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Articles Tagged with day care homes

Daycare Homes “mean family homes which receive more than 3 up to a maximum of 12 children for less than 24 hours per day” (excluding facilities that receive only children from a single household). Illinois administrative code Part 406 (Licensing Standards for Day Care Homes), sets out the standards for licensure as a day care home and describes how to apply for a license. Family homes (provide care for more than three children, including the caregiver’s own children) must be licensed by DCFS; a license means that DCFS has inspected the facility and the facility met all licensing requirements. These licenses are valid for three years unless revoked by DFCS and are valid only for the family residence of the licensee and cannot be transferred to another person.

Caregivers at Day Care Homes

Caregivers must be at least 18 years old. They must be able to provide medical reports that they are free of reportable communicable diseases. A substitute caregiver may be used in the home up to 25 hours per month and for an additional period of up to two weeks in a 12-month period. Children can only be transported by people 18 years of age or older.

Child to Staff Ratios For Day Care Homes

One caregiver may care for:

  • Up to eight children under 12 years old, with no more than five under 5 years old, and no more than three under 24 months, or
  • Up to eight children under 12 years old, with no more than six under 5 years old, and no more than two under 30 months, or
  • A school age group consisting of eight school age children.
  • An additional four school age children may be cared for by a part-time assistant

A caregiver with a full-time assistant may care for:

  • Up to eight children under 5 years old, with no more than five under 24 months.
  • If the full-time assistant is 18 years of age or older, an additional four school age children may be cared for.

Background Checks for Caregivers

The caregiver, assistants, and all other adult members of the household are subject to background checks for any criminal conviction or child abuse and neglect.

Training for Caregivers

Caregivers must have 15 hours of in-service training per year. At least one person certified in first-aid including CPR and Heimlich maneuver must be present at all times.

Inspections for Day Care Homes

If you are not able to resolve your concerns with your child’s caregiver, you may make a complaint to the local DCFS Licensing Office. A DCFS representative will investigate your complaint and give you a report of the results.

Health and Safety Requirements

The physical facilities of the home (indoors and outdoors) must meet safety requirements for children including: first aid kit; fire extinguisher; smoke detector; protective coverings on electrical outlets; partitions separating radiators; walls free of chipped or peeling paint; no lead paint; furniture and equipment kept in safe repair; medication, cleaning supplies, and other hazardous materials including items that can cause choking must be stored in places inaccessible to children; written plans for emergency evacuation; exit doors kept clear; operable telephone on premises; sanitary conditions; and other related health and safety conditions.

Food requirements must be specifically geared to the needs of the children and determined in consultation with the parents. The facility must also provide 1/3-2/3 of the daily nutritional requirements, depending on length of stay and time of day. If children are at the day care home for over 10 hours, they must be provided two meals and two snacks. In addition, the day care home must keep on file a medical report showing that each child has the appropriate immunizations.

Child Development

The day care home must have a balance of active and quiet play, with activities both indoors and outdoors. Simple play equipment that is suitable to the children’s age and developmental needs must be available for both indoor and outdoor use.

Parent Communication and Involvement

Parents or guardians have the right to visit the home while their children are in care without prior notice. Children may be released only to their parents or guardians or people who the parents have designated in writing. The day care home may not provide care for more than 18 hours in a 24-hour period.

Daycare Accident Attorneys

As Child Injury Lawyers in Illinois, we have had the honor to represent children whom have been injured, abused and otherwise mistreated in a variety of child care setting.  If your child was injured, talk with the lawyers who are commonly sought out by other attorneys as experts in these matters.

In many personal injury cases establishing a that party is at negligent can be done generally by establishing that the party deviated from the standard of care in the community or by demonstrating that a party failed to abide by a code or ordinance applicable to the facility.  When it comes to ordinances, it is important to determine the applicability of the ordinance to the facility.

Regulation and licensing of child care is primarily the responsibility of individual States. The federal government does regulate child care, but federal law only requires that states regulate child care in three areas in order to protect the health and safety of children:

  • The prevention and control of infectious disease
  • Building and physical premise safety
  • Health and safety training appropriate to the program setting

As a result, regulations relating to the health and safety of children in out-of-home child care programs vary wildly from state to state (licensing, child to staff ratios, background checks, training, inspections, health and safety requirements, child development, parent communication and involvement). (State licensing requirements)

These discrepancies mean that some states have more stringent regulations than others do, which means that children in different states are receiving different levels of protection. It is important that the federal government implement more specific requirements for state regulation of child care, so that important issues such as comprehensive background checks are required in every state.

Age Groups

Developmental Stage Age Functional Definition
Infant 0-12 months Birth to ambulation
Toddler 13-35 months Ambulation to accomplishment of self-care routines such as use of the toilet
Pre-schooler 36-50 months From achievement of self-care routine to entry into regular school
School-Age Child 5-12 years Entry into regular school, including kindergarten through 6th grade

Illinois Laws Applicable to Child Care & Day Care Facilities

In Illinois, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is in charge of setting standards and licensing child care centers, homes, group homes, and day care agencies in the state (Illinois child care Rules). In 2007, Illinois had 2,907 licensed day care centers, 10,050 licensed day care homes, and 473 group day care homes with the combined capacity to serve more than 295 thousand children. (Illinois Daycare Listings)

The Illinois Child Care Act of 1969 (225 ILCS 10) includes licensure requirements, standards, background checks, and responsibilities for child care facilities and institutions (Child Care Act Study Guide). However, the State licensing standards are minimum standards, put in place to protect your children. It stands to reason that child care centers and homes that strive to provide facilities and services that offer more than just the minimum, will also offer better environments for your children. (See “Day Care Worker Leaves Children Unattended in Gym – Situation Demonstrates the Need for More Regulation of Child Care in Alternative Settings”)

Illinois has specific licensing standards for day care homes, day care centers, and group day care homes. These rules are set forth in the Illinois Administrative Code:

Of course many provisions in the Illinois Code (and similar codes in other states) are anything but enjoyable to read– hopefully you never will.  However, it is important to realize that there are many provisions of state law that are available to you should the need arise.  Having a complete understanding the the applicable law remains an essential part of the prosecution of any injury stemming from poor care at a child care facility or institution.

Chicago day care injury lawyers working to secure your child’s future

We are Day Care Injury Lawyers in Chicago who prosecute negligent facilities in situations where a child was injured or abused while under the care of a day care center or child care provider.  We offer free consultations and never charge a fee without a recovery for injured child.