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7 AAC 57.505. Child-to-caregiver ratios

(a) For child care homes,

(1) the home shall have at least one caregiver, who may also be the administrator, and may provide care for not more than a total of eight children younger than 13 years of age, including the caregiver's children younger than 13 years of age; and

(2) of the total children in care, not more than three of the total may be younger than 30 months of age, and not more than two of the total may be nonambulatory.

(b) For child care group homes,

(1) except as provided under (3) of this subsection, a child care group home shall have at least two caregivers, one of which must be the administrator, and may provide care for not more than a total of 12 children younger than 13 years of age, including the caregiver's children;

(2) of the total children in care, not more than five of the total may be younger than 30 months of age, and not more than four of the total may be nonambulatory;

(3) only one caregiver is required if

(A) the caregiver is either the administrator or the administrator's designee, with one year of licensed home child care or the equivalent, or if the credential requirements of 7 AAC 57.300(d) are met; and

(B) the total number of children in care

(i) consists only of children of school age, including the caregiver's children younger than 13 years of age; or

(ii) is 10 or fewer, including the caregiver's children younger than 13 years of age, none of the total is younger than 30 months of age, and not more than two of the total are nonambulatory;

(4) notwithstanding (3) of this subsection, if on any given day a child care group home is caring for eight or fewer children younger than 13 years of age, including the caregiver's children, if not more than three of the total are younger than 30 months of age, and if not more than two of the total are nonambulatory, the child care group home may staff the facility with one caregiver.

(c) For a child care center,

(1) during all hours of operation, the following child-to-caregiver ratio and maximum group size shall be maintained:


Age of Children Number of Term for Child's Number of Maximum Group Size
Children Age Group Caregivers Ratio of Children to
Caregivers
Through 18 months 5 Infants 1 10:2
19 to 36 months 6 Toddlers 1 12:2
3 and 4 years 10 Preschoolers 1 20:2
5 and 6 years 14 Kindergartners 1 28:2
7 through 12
years 18 School age 1 36:2


(2) maximum group size must be consistent with the requirements of 7 AAC 57.510;

(3) the child-to-caregiver ratios must be consistent with the age of the majority of the children when kindergartners and school-age children are in a mixed age group; and

(4) the child-to-caregiver ratios for the youngest child apply when infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are in a mixed age group.

(d) For purposes of meeting the child-to-caregiver ratio requirements in this section for all facility types, a child in care who is 13 years of age or older must be counted as a child younger than 13 years of age who is school age.

(e) In this section,

(1) "nonambulatory" means not physically or mentally capable of achieving mobility to exit a building without the aid of another individual;

(2) "school age " means 7 through 12 years of age;

(3) "total" means the total number of children in care at any time.

History: Eff. 6/23/2006, Register 178; am 5/15/2016, Register 218

Authority: AS 44.29.020

AS 47.32.010

AS 47.32.030

7 AAC 57.510. Maximum group size in child care centers

(a) A child care center shall organize its learning environment so that children may participate in activities individually and in small groups, so that the development of each child is supported.

(b) A child care center shall provide environmental cues to children to indicate an interest or activity center and to facilitate a limited number of children at the interest or activity center. Environmental cues include the use of visible barriers, partitions, colored rugs, and tables with a limited number of chairs.

(c) A child care center shall assign one or two primary caregivers to each child. The child care center shall provide each primary caregiver with information about the child's habits, interests, progress, and special problems, if any, and shall assign the primary caregiver responsibility for knowing that information.

(d) A child care center shall assign each primary caregiver and that caregiver's designated children to a room or area of a room as a home base even though the children in the group may move to a number of areas in the child care center for daily activities.

(e) Maximum group size at any one time during the day may not exceed twice the maximum number of children allowed per caregiver as required by the child-to-caregiver ratio in 7 AAC 57.505(c) . Enough caregivers must be physically present at all times with each group to maintain the maximum number of children per caregiver as required by the child-to-caregiver ratio in 7 AAC 57.505(c) .

(f) If a group of children contains a combination of age groups, or if age groups are combined, the maximum group size at any one time during the day may not exceed twice the maximum number of children allowed under the child-to-caregiver ratio in 7 AAC 57.505(c) for the youngest child within the group. However, if no more than one child who is 30 months of age or older receives care in a group in which all other children are in the next older age group, the maximum group size at any one time during the day may not exceed the group size requirements of the older age group, as required by the child-to-caregiver ratio in 7 AAC 57.505(c) .

(g) Maximum group size limitations do not apply during nap times, lunch times, outdoor play periods, field trips, or the length of a special occasion, including a holiday party and a visit from a special guest.

History: Eff. 6/23/2006, Register 178; am 5/15/2016, Register 218

Authority: AS 44.29.020

AS 47.32.010

AS 47.32.030

7 AAC 57.520. Program

(a) A child care facility shall provide structure and daily activities designed to promote a child's individual physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Satisfactory compliance with this subsection requires the facility to

(1) have a schedule and daily plan of activities for each age group; the schedule and plan must provide a balance of quiet and active activities, and group and individual activities, and must include time for meals, snacks, sleep, toileting according to individual needs, and indoor and outdoor play; for purposes of this paragraph

(A) a center shall provide the schedule and plan in writing; and

(B) in a home, the schedule and plan need not be written, except that a typical daily schedule and plan must be presented with the application for a license;

(2) provide opportunities for

(A) individual self-expression and imaginative play;

(B) at least 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity for every three hours the facility is open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., and daily supervised outdoor activity when weather and the individual child's tolerance permit;

(C) each child to foster independence;

(D) intellectual and social development through use of a variety of activities and materials such as games, toys, books, crafts, puzzles, and blocks;

(E) language development, including encouraging children to talk and read books;

(3) limit television, movie viewing, and computer and video game use to one and one-half hours in a 24-hour period, except for special occasions; the facility shall ensure that these activities are limited to programs and games specifically designed for the interest and benefit of the child; and

(4) limit computer learning activities to two hours a day.

(b) In addition to the requirements in (a) of this section, a facility providing care for infants or toddlers may not routinely leave a child awake in a crib, swing, or similar device for more than 15 minutes without direct adult contact. The facility shall

(1) provide opportunities for a child to develop a caring and nurturing relationship with and attachment to one or a small number of caregivers whose care for and responsiveness to the child ensure relief of distress, experiences of stimulation and comfort, and satisfaction of the need for a connection with the child's caregiver;

(2) provide frequent verbal communication during feeding, changing, and cuddle times;

(3) provide physical contact through holding, rocking, and play, as well as bathing, dressing, and carrying a child;

(4) allow infants and toddlers ample supervised opportunity during the day to explore and learn on their own outside of a play yard or other restraining device; and

(5) ensure that infants are placed on their backs to sleep, unless otherwise ordered by a physician.

(c) In addition to the requirements in (a) of this section, a facility providing care for school-age children shall provide

(1) a program that supplements rather than duplicates the child's school activities, providing a change of pace and interest between school and the child care program;

(2) freedom appropriate to the child's age and developmental level, and opportunities for self-reliance and social responsibility;

(3) opportunities for school-age children to participate in the selection and planning of their own activities; and

(4) in centers, separate space, equipment, and supplies for the school-age children.

(d) The facility shall treat children in care equitably with the caregiver's own children.

(e) The facility shall encourage parental involvement and allow parents free access to their children, and to all areas of a child care facility used by the children, to observe or participate.

(f) In addition to meeting the requirements in (a) of this section, a facility providing care for children identified as having special needs under 7 AAC 57.940 shall

(1) include children with special needs and children without special needs in all activities possible;

(2) implement the plan of care developed under 7 AAC 57.400 for each child with special needs to enhance the child's health and developmental status;

(3) if a child is identified as a child with special needs under 7 AAC 57.940 after the child's admission to a child care facility, develop a plan of care under 7 AAC 57.400(c) for that child, unless the facility has reason to believe that, even with reasonable accommodation, the facility cannot meet the child's needs and discharges the child; and

(4) monitor the effectiveness, and conduct regularly scheduled reassessments of each child's plan of care.

History: Eff. 6/23/2006, Register 178; am 4/4/2013, Register 206; am 5/15/2016, Register 218

Authority: AS 44.29.020

AS 47.32.010

AS 47.32.030

7 AAC 57.535. Behavior guidance

(a) A child care facility shall help a child to develop age-appropriate patterns of behavior that foster constructive relationships and increasing ability to deal with everyday life.

(b) A child care facility shall provide for positive reinforcement, redirection, and the setting of realistic expectations and clear and consistent limits.

(c) A child care facility may not use discipline or a behavior management technique that is cruel, humiliating, or otherwise damaging to the child.

(d) A child in care may not be

(1) removed from the other children for more than 10 minutes if the child is a young child, except as provided in (e) of this section;

(2) disciplined in association with food or rest;

(3) punished for bedwetting or actions in regard to toileting or toilet training;

(4) subjected to discipline administered by another child;

(5) subjected to verbal abuse, to derogatory remarks about the child or members of the child's family, or to threats to expel the child from the child care facility;

(6) placed in a locked room;

(7) physically restrained, except when necessary to protect a young child from accident, to protect persons on the premises from physical injury, or to protect property from serious damage; and then only passive physical restraint may be used;

(8) mechanically restrained, except for a protective device such as a seatbelt; or

(9) chemically restrained, except on the order of a physician and subject to the provisions of 7 AAC 10.1070.

(e) In a child care facility, when a child has a pattern of out-of-control behavior, the child may be removed from the company of other children until the child's behavior has stabilized. Exclusionary practices are only to be used as a last resort in extraordinary circumstances where there is a serious safety concern that cannot be reduced or eliminated with reasonable accommodations. In addition, the child care facility shall develop a written plan with the child's parent to provide individualized social and emotional intervention supports for the child while the child is in care. The plan must include methods for understanding the child's behavior, and developing, adopting, and implementing a team-based positive behavior support plan with the intent to reduce challenging behavior and prevent suspensions and expulsions.

(f) Corporal punishment of children in care is prohibited. For purposes of this subsection, "corporal punishment"

(1) means the infliction of bodily pain as a penalty for a disapproved behavior; and

(2) includes shaking, spanking, delivering a blow with a part of the body or an object, slapping, punching, pulling, and any other action that seeks to induce pain.

History: Eff. 6/23/2006, Register 178; am 9/30/2018, Register 227

Authority: AS 44.29.020

AS 47.32.010

AS 47.32.030

7 AAC 57.540. Medications

A child care facility shall store and administer medications as required by 7 AAC 10.1070.

History: Eff. 6/23/2006, Register 178

Authority: AS 44.29.020

AS 47.32.010

AS 47.32.030

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