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.
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.