(a) General. All children are required to be adequately supervised at all times, as defined in OAC 340:110-3-2.
- (1) Each child is assigned a staff person responsible for him or her who is aware of the details of the child's habits, interests, and special problems, if any. Staff have access to each child's records at all times.
- (2) Children are not allowed in the kitchen except as part of a planned, supervised experience.
- (3) When shared play areas are accessible to the public, boundaries are identified to children.
- (4) When the child care center provides or arranges for activities off the premises, an adult staff member from the child care center is required to be with each group. Appropriate staff ratios and a written plan of supervision are maintained.
(b) Infants, toddlers and two-year olds. Staff required to meet staff-child ratios are present in the room or adjacent bathroom and able to see or hear all infants, toddlers, and two-year-olds at all times, including nap time.
(c) Preschool-age children. At nap time when preschool-age children are resting quietly, at least one staff person is required to be within sight and hearing of children. Other staff required to meet staff-child ratios remain in the building.
(d) School-age children. School-age children are generally required to be within the sight or hearing of staff. Staff may assess whether a small group of five or fewer children, who have a good understanding of the center's rules and policies regarding appropriate behavior, may be permitted to take part in a short-term activity that is not within the sight or hearing of staff. In these instances, staff make personal contact with the children at least every ten minutes. Staff are required to:
- (1) be able to provide immediate intervention if needed;
- (2) know the whereabouts of each child at all times and the nature of his or her activities; and
- (3) provide supervision when children are playing on stationary playground equipment.
(e) Staff-child ratios. The number of children in a group is limited to facilitate staff-child interaction and constructive activity among children.
- (1) Staff are required to be present with the children to correspond with the chronological age and grouping of the children present. A substitute staff member is present in the absence of regular staff.
- (2) The staff-child ratio and maximum group size listed in OKDHS Appendix L-4, Child Care Center Staff Ratio, are met for each group of children, using either a single-age grouping or a mixed-age grouping.
- (3) The ratio and maximum group size for the age of the youngest child in the group is used for mixed-age groupings not included in OKDHS Appendix L-4.
- (4) A group is determined by the number of children cared for by a caregiver or group of caregivers in a designated area not to exceed the maximum group size, in accordance with OKDHS Appendix L-4.
- (A) Groups are required to have assigned staff and be recognizable by both staff and children.
- (B) When more than one group of children younger than five years of age uses the same room, the room is divided into designated activity areas for each group, using a temporary wall or physical barrier that is at least three feet in height and appropriate for defining limits and reducing distraction.
- (C) When more than one group of children five years of age and older uses the same room, the room is divided into designated activity areas for each group using a variety of means appropriate for defining limits and reducing distraction, including but not limited to, a temporary wall or physical barrier.
- (D) Groups with their assigned staff may be combined for special group activities, for example, outdoor play, meals, sleeping, or field trips. Designated area requirements do not apply during these activities.
(f) Swimming guidelines. Staff-child ratios listed in (1) through (6) of this subsection apply when children are swimming and not participating in swimming lessons with a certified instructor. Safety guidelines for other water activities are in accordance with OAC 340:110-3-25.4. The staff-child ratio that applies when children are swimming is:
- (1) 1:1 for children younger than two years of age;
- (2) 1:2 for children two years of age;
- (3) 1:6 for children three years of age;
- (4) 1:7 for children four and five years of age;
- (5) 1:10 for children six years of age and older; and
- (6) the staff-child ratio for the youngest child when children of two or more ages are grouped together.