responsibilities.

(a) For a child care center located in a non-residential space, the facility must employ a director as qualified under this section. The director serves as the facility operator, who is responsible for compliance with the requirements of this chapter at child care centers located in a non-residential facility.

(b) A director is responsible for the general business and educational management of the child care program, including the following minimum duties:

(1) Conduct overall program planning, including management of the program’s business practices as described in § 3320.109 (relating to business practices and goals).

(2) Manage the administration of programming, preparation and transportation.

(3) Manage the administration of the facility’s program objectives and oversee the coordination and planning of daily activities.

(4) Manage the development of, administer, and distribute personnel and program operation policies to support understanding of program policies, procedures, roles and responsibilities.

(5) Manage the administration of written evaluations of teaching staff persons based on their roles and responsibilities.

(i) The director shall perform the written evaluations at least once every 12 months.

(ii) The director shall sign and date the written evaluations.

(6) Provide support to teaching staff in creating and maintaining teaching staff records, including a completed profile in a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

(7) Oversee the development of a curriculum philosophy specific to child care programs as specified in § 3320.31 (relating to activities and programming).

(i) The director shall communicate the curriculum philosophy to all teaching staff and parents.

(ii) The director shall ensure the teaching staff are trained in the child care program’s curriculum philosophy.

(8) Oversee the Professional Development Plans for all teaching staff, including:

(i) Support teaching staff in creating and maintaining teaching staff professional development (PD) records.

(ii) Set educational goals with teaching staff and support staff in locating or coordinating state-approved training opportunities.

(iii) Ensure on-going observations and support of teaching staff to meet the goals of their Professional Development Plans.

(9) Have knowledge and information about community resources available to families, including resources for a child with a developmental delay, disability, or individual care plan, and be able to share these resources with families.

(10) Designate a teaching staff person who is responsible for compliance with this chapter in the director’s absence from the child care center.  The individual designated must satisfy the qualifications of a teacher as specified under § 3320.22.

(i) In cases where the director vacates his or her position or is absent from the child care program for more than 14 consecutive calendar days, the legal entity shall notify the Department within 24 hours and provide a plan to ensure supervision and continuity of care for the children enrolled in the program and to ensure continued compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

(ii) For situations involving a director who vacates his or her position, the legal entity shall ensure that the role of director is filled by an individual qualified to work as a director under this chapter within 90 days of the position becoming vacant.

(11) Ensure that a valid email address is maintained for the child care program and is on file with the Department.

(12) Be present for Department inspections as specified in § 3320.113 (relating to inspections and departmental access).

(b) A director shall have attained a minimum qualification level of Level B as verified on the career pathway level plus one year of child care experience as approved and verified on a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

(c) The legal entity or a representative of the legal entity shall provide documentation demonstrating satisfaction of the qualification levels as specified in subsection (b) and include the documentation with the application in order to be granted a certificate of compliance as specified in § 3320.111 (relating to initial application).

(d) Child care programs enrolling 30 or more children shall employ a non-teaching director.  Centers with fewer than 30 children enrolled may employ a director who teaches if acting as a teacher does not interfere with management or supervisory responsibilities.

(e) For child care programs operating less than 30 hours per week, the director shall be present in the child care center at least 10 hours per week.

(f) For child care programs operating 30 hours per week or more, the director shall be employed by the child care center and be on-site a minimum of 30 hours per week to oversee the daily operations of the program.

(g) In addition to the requirements in subsection (a), the director shall:

(1) Complete the applicable preservice training requirements as specified in § 3320.28.

(2) Complete a Professional Development Plan, and document progress toward the goals of the         plan at least once every 12 months.

(3) Complete and update at least once every 12 months a profile in a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

(4) Ensure that volunteers and aides providing services at the child care program are supervised at all times by a teaching staff person who is qualified at minimum as an assistant teacher under this chapter.

(5) Ensure compliance with this chapter.

(h) This section does not apply to child care centers located in a residence.

3320.22. Teacher qualifications and responsibilities.

(a) Teachers are responsible for the following minimum duties:

(1) Plan and implement daily classroom activities.

(2) Coordinate activities with assistant teachers and aides.

(3) Develop and provide a nurturing and responsive learning environment that includes assessment of the children’s well-being throughout the program day and that satisfies the needs of the enrolled children, including children with developmental delays, disabilities, or individual care plans.

(4) Communicate with families in order to obtain necessary information to effectively understand the needs of each enrolled child in each assigned classroom, and to share information on the development and learning of each enrolled child in each assigned classroom.

(5) Establishing a written curriculum that addresses all age groups served and describes the program of planned daily activities related to early childhood or child development.

(b) A teacher shall have attained a minimum qualification level of Level A as verified on the career pathway level plus 2 years of child care experience as approved and verified on a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

(c) At least one teaching staff person who satisfies the qualifications of a teacher shall be assigned to each age level based on the maximum group size as specified in § 3320.43 (relating to age levels and ratios).

(d) In addition to the requirements in subsection (a), a teacher shall:

(1) Complete the applicable preservice training requirements as specified in § 3320.28.

(2) Complete a Professional Development Plan, and document progress toward the goals of the plan at least once every 12 months.

(3) Complete and update at least once every 12 months a profile in a system maintained by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

(4) Supervise assistant teachers, volunteers and aides providing services at the child care program.

(e) Teachers may serve as a director for up to 90 consecutive days to ensure continuity of care.

(f) For child care centers located in a residence, the operator must satisfy all requirements for a teacher under this section in addition to being responsible for the following:

(1) Manage the administration of programming, preparation and transportation.

(2) Manage the development of, administer, and distribute personnel and program operation       policies to support understanding of program policies, procedures, roles and responsibilities.

(3) Have knowledge and information about community resources available to families, including resources for a child with a developmental delay, disability, or individual care plan, and be able to share these resources with families.

(4) Oversee the development of a curriculum philosophy specific to child care programs as      specified in § 3320.31 (relating to activities and programming).

(5) When absent from the facility, the operator shall:

(i) Designate a teaching staff person who is responsible for compliance with this chapter.  The individual designated must satisfy the qualifications of teacher as specified under this section.

(ii) Provide written notification to the Department if the operator’s absence exceeds 14 days.

(6) Ensure that a valid email address is maintained for the child care program and is on file with the Department.

(7) Be present for Department inspections as specified in § 3320.113 (relating to inspections and departmental access).

(g) For child care centers located in a residence, the legal entity or a representative of the legal entity shall provide documentation demonstrating satisfaction of the qualification levels as specified in subsection (b) and include the documentation with the application in order to be granted a certificate of compliance as specified in § 3320.111 (relating to initial application).

3320.23. Assistant teacher qualifications and responsibilities.

(a) Assistant teachers are responsible for the following minimum duties:

(1) Assist in the implementation of daily activities under the guidance of the teacher.

(2) Coordinate daily activities and supervising aides in the absence of the teacher.

(b) An assistant teacher shall have attained a minimum qualification level of entry level on the career pathway plus 2 years of child care experience as approved and verified on a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

(c) An assistant teacher shall:

(1) Complete the applicable preservice training requirements as specified in § 3320.28.

(2) Complete a Professional Development Plan, and document progress toward the goals of the         plan at least once every 12 months.

(3) Complete and update at least once every 12 months a profile in a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

(4) Supervise volunteers and aides providing services at the child care program.

(d) Assistant teachers may serve as a teacher for up to 90 consecutive days to ensure continuity of care.

(e) This section does not apply to child care centers located in a residence.

3320.24. Aides qualifications and responsibilities.

(a) An aide shall assist in the implementation of daily program activities.

(b) An aide may be qualified as entry level on the career pathway or be an individual 16 years of age or older provided the following requirements are satisfied:

(1) The student is enrolled in a PDE-approved Child Care and Support Services program or a high school dual enrollment program focusing on early learning.

(2) The curriculum has been accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S.                          Department of Education or the Council on Postsecondary Education and acceptable to the Department of Education.

(3) The curriculum includes a minimum total of 600 clock hours, distributed as follows:

(i) A minimum of 400 clock hours of classroom training.

(ii)  A minimum of 200 clock hours of supervised training in a child care facility.

(4) A representative of the training institution certifies in writing that the individual is enrolled in the curriculum.

(5) The written certification required in paragraph (4) shall be retained in the teaching staff person’s file or maintained in a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

(6) An individual 16 years of age or older who is qualified as an aide under this section must satisfy the requirements in subsection (d)

(c) An aide or a combination of aides shall be supervised at all times by a teaching staff person who is qualified at minimum as an assistant teacher under this chapter.

(d) An aide shall:

(1) Complete the applicable preservice training requirements as specified in § 3320.28.

(2) Complete a Professional Development Plan, and document progress toward the goals of the plan at least once every 12 months.

(3) Complete and update at least once every 12 months a profile in a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

3320.25. Volunteer qualifications and responsibilities.

(a) Volunteers shall:

  1. Be 16 years of age or older.
  2. Participate in training for the child care program’s emergency preparedness and response plan, and mandated reporter training as specified in the CPSL.
  3. Be supervised at all times when working with children by a teaching staff person who is qualified at minimum as an assistant teacher under this chapter.
  4. Not be counted in the staff:child ratio.

(b) The operator shall ensure that volunteers do not have unsupervised access to the children in care.

(c) Prior to beginning to provide services for the child care program, a volunteer shall:

(1) Satisfy the requirements specified in the CPSL and § 3320.104 (relating to background check requirements).

(2) Satisfy the requirements specified in § 3320.94 (relating to health assessment).

3320.26. General requirements for facility persons.

(a) All facility persons shall:

    1. Be 16 years of age or older. An individual 16 years of age or older who satisfies the requirements specified in § 3320.24 may provide services as an aide.
    2. Obtain a copy of the criminal background check determination as required under the CPSL, Chapter 3490, and § 3320.104 (relating to background check requirements) prior to beginning to provide services for the child care program.
    3. Satisfy the requirements specified in § 3320.94 (relating to health assessment) prior to beginning to provide services for the child care program.
    4. Be present in the child care center as specified in § 3320.43 (relating to age levels and ratios).
    5. Participate in training for the child care program’s emergency preparedness and response plan, and mandated reporter training as specified in the CPSL.

(b) The operator shall ensure that facility persons who do not satisfy the requirements of teaching staff under §§ 3320.21-3320.24 are not permitted unsupervised access to the children in care.

(c)  The operator and facility persons shall obtain certifications in the following, as applicable:

(1) Pediatric first aid and pediatric CPR certification must be completed for all teaching staff prior to working unsupervised in a child care center. Competence is the completion of training by a professional approved by the Department in the field of first-aid and CPR.

(2) Water safety training must be completed at least once every 12 months by all teaching staff who supervise children when they are participating in water activities, as consistent with the requirements specified in § 3320.45. Competence is the completion of basic instruction in water safety from a certified lifeguard approved by the Department.

(3) For child care programs that offer swimming activities, lifeguard training must be completed by at least one teaching staff person to ensure the supervision of children when swimming as consistent with the requirements specified in § 3320.45. Competence is the completion of lifeguard training by a lifeguard professional approved by the Department. The training must include first-aid training and CPR for children and infants.

(4)  Fire safety training. Teaching staff persons, including the operator, shall participate, at least once every 12 months, in fire safety training conducted by a fire safety professional or completed in a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.  The training must include training in the maintenance of smoke detectors, the duties of facility persons during a fire drill and during a fire, and the use of the facility’s fire extinguishers, not including discharge of the fire suppressant agent.  The operator shall ensure that all teaching staff are trained in the emergency preparedness and response plan as specified in § 3320.68(b).

(d) Completion of training in subsection (c) shall be documented by the signature and title of a representative of the training entity and include the date the training was completed.  Documentation of completion of training must be maintained on file in the teaching staff person’s file, including the operator’s, or maintained in a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

3320.27. Staff qualifications.

Teaching staff persons employed in a child care facility prior to November 1, 2024 shall be considered qualified for the position held prior to November 1, 2024 but must satisfy all qualifications as set forth under this chapter by November 1, 2027 in order to ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

3320.28. Preservice training requirements.

(a) Teaching staff persons shall complete the following preservice training requirements including all federal requirements for the CCDBG health and safety training topics within 90 days of hire:

    1. Prevention and control of infectious diseases (including immunization).
    2. Prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and use of safe sleep practices.
    3. Prevention of and response to emergencies due to food and allergic reactions.
    4. Prevention of shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma, and child maltreatment, including recognition of potential signs and symptoms of shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma, and child maltreatment; strategies for coping with a crying, fussing, or distraught child; and understanding the development of the brain in infancy and early childhood.
    5. Pediatric first aid and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
    6. Recognition and reporting of child abuse and neglect (Mandated reporter training).
    7. Administration of medication, consistent with standards for parental consent.
    8. Building and physical premises safety, including identification of and protection from hazards, bodies of water, and vehicular traffic.
    9. Emergency preparedness and response planning for emergencies resulting from a natural disaster, or a man-caused event, such as violence at a child care facility, within the meaning of those terms under section 602(a)(1) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5195a(a)(1)) that includes training on procedures for evacuation, relocation, shelter-in place and lock down, staff and volunteer emergency preparedness training and practice drills, communication and reunification with families, continuity of operations, and accommodation of infants and toddlers, children with disabilities, and children with chronic medical conditions.
    10. Handling and storage of hazardous materials and appropriate disposal of bio-contaminants.
    11. Appropriate precautions when transporting children.

(b) The operator shall provide documentation of completion of training in the topics specified in subsection (a) and include the documentation with the application in order to be granted a certificate of compliance as specified in § 3320.111.

(c) In addition to the requirements in subsection (a), teaching staff persons shall complete training consistent with PA PSCECE Standard Area 1: Child Development and Learning in Context.

(d) Teaching staff persons shall complete the preservice health and safety training topics specified in subsections (a)(1) – (a)(6) before teaching staff can care for children unsupervised.

(e) The operator shall ensure that teaching staff persons who have not completed training as required in subsection (d) are supervised at all times by a teaching staff person who has completed the training and is qualified at minimum as an assistant teacher under this chapter.

(f) Trainings under this section and under § 3320.29 must be approved by the Department.

(g) Trainings required under this section must be renewed as specified in § 3320.29. For trainings that have not expired, documentation of completion of the training satisfies the training requirement.

(h) Individuals who have completed trainings approved under this chapter and who change employers are not required to retake such trainings provided the trainings are not expired.

3320.29. On-going training requirements.

(a) Teaching staff persons, including the operator, shall obtain an annual minimum of 12 clock hours of training.

(b) The preservice training required in § 3320.28 may be used only once toward the annual requirement specified in subsection (a), except that training for Pediatric First Aid and Pediatric CPR, Recognition and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect (Mandated Reporter Training), and fire safety may also count toward the annual requirement specified in subsection (a) based on the renewal date of the training certificate(s).

(c) Teaching staff persons, including the operator, shall renew their certifications on or before the expiration date of the current certifications in the following:

(1) Pediatric first aid and pediatric CPR. Competence is the completion of training by a professional approved by the Department in the field of first-aid and CPR.

(2) Water safety training. Competence is the completion of basic instruction in water safety from a certified lifeguard approved by the Department at least once every 12 months.

(3) Lifeguard training, if applicable for child care programs that offer swimming activities. Competence is the completion of lifeguard training by a lifeguard professional approved by the Department.  The training must include first-aid training and CPR for children and infants.

(4) Fire safety training. Teaching staff persons, including the operator, shall participate, at least once every 12 months, in fire safety training conducted by a fire safety professional  or completed in a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information. The training must include training in the maintenance of smoke detectors, the duties of facility persons during a fire drill and during a fire, and the use of the facility’s fire extinguishers, not including discharge of the fire suppressant agent.  The operator shall ensure that all teaching staff are trained in the emergency preparedness and response plan as specified in § 3320.68(b).

(d) The training topics outlined in § 3320.28 shall be completed prior to obtaining any other training topics as consistent with paragraph (e).

(e) Teaching staff persons, including the operator, who have completed training in the topics specified in § 3320.28 shall complete the following training requirements prior to any other trainings:

(1) Child Development and Learning.  Training consistent with PA PSCECE Standard Area 1: Child Development and Learning in Context satisfies this requirement.

(2) Nutrition.  Training consistent with PA PSCECE Standard Area 7: Health and Safety/ Standard 7b: Nutrition satisfies this requirement.

(3) Access to Physical Activity.  Training consistent with PA PSCECE Standard Area 7: Health and Safety/ Standard 7a: Physical Health and Safety satisfies this requirement.

(4) Early Intervention Service Delivery: Coaching Across Early Childhood Settings or other training as approved by the Department for children with developmental delays, disabilities, or individual care plans.

(f) Acceptable training topics shall be consistent with the PA PSCECE standard areas of:

(1) Child development and learning in context.

(2) Family-Teacher partnerships and community connections.

(3) Child observation, documentation, and assessment.

(4) Developmentally, culturally, and linguistically-appropriate teaching practices.

(5) Knowledge, application, and integration of academic content in the child care program curriculum.

(6) Professionalism as a child care program educator.

(7) Health and safety.

(8) Program organization and administration.

(g) Acceptable training is conducted in one or more of the following settings:

(1) By a secondary or postsecondary institution approved by the Department of Education and accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council of Postsecondary Accreditation and acceptable to the Department of Education.

(2) By an entity that is licensed or certified professionally competent in the training topic.

(3) In conferences or workshops.

(4) With audio-visual materials recognized by child care professionals.

(5) Within a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

(h) When there are updates to any of the training topics specified in § 3320.28, teaching staff, including the operator, must complete the updated training within the timeframe specified by the Department.

(i) Completion of training shall be documented by the signature and title of a representative of the training entity and include the date the training was completed. Documentation of completion of training must be maintained on file in the teaching staff person’s file, including the operator’s, or maintained in a system designated by the Department for the collection of workforce information.

(j) At least once every 12 months, the operator shall review with each teaching staff person the individual’s Professional Development Plan, as consistent with § 3320.21(a).

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Early Childhood Education Program

Programs

3320.31. Activities and programming.

(a) The operator shall ensure the following:

    1. A written curriculum is established that addresses all age groups served and describes the program of planned daily activities related to early childhood or child development as consistent with the Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood and the Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood-Infants-Toddlers.
    2. Lesson plans are developed using the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards (ELS) referenced in subsection (1) as a resource for teaching staff to support planning and documentation of children’s learning. The lesson plans must reflect a balance of activities that support developmentally appropriate learning through play and that meets the needs of all children in care.  The lesson plans must be flexible to accommodate the developmental and cultural dynamics of each group and each individual child.
      • (i) When a facility serves a school-age child, the operator shall ensure that homework supervision is provided in accordance with arrangements as outlined in the program agreement.
      • (ii) A before-school and after-school program schedule of activities must provide planned activities as appropriate for each child. Planned activities provide access to age-appropriate materials and spaces, and teaching staff provide support to foster continued growth of physical activity, indoor and outdoor recreation, completion of schoolwork, expanding individual interests, learning cultural sensitivity, exploring community resources and practicing pro-social skills.
    3. Lesson plans, teaching strategies, adult-child interactions, and activities shall be adapted as needed to support all children’s learning, including those with goals described in one or more of an IFSP, IEP, individual care plan, written behavioral plan, service agreement, Section 504 plan, or special needs assessments, and shall be consistent with the requirements specified in § 3320.18 (relating to inclusion of a child with a developmental delay, disability, or individual care plan).

(b) The operator shall ensure the information specified in subsection (a) is shared with all teaching staff who provide care for a child. The information must be visibly posted in each space in which children are being cared for.

(c) School aged children must be enrolled in an education program in accordance with the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. §§ 1-101—27-2702).

(d) For child care programs that offer screen time to children in care:

    1. Screen time must be non-violent, culturally sensitive, and educationally, developmentally, and age appropriate.
    2. Digital media and devices must not be used during meal or snack times, or during nap or rest times.
    3. Screen time does not include time spent video chatting with a child’s family.
    4. For children between the ages of 3 years of age and older and 5 years of age and younger but does not fit the definition of a young school-age child, the total permitted exposure to digital media must be limited to 1 hour per day of educational programming. The use of passive digital media must be limited to 30 minutes per week.
    5. School age children must be permitted to use digital media to complete homework. Screen time usage must be consistent with the requirements of the ELS for school-age children.
    6. Entertainment media time may not replace healthy activities such as exercising, socializing and meals.

(e) Screen time is prohibited for children 2 years of age and younger.

3320.32. Infant and toddler program activities and development.

(a) Teaching staff, including the operator shall limit the time an infant or toddler who is awake spends in confining equipment, such as a crib, infant seat, swing, highchair, or playpen.

(b) After removing an infant or toddler from confining equipment as described in subsection (a), the child must be able to move freely in a clean area protected from foot traffic.

(c) Unless an infant or toddler is sleeping in a crib, playpen, or pack-and-play, the child must be provided with a developmentally-appropriate activity as described in § 3320.31.

(d) The operator shall promote consistency and continuity of the teaching staff who care for infants and toddlers.

(e) The operator shall incorporate continuity of care practices into established policies and procedures to foster strong, positive relationships that will act as a basis for exploration and learning in the classroom.

(f) The operator shall establish and implement a developmentally-appropriate curriculum and lesson plan for infants and toddlers. The curriculum and lesson plans must be consistent with the Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood-Infants-Toddlers.

3320.33. Outdoor activity.

(a) The operator shall ensure the following:

(1) Children are taken outdoors at least once daily, unless weather conditions pose a health risk to the children in care.  The program’s policy for taking children outside must be included in the family handbook as specified in § 3320.13 (relating to family handbook).

(2) Children are dressed appropriately for the weather when going outside, and children are provided with appropriate shelter for the weather conditions, as applicable.

(3) When participating in outdoor activities during cold weather, children are dressed in outer garments to provide additional warmth.

(4) Children are protected from the sun using measures including access to shade, sun-protective clothing, and by using sunscreen with a UV-B and UV-A ray protection factor of 15 or higher. The parent/guardian shall provide written permission, maintained on file at the facility, for the use of sunscreen.

(5) Children have access to clean, sanitary water at all times as consistent with § 3320.72 (relating to water) and are encouraged to drink water while outdoors during warm weather.

(6) While outside, infants and toddlers must not be provided with water in the first 6 months of life.

(b) The operator shall monitor and evaluate weather-related conditions through several media outlets, including local e-mail and text messaging weather alerts.

(c) Before taking children outdoors, the operator shall ensure:

(1) That weather conditions do not pose a health risk to the children in care. Weather that poses a health risk to the children in care includes wind chill factors below –15°F (-26° C) and a heat index at or above 90° F (32° C), as identified by the National Weather Service.

(2) That the air quality index does not pose a health risk to the children in care.

3320.34. Release of children.

(a) The operator shall ensure that children are released only to the child’s parent/guardian or to an individual age 16 and older as designated in writing by the enrolling parent/guardian.  As applicable, a child shall be released to either of the parent(s)/ guardian(s), unless a court order on file at the facility states otherwise.

(b) In an emergency, a child may be released to an individual upon the written or oral designation of the parent/ guardian if the identity of the individual can be verified by a teaching staff person.

(c) For children released upon the written or oral designation of the parent/ guardian, the following information shall be logged in the child’s record:

(1) The name of the parent/guardian making the request.

(2) The date and time of the request.

(3) The name of the individual to whom the child is to be released.

(4) The name of the teaching staff person taking the call.

(5) The name of the teaching staff person releasing the child.

(d) Written permission shall include the date and the name and address of the individual picking up the child.  The written permission may be provided electronically.

(e) An individual authorized to pick up a child must show valid photo identification to a teaching staff person at the time the child is picked up from care.

(f) The operator shall establish policies and procedures that address:

(1) How the program will handle situations involving individuals who arrive and appear to be intoxicated or otherwise incapable of transporting the child home safely.

(2) How the program will handle situations for when no authorized person arrives to pick up a child from care. The policies and procedures shall be shared with each child’s parent/guardian during the enrollment process.

(g) Facility persons, including the operator, shall not attempt to handle situations involving an apparently unstable, intoxicated or aggressive parent(s)/guardian(s) or other individuals who attempt to enter the facility until the individual’s behavior no longer appears to pose a risk to the health and safety of the children in care.

(h) Facility persons, including the operator, have the right to deny access to anyone who poses a potential risk to children enrolled in the facility, including in situations as described in subsections (f) and (g).

(i) In the event that no authorized person arrives to pick up a child, the teaching staff shall attempt to reach each authorized emergency contact individual listed in the child’s record. If the teaching staff cannot establish contact, the operator shall immediately implement the written policy described in subsection (f).

3320.35. Pets.

(a) A pet or animal present on the facility premises must be in good health and known to be friendly to children.

(b) Teaching staff must be physically present when children have contact with pets.

(c) The operator shall ensure:

(1) That a veterinarian’s certificate of current rabies immunization is obtained for each cat or dog at the facility, as applicable. The certificate shall be on file at the facility whenever the cat or dog is present.

(2) That pets that are at the facility are cared for in a safe and sanitary manner.

(3) That containers used solely for collecting animal feces or urine are not located in any rooms used by children.

(d) The operator shall inform parents/guardians of animals or pets kept or brought into the facility.

(e) Poisonous or aggressive animals or animals that are known to be carriers of illnesses, such as ferrets, turtles, iguanas, lizards, or other reptiles, psittacine birds or birds of the parrot family, or animals who are sick with a disease that may be spread to humans are prohibited on the facility premises and at program activities.

(f) Animals and pets are prohibited from the following facility areas:

(1) Food preparation, food storage and dining areas.

(2) The vicinity of sinks where children wash their hands.

(3) Clean supply rooms.

(4) Rooms or areas used by infants or toddlers.

(g) All individuals who have contact with animals, animal products, or animal environments shall wash their hands immediately after having such contact.

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Supervision and Discipline

3320.36. Discipline.

(a) Teaching staff persons, including the operator, shall use only the least amount of direct physical contact required to prevent immediate harm to a child or others.

(b) The operator shall establish discipline policies that ensure the following:

(1) That children are directed with techniques that stress praise and encouragement.

(2) That children are not subjected to verbal abuse, derogatory remarks, threats of removal from the child care center, or other harsh or threatening language.

(3) That physical punishment, including spanking a child, is prohibited, regardless of parent/guardian permission, and regardless of whether the child is related to a facility person, including the operator.

(4) That abusive discipline practices are prohibited.

(5) That no child is punished for bedwetting or actions related to toilet training.

(6) That no child is punished by denying a child elements of an individual care plan, service agreement, IFSP or IEP.

(7) That no child is punished by denying communications with, or visits by, the child’s family.

(8) That no child is subjected to physically strenuous exercise or work solely as punishment.

(9) That punishment for a child is not delegated to another child.

(10) That foods, beverages, clothing or shelter are not denied or withheld from a child as discipline or used as a reward for good behavior.  A child may not be forced or bribed to eat food or drink a beverage.

(11) That no child or child’s family is singled out or ridiculed or threatened with harm.

(12) That teaching staff persons, including the operator, do not aim to degrade a child or a child’s family.

(13) That teaching staff persons, including the operator, do not restrain a child or restrict a child’s movement or enclose the child in a confined space, closet, or locked room or use high chairs, car seats or equipment to punish a child or restrict movement.  The prohibition against restraining a child does not apply to the use of adaptive equipment prescribed for a child with a developmental delay, disability or individual care plan. Documentation of prescribed adaptive equipment for each child, as applicable, must be maintained in the child’s records.

(14) That teaching staff persons, including the operator, do not prevent a child from or punish a child for exercising religious rights.

(c) The operator shall ensure the discipline policies described in subsection (b) are included in the family handbook as specified in § 3320.13.

3320.37. Supervision of children.

(a) The operator shall ensure the supervision of all children in care at all times.  Supervision shall be maintained on the facility premises and on facility excursions off the premises. Outdoor space used by the facility is considered part of the facility premises.

(1) Teaching staff who are approved under this chapter to provide care for children unsupervised shall be assigned the responsibility for supervision of specific children. Teaching staff who are approved under this chapter to provide care for children unsupervised shall know the names and whereabouts of the children in his or her assigned group. Teaching staff who are approved to provide care for children unsupervised shall be physically present with the children in his or her group on the facility premises and on facility excursions off the facility premises.

(2) The requirement for supervision on and off the facility premises includes compliance with the staff:child ratio requirements in § 3320.43 (relating to age levels and ratios).

(3) When children are participating in water activities, the operator shall:

(i) Determine whether there are accessible bodies of water in the proximity of the location.

(ii) Ensure that all requirements of this section and § 3320.45 (relating to bodies of water and water activities) are satisfied.

(4) Teaching staff, including the operator, are prohibited from caring for children in a child care space that is not certified by the Department.

(b) The operator shall ensure that only the individuals specified under § 3320.34 (relating to release of children) are permitted to have unsupervised access to a child in care.

(c) For a facility offering non-traditional care, no teaching staff person may work for a period of more than 12 consecutive hours in a 24-hour time period.

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Transportation

3320.38. Pick-up and drop-off points.

Safe pedestrian crossways, pick-up and drop-off points and bike routes shall be appropriately determined in the vicinity of the facility and communicated to the children and parent(s)/guardian(s) in writing.

(1) The operator shall post written notification of the safe routes at a visible location in the child care center.

(2) The operator shall ensure that children are picked up and discharged only at the locations specified by the facility as safe locations.

3320.39. Driver qualifications.

The driver of a facility vehicle shall be 18 years of age or older and shall have a valid operating license for the type of vehicle being driven. The driver must possess a safe driving record.

3320.40. Safety restraints.

(a) The operator shall ensure that children are transported in accordance with the requirements for parent(s)/guardian(s) as set forth in 75 Pa.C.S. § 4581 (relating to restraint systems) and as consistent with applicable State and federal laws and regulations.

(b) Safety restraints installed in the vehicle at the time of manufacturing must be used by all occupants.

(c) Safety restraints must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specified recommendations.

(d) Manufacturers’ instructions for the use of safety restraints must be kept in the vehicle at all times.

(e) A school bus with a seating capacity of 16 or more children that is used to transport preschool or school-age children is exempt from the requirements of this section.

3320.41. Vehicles.

(a) The operator shall ensure that facility vehicles are insured in accordance with 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 1701—1799.7 (relating to the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law).

(b) The doors on a facility vehicle must be locked whenever the vehicle is in motion.

(c) The back of a pick-up truck may not be used to transport children.

(d) The cargo area of a vehicle may not be used to transport children.

(e) In accordance with 67 Pa. Code Chapter 171 (relating to school buses and school vehicles), the child care program may not transport a child in an 11—15 passenger van.

3320.42. Transportation.

(a) When children are being transported, the operator shall ensure the following:

(1) Compliance with the requirements specified in § 3320.17 (relating to consent for transportation).

(2) No child is left unattended in a vehicle.

(3) Children are supervised during boarding and exiting vehicles by a teaching staff person who remains outside the vehicle.

(4) That health history, emergency contact information, emergency medical care authorization        forms, and the appropriate medication (if applicable), is accessible for each child being                            transported.

(5) That attendance is taken that ensures all children are accounted for each time children begin and end travel to an off-site activity, and every time children enter and exit a vehicle.

(6) When the operator uses a vehicle to transport children in care, the operator shall:

(i) Ensure the number of passengers does not exceed the manufacturer’s seating capacity of the vehicle.

(ii) Maintain a vehicle temperature that is appropriate for all children, including children    with a developmental delay, disability or individual care plan.

(iii) Prevent any driver with a known condition that would compromise driving, supervision, or evacuation capabilities from operating facility vehicles.

(b) When children are being transported, the following applies:

(1) The staff:child ratio specified in § 3320.43 applies when infant, young or older toddler, and preschool children are transported. The maximum group size requirements do not apply during transportation.

(2) The driver may not be considered part of the staff:child ratio when infant, young or older toddler, or preschool children are transported.

(3) When school-age children are being transported, the driver may be considered part of the staff:child ratio provided the driver satisfies the requirements under § 3320.39 (relating to driver qualifications).

(c) A child care center is exempt from the requirements of this section when the children in care are transported in vehicles owned and operated by the school district in which the facility is located.

3320.44. Children of the operator or a facility person.

(a) The related or foster children of a facility person, including the operator, shall be counted for the following purposes:

(1)  For satisfying the staff:child ratio requirements specified in § 3320.43 (relating to age levels and ratios).

(2) For satisfying the allocated space capacity requirements in §§ 3320.46 and 3320.47 (relating to measurement and use of indoor child care space; and measurement and use of outdoor space).

(b) Notwithstanding the requirements in subsection (a), the following applies:

(1) The related or foster school-aged children of an operator or facility person are not counted in the staff:child ratio requirements specified in § 3320.43.

(2) The related or foster children of an operator or facility person who are younger than school-aged must be counted in the staff:child ratio requirements specified in § 3320.43.

(c) This section applies when the related or foster children of an operator or a facility person are in measured child care space.

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Environment

3320.46. Measurement and use of indoor child care space.

(a) The operator shall ensure that the facility provides indoor space for all children.

(b) Indoor play space must be safe for gross motor activity.

(c) Indoor child care space must be accessible while children are in care.

(d) Indoor child care space must allow children to move between areas without disrupting another child’s work or play.

(e) The allowable indoor child care space is measured within permanent stationary partitions or walls. The allowable indoor space is 40 square feet per child.

(1) Measured indoor space includes space occupied by cupboards, shelves, furniture and equipment.

(2) Measured indoor space excludes space occupied by halls, bathrooms, offices, kitchens and locker rooms.

(h) Indoor child care space in which children are receiving care may not be used simultaneously for other business, commercial, social or another purpose unrelated to the child care being offered.

(i) The capacity established for an indoor space may not be exceeded, except in the following situations:

(1) At naptime, when older toddlers or preschool children are resting on rest equipment described in § 3320.56 (relating to rest equipment), provided the following conditions are satisfied:

(i) At naptime, the capacity is determined by the requirement for placement of rest equipment described in § 3320.56(f).

(ii) At naptime, the capacity may be exceeded for a period not longer than 2 ½ consecutive hours.

(iii) The number of children present in the space may not be more than twice the measured capacity of the space.

(iv) The resting ratios may not exceed the requirements specified in § 3320.43(h) (relating to age levels and ratios).

(2) When a meal is served in a space designated and measured as indoor child care space, provided the following conditions are satisfied:

(i) The capacity of a space may be exceeded when children are eating for no more than one hour daily.

(ii) The meal time must be designated on the facility’s schedule of daily activities.

(iii) The number of children present in the child care space may not be more than twice the measured capacity of the space.

(j) The total number of children receiving child care services at the facility at any one time may not exceed the facility’s maximum capacity.

(k) The operator shall visually inspect indoor child care space and equipment daily to ensure indoor areas and equipment are free of hazards.

(l) Uncertified spaces must be inaccessible while children are in care.

(m) The operator shall ensure that children are not cared for in uncertified spaces as consistent with § 3320.37 (relating to supervision of children).

(n) This section does not apply to a school-age program located in a school building that is under section 776.1 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §  7-776.1).

3320.47. Measurement and use of outdoor space.

(a) The operator shall ensure that the facility provides outdoor space to be used for gross motor activity.

(b) An operator shall visually inspect outdoor space and equipment daily to ensure outdoor areas and equipment are free of hazards.

(c) Outdoor space must be measured at 65 square feet per child accessing and using the area at one time, except in the following situations:

(1) The minimum outdoor space required per infant accessing and using the area at one time is 40 square feet.

(2) The minimum outdoor space required per young or older toddler accessing and using the area at one time is 50 square feet.

(d) Outdoor space must be safe for gross motor activity.

(e) Outdoor space in which children are receiving care may not be used simultaneously for other business, commercial, social or another purpose unrelated to the child care being offered.

(f) The legal entity may request a waiver as specified in § 3320.114 (relating to waivers) that includes an alternate plan if the program does not have enough outdoor space.  Alternate plans may include rotating groups of children to play outdoors or using an off-site outdoor space.

(g) If the certified outdoor space is not immediately adjacent to the facility building, the operator shall use a safe route when moving to and from the certified outdoor space.

(h) A facility must have shaded areas in the outdoor space.

(i) Outdoor space must promote a variety of developmentally appropriate active play areas and activities that are accommodating to children with a development delay, disability or individual care plan.

(j) Outside walkways must be free from ice, snow, leaves, equipment, and other hazards.

(k) If unsafe areas or conditions are in or near an outdoor space, the operator shall ensure the unsafe areas or conditions are inaccessible to children.

(l) This section does not apply to a school-age program located in a school building that is under section 776.1 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §  7-776.1).

3320.48. Gardens in outdoor spaces.

(a) The operator shall ensure that gardens in outdoor spaces:

  1. Have safeguards in place to minimize the risk of cross-contamination by animals.
  2. Use soil that is free from agricultural or industrial contaminants including lead and arsenic when gardening directly in the ground.

(b) If the garden is in raised beds, the operator shall ensure the following:

  1. New soil is used that is labeled “organic” or “safe for children,” and is obtained from a gardening supply store or other retail store.
  2. Composted soil is used that is made from material that is safe and in accordance with composting guidelines developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The guidelines may be accessed free of charge on DEP’s website.

(c) Herbicides and pesticides must be applied pursuant to the product manufacturer’s instructions. The products may not be applied while children are present. Children may not use or apply the product, or be permitted access to the garden during the manufacturer’s recommended waiting period following application.

(d)  Toxic plants or plants with poisonous leaves are prohibited on the facility premises unless being used as part of a program activity.  Child care programs that use common toxic plants or common plants with poisonous leaves in conjunction with program activities must obtain parent/guardian permission as specified in 3320.15(c).  The operator shall ensure the supervision of children who are able to access gardens in outdoor spaces.

(e) Gardens containing common toxic plans or common plants with poisonous leaves as specified in subsection (d) must be inaccessible to children when not being used in conjunction with program activities.

3320.49. Protective electrical covers.

(a) The operator shall ensure that unused electrical outlets accessible to children, including power strips, have automatic shutters that only allow electrical plugs to be inserted (tamper-resistant) or are covered by blank plates or other tamper-resistant covers appropriate to the electrical outlet.

(b) Outlets near sinks, tubs, toilets, or other water sources must be inaccessible to children or be tamper-resistant and equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet type.

(c) Extension cords must only be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

3320.50. Building surface requirements.

(a) The operator shall ensure that facility premises and program equipment are clean, in good repair, are sanitary, and are free from visible hazards.

(b) Exterior walls, roofs, and foundations must be structurally sound, weathertight, watertight, and in compliance with applicable building codes. Interior floors, walls, staircases, and ceilings must be structurally sound and finished, and in compliance with applicable building codes. The operator shall ensure that all applicable local and state requirements are satisfied as consistent with § 3320.108 (relating to building code).

(c) Hard surfaces inside the facility including floors (excluding carpet), walls, counters, bookshelves, and tables must be smooth and easily cleanable.

(d) The operator shall ensure there are at least 24 inches of moisture resistant and cleanable material or barrier around sinks, drinking fountains and toilets.

(e) This section does not apply to a school-age program located in a school building that is under section 776.1 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §  7-776.1).

3320.51. Paint.

(a) Peeled or damaged paint or damaged plaster is not permitted on indoor or outdoor surfaces in the facility premises.

(b) When indoor or outdoor surfaces are repaired or when new indoor or outdoor surfaces are painted, the paint may not contain more than .06% lead.

(c) A child may not be present during removal of paint from the indoor or outdoor surfaces of a facility.

(d) Removal, clean-up and disposal of leaded paint dust and debris shall be accomplished in a manner that avoids dispersal of dust and debris into the environment.

(e) Abrasive removal methods such as dry sanding, electrical sanding and sandblasting or open flame burning, or a removal process that permits the release of leaded particulate material into the environment are prohibited.

(f) Dust and debris generated by removal shall be disposed of in accordance with applicable Federal, State and local regulations.

(g) Child care may resume when the removal process is completed and when all accompanying debris is removed.

(h) The operator shall conduct a review of the condition of paint on the facility premises and perform routine maintenance to ensure that paint remains intact at least once every 12 months.

(i) The operator shall use a lead-safe contractor certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for any needed repair or renovation work not including lead hazard control work.

(j)   If lead is identified in either the interior or exterior paint of the facility premises, a certified lead inspector or certified risk assessor must inspect and test for lead-based paint hazards.  Documentation that a certified lead inspector or certified risk assessor was used as required shall be maintained on file at the facility.

(k) Indoor or outdoor surfaces found to have lead-based paint hazards must not be used and must be inaccessible to children and facility persons until remediated.

(l) The operator shall hire a certified lead abatement contractor to perform lead hazard control work if lead is identified in either the interior or exterior paint of the facility premises. The operator shall ensure testing for lead dust clearance to ensure proper cleanup following completion of any lead hazard control work.  The operator shall implement an occupant protection plan during lead remediation work.

3320.52. Lighting.

(a) The child care space, hallways, stairways, outside steps, porches, and ramps must have natural or artificial light that provides appropriate illumination for program activities and that better ensures supervision.

(b) The operator shall ensure compliance with the following:

  1. Compliance with all light fixture manufacturer’s installation and use requirements.
  2. That all light fixtures have shatter-resistant covers or light bulbs.
  3. That all lights or light fixtures used indoors are designed for indoor use only.
  4. That free standing lamps are attached or secured to prevent a tipping hazard.
  5. That halogen lamps and bulbs are prohibited.

(c) This section does not apply to a school-age program located in a school building that is under section 776.1 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § 7-776.1).

3320.53. Play equipment and materials.

(a) The operator shall ensure the following:

  1. Play equipment and materials are appropriate to the developmental needs, individual interests and ages of the children in care. Play equipment and materials must be provided in sufficient amount and variety to ensure there are no long waits for use.
  2. Toys, play equipment and other indoor and outdoor equipment used by children are clean, in good repair, and are removed when no longer safe.
  3. Climbing play equipment is not placed on or above concrete, asphalt, packed soil, lumber or similar hard surfaces.
  4. Slides over 4 feet high have guards along both sides of the ladder.
  5. The ground under swings and play equipment is covered by an impact-absorbing material such as:
    1. Pea gravel at least 9 inches deep.
    2. Playground wood chips at least 9 inches deep.
    3. Shredded recycled rubber at least 6 inches deep.
    4. Any material that has a certificate of compliance, label, or documentation stating it meets applicable standards as determined by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

(b) Play equipment that is soiled must be cleaned with soap and water, rinsed and sanitized before a child uses them.

(c) Toys, play equipment, materials, and objects with a diameter of less than 1 and 3/4 inches, and objects with removable parts that have a diameter of less than 1 and 3/4 inches pose a risk of choking, aspiration or ingestion. Small parts from larger equipment, material or objects that have a diameter or overall dimension of 1 and 3/4 inches or less, that may become detached from the larger equipment, materials or objects shall also be considered items that may pose a risk of choking, aspiration or ingestion.

(d) Plastic bags that are large enough to pose a suffocation risk as well as Styrofoam, matches, candles, batteries and lighters must be inaccessible to children.

(e) Outdoor equipment that requires embedded mounting must be mounted over a loose-fill or unitary playground protective surface covering that meets the recommendations of the CPSC.  A protective surface covering means that the protective surfacing material must be safe and shock absorbing for a fall from the highest designated play surface on a piece of equipment as specified in the CPSC’s Public Playground Safety Handbook, Publication 325. This publication is available for free online on the CPSC’s web site located at http://www.cpsc.gov or by calling the CPSC Consumer Hotline toll-free at (800) 638-2772.

(f)  Playground equipment and surfacing used by a child care program must comply with all applicable CPSC guidelines, including for installing, arranging, designing, constructing and maintaining outdoor play equipment and surfacing. The equipment must be anchored firmly and be in good repair.  School playground surfacing under section 776.1 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §  7-776.1), satisfies this requirement for child care programs located in a school building operating under a license issued by PDE.

(g) Pea gravel and other materials with a diameter of less than 1 inch may not be used in spaces where infants or toddlers receive care.

(h) Grass alone is unacceptable for purposes of satisfying the requirements in subsection (g).

(i) Permanently anchored outdoor play equipment must not be placed over septic tank areas or drain fields and must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions

(j) Indoor play equipment for climbing must be installed or used over a protective surface covering which does not interfere with the stability of the equipment.

(k) Bouncing equipment, including trampolines, rebounders, and inflatable equipment, must be inaccessible to children and locked. This requirement does not apply to bounce balls designed to be used by individual children.

(l) Play equipment and rest equipment, including furniture, described as hazardous by the CPSC, are prohibited. At the time of each annual inspection, the operator shall submit to the Department written verification on a Department form stating that the child care program is in compliance with this section.

3320.54. Furniture.

(a) The operator shall ensure accessible and developmentally appropriate furniture and equipment in sufficient quantity for the number of children in care. Furniture must be durable, safe, easily cleaned, and appropriate for the child’s size, age, and if applicable, developmental delay, disability or individual care plan.

(b) Furniture and equipment must be:

  1. Maintained in a safe working condition.
  2. Developmentally and age appropriate.
  3. Free from hazards, broken parts or damage. Equipment with hazardous, broken parts or damage must be repaired and must be inaccessible to children until repairs are made according to the manufacturer’s instructions, if available.
  4. Arranged in a way that does not interfere with other play equipment.
  5. Installed and assembled in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Stored in a manner to prevent injury.
  7. Accessible to the child’s height, such that:

(i) The child can find, use and return materials independently.

(ii) The child’s feet are able to touch the ground or a footrest, as appropriate.

(c) The operator shall ensure that soft furnishings are supplied in certified space accessible to children. Soft furnishings include carpeted areas and area rugs, upholstered furniture, cushions or large floor pillows, and stuffed animals.

(d) Furniture and equipment that is soiled must be cleaned and sanitized before a child uses them.

3320.55. Furniture during meal or snack time.

(a) Furniture used during meal or snack time must be developmentally appropriate.

(b) For furniture used during meal or snack time, each high chair must:

  1. Have a base that is wider than the seat.
  2. Have a safety device used each time a child is seated that prevents the child from climbing or sliding down the chair.
  3. Be free of cracks and tears.
  4. Have a washable surface.
  5. Be positioned so that the child’s feet are able to touch the ground or a footrest, as appropriate.

(b) Teaching staff shall ensure that infants or toddlers are not left for more than 15 minutes in high chairs while waiting to be served at meal or snack time as consistent with § 3320.36 (relating to discipline).

(c) Infants or toddlers must be removed from a high chair as soon as possible after the child finishes eating.

3320.56. Rest equipment.

(a) The operator shall ensure the following:

    1. That individual, clean, and age-appropriate rest equipment is provided for preschool, toddler and infant children as agreed to between the child’s parent/guardian and the operator. The rest equipment must be labeled for the use of a specific child and used only by the specified child.
    2. That linens, blankets, and rest equipment are cleaned at least once every 30 days. The operator shall arrange a cleaning schedule with the parent/guardian.
    3. That sleeping children are immediately removed from car seats, swings, or similar equipment not designed for sleep.
    4. That a child’s parent/guardian is consulted before a child is transitioned from infant sleeping equipment to other sleep equipment.

(b) Bed linens may not be used alone as age-appropriate rest equipment.

(c) Stacked cribs are prohibited.

(d) Crib and playpen slats may be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.

(e) Seasonal, appropriate covering such as sheets or blankets must be provided as agreed to between the parent/guardian and the operator.

(f) At least two feet of space is required on three sides of a bed, cot, crib, or other rest equipment while the equipment is in use in order to reduce germ exposure and allow teaching staff to have access to each child during rest. Rest equipment may be placed in a natural corner with two sides abutting the wall as long as there is two feet of space on the other two sides of the rest equipment.

(g) Rest equipment must be arranged so that children rest head-to-toe or toe-to-toe.

(h) Rest equipment and bedding must be cleaned and sanitized between uses if used by different children.

(i) Bed linens must be stored separately for each child.

(j) Soiled bedding must be cleaned and sanitized before being reused.

(k) The upper level of double-deck beds may not be used for children 8 years of age and younger.

(l) Toys, bumper pads, blankets, pillows, and other soft bedding materials may not be present in a crib while an infant is sleeping in the crib. Toys may not be attached to the inside of the crib slats.

(m) The operator shall transition children who are able to climb out of their rest equipment to developmentally appropriate rest equipment. If parents/guardians disagree with the transitioning, the operator and parent/guardian shall establish a transition plan and immediately update and include the details of the plan on the Department’s form relating to the child’s growth and development.

3320.57. Refrigerator.

(a) The operator shall ensure that the program has an operable, clean refrigerator, freezer, or a combination refrigerator and freezer with sufficient space for proper storage and cooling of perishable or potentially hazardous foods.

(b) Refrigerators must:

  1. Be capable of maintaining food at 45° F or below. For child care programs that provide breast milk, the program must ensure the refrigerator is capable of ensuring the requirements in § 3320.64 (relating to meals for infants and toddlers).
  2. Be equipped with an operable thermometer.
  3. Be cleaned and sanitized at least once every 30 days or more often as needed.

3320.58. Utensils.

(a) The operator shall:

(1) Supply durable and developmentally appropriate individual eating and drinking equipment, or developmentally appropriate single-use disposable items if discarded after each use.

(2) Clean and sanitize eating and drinking equipment after each use. Water cups or bottles must be cleaned and sanitized daily if designated for a single child.

(3) Ensure plastic eating and drinking equipment:

(i) Does not contain toxic substances, such as bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, a chemical used in hard plastic bottles and as a protective lining in food and beverage cans.

(ii) Is free from cracks or chips.

(4) Use gloves, utensils, or tongs to prepare and serve food.

(5) Serve meals or snacks on plates, dishware, containers, trays, napkins, or paper towels, if appropriate. Food must be served on an appropriate container and not be placed directly on an eating surface.

(6) Be respectful of each child’s cultural food practices.

(7) Serve each child individually or serve family style dining, allowing each child the opportunity to practice skills such as passing shared serving bowls and serving themselves.

(8) Ensure that teaching staff sit with children during meals, unless the needs of the child care program require otherwise to ensure compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

(b) Food and food service items, such as utensils, napkins, and dishes, must not be stored in an area with toxic materials, such as cleaning supplies, paint, or pesticides.

(c) The use of styrofoam cups or plates is prohibited.

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