(a) Characteristics and needs. School-age children bring special characteristics and needs to a child care program. Staff obtain the skills and training to respond appropriately.
(b) Interactions between staff and children. Because staff interactions with older children differ significantly from interactions with preschoolers, staff:
- (1) actively seek meaningful conversations with children and talk about events of importance;
- (2) are available and responsive to children, for example, encouraging them to share experiences, ideas and feelings, and listening to them with attention and respect;
- (3) describe problem situations to encourage children to evaluate a problem rather than imposing an adult solution; and
- (4) have developmentally appropriate expectations of school-agers’ social behavior; and facilitate rather than instruct, for example, offer suggestions, provide positive reinforcement, encourage, and recognize efforts and accomplishments.
(c) Activities and program. Requirements pertaining to children’s activities and program are listed in this subsection.
- (1) Program. The program is designed to provide a balance of activities that includes:
- (A) opportunities for alternating periods of indoor and outdoor play, weather permitting;
- (B) alternating periods of quiet and active play;
- (C) a balance of large muscle and small muscle activities;
- (D) more than one option for an activity, including individual, small group, or large group, for children most of the day; and
- (E) a variety of developmentally and age-appropriate activities and materials.
- (2) Schedule. The daily schedule is posted.
(d) Special activities. If the program engages in potentially dangerous activities, for example, water activities, archery, gymnastics, or karate, the requirements listed in this paragraph are met.
- (1) Written plan. A written plan, which is provided to parents and kept on file at the program, includes at a minimum:
- (A) qualifications of the supervisor of the activity;
- (B) qualifications of any other staff members necessary for proper supervision of the activity;
- (C) number of staff members needed to supervise the activity;
- (D) conditions under which a child may participate in the activity, for example, the age and skill of the child;
- (E) any special equipment necessary, for example, life jackets, including the supply and condition; and
- (F) safety practices to be followed.
- (2) Parental permission. Written permission from the parent is required to be on file with the program.
- (3) Staff requirements. Staff requirements include a staff member or other designated individual responsible for the activity who:
- (A) has documentation of appropriate experience, training or certification in the program specialty;
- (B) has verification of experience or certification available at the program’s office; and
- (C) is present at the site of the activity whenever it is being carried out by a contracted instructor.