Start a Daycare in Utah – Licensing – Regulations – Laws
|START A DAYCARE IN UTAH||LICENSE REQUIRED|
|INDOOR ENVIRONMENT||OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT|
|STAFF TO CHILD RATIOS||INJURY PREVENTION|
|CHILD HEALTH||INFECTION CONTROL|
|FIND A DAYCARE OR CHILD CARE IN UTAH||INFANT AND TODDLER CARE|
A child care center as mandated by the Utah Code shall be licensed if:
- care is provided for or more than 4 hours per day;
- care is provided in a location other than the child care provider’s or the child’s residence;
- care is provided for 5 or more children;
- care is provided for each individual child for less than 24 hours per day;
- the child care program has a regular enrollment; and
- care is provided for compensation either direct or indirect.
A licensed child care program shall be implemented in an infrastructure that is safe and in good repair. Any building such as classrooms and playground structure shall be at least updated and not be constructed prior to 1978. A child care center’s infrastructure shall not have peeling, chalking, flaking, or failing paint and shall not be lead based. The local health department can provide procedures on how lead based paint shall be removed.
A licensed child care provider shall have the following amenities:
- one toilet and one sink, both shall be in working condition, for every 15 children in care excluding those children who are still using diaper;
- school age children shall have privacy when using the bathroom such as a separate changing room for boys and girls;
- a hand washing sink for every classroom shall be provided in a building constructed after July 1, 1997;
- areas for toddlers and infants shall have two working sinks: one of which shall be exclusively used for food and bottle preparation and the other sink shall be exclusively used for hand washing; if there is only one working sink in an infants or toddlers area, the sink shall be exclusively used for hand washing while food and bottle preparation shall be done in the kitchen and brought to the infant or toddler by a non-diapering staff;
- there shall be separate rooms for infants and toddlers and shall not be used to get to the other rooms;
- all rooms shall be well ventilated by windows with screens that may be opened;
- indoor temperature that shall be maintained is between 65 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit;
- all rooms shall be well lighted and all lighting materials shall be safely installed for all children occupying the room or building;
- all glass doors, windows, and glass mirrors that are within 36 inches from the floor shall be installed with a protective guard or the glass material shall be safe for children in care;
- each child enrolled in a child care center including those employees’ children shall have at least 35 square feet of space each; and
- each child’s indoor space may include that which is used for furniture, fixtures, or equipment that are used by children, for the care of children and for classroom materials; space used other these shall not be calculated as indoor space for each child.
Cleanliness of the Environment
All child care centers shall always be clean and sanitary. It is the responsibility of the provider to maintain a clean and disinfected environment including toilets, sinks, counters, and faucets for the children in care.
Insects such as vermin and rodents shall be eliminated or prevented.
All areas such as ceilings, floors, and walls in the building shall be in good repair and well maintained for the safety of the children in care.
All entrance and exit points shall also be secured or locked when the center is in operation and these shall be free from obstructions or hazards.
A child care center shall provide a playground for children where outdoor activities that are developmentally appropriate can be conducted. The outdoor play area shall be safe and accessible to children.
Each child shall have at least 40 square feet of space in an outdoor play area or playground. At least 33 percent of the licensed capacity shall be accommodated in a playground at one time or the area shall at least be 1600 square feet. It shall be enclosed with a 4-foot high wall or fence. The fence shall be safe for children and no access points nor openings where children may get into.
If swimming pool is provided and not emptied after each use, it shall be enclosed within a fence or barrier. The swimming pool must meet the applicable requirements and standards of state and local ordinances and laws. A Red Cross or agency certified life guard shall be provided in a pool that is over 4 feet deep.
Wading pools shall be emptied and disinfected every after use and a caregiver must always be present when children are using the pool while children still diapering shall wear swim diapers or rubber pants.
The playground shall be shaded and free of any dirt such trash, toxic or harmful plants, substances and objects.
The center shall provide a source of drinking water accessible to children in a playground whenever the temperature outside is 75 degrees or higher.
A playground is not allowed to have a trampoline.
All equipment in a playground shall comply with safety standards such as equipment proper installation, inappropriately high play surfaces exceeding 3 feet, protective guards for play equipment such as swings and seesaws, and protective cushioning in fall zones.
The following table shows the required depth of protective cushioning to be installed in a playground:
|Depths of Protective Cushioning Required for Sand, Gravel, and Shredded Tires|
|Highest Designated Play Surface or Climbing Bar||Fine Sand||Coarse Sand||Fine Gravel||Medium Gravel||Shredded Tires|
|4′ high or less||6″||6″||6″||6″||6″|
|Over 4′ up to 5′||6″||6″||6″||6″||6″|
|Over 5′ up to 6′||12″||12″||6″||12″||6″|
|Over 6′ up to 7′||12″||Not Allowed||9″||Not Allowed||6″|
|Over 7′ up to 8′||12″||Not Allowed||12″||Not Allowed||16″|
|Over 8′ up to 9′||12″||Not Allowed||12″||Not Allowed||6″|
|Over 9′ up to 10′||Not Allowed||Not Allowed||12″||Not Allowed||6″|
|Over 10′ up to 11′||Not Allowed||Not Allowed||Not Allowed||Not Allowed||6″|
|Over 11′ up to 12′||Not Allowed||Not Allowed||Not Allowed||Not Allowed||6″|
|Depths of Protective Cushioning Required for Shredded Wood Products|
|Highest Designated Play Surface or Climbing Bar||Engineered Wood Fibers||Wood Chips||Double Shredded Bark Mulch|
|4′ high or less||6″||6″||6″|
|Over 4′ up to 5′||6″||6″||6″|
|Over 5′ up to 6′||6″||6″||6″|
|Over 6′ up to 7′||9″||6″||9″|
|Over 7′ up to 8′||12″||9″||9″|
|Over 8′ up to 9′||12″||9″||9″|
|Over 9′ up to 10′||12″||9″||9″|
|Over 10′ up to 11′||12″||12″||12″|
|Over 11′||12′||Not Allowed||Not Allowed|
|Heights of Designated Play Surfaces That May Be Placed on Grass|
|Infants & Toddlers||Preschoolers||School Age|
|Less than 18″||Less than 20″||Less than 30″|
Materials used as protective cushioning shall be free of sharp edges and not harmful to children.
Play equipment for infants and toddlers shall have enclosed seats such as in swings and there shall be protective cushioning in all play zones that complied with the depth requirements and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
- Center Director. A licensed child care center shall have a director who is at least 21 years of age. A center director must have the following educational credentials: an associate or degree holder with at least 12 hours of early childhood development training; valid proof of level 8, 9, or 10 Utah Early Childhood Career Ladder certification issued by the Utah Office of Child Care or the Utah Child Care Professional Development Institute; valid national certification such as that issued by the National Child Care Association or Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition; and a valid National Administrator Credential (NAC) issued by the National Child Care Association.
- Caregivers and Assistant Caregivers. All center caregivers shall be at least 18 years old. Assistant caregivers who are 16 years of age may be counted in the staff to child ratio but shall always work directly under the supervision of a caregiver who is 18 years old.
- There shall be at least 2 caregivers present in a child care center whenever there are more than 8 children in care. English literacy of a caregiver needed in responding to emergencies is a very important credential.
- All center caregivers, assistant caregivers, and volunteers shall be orientated on child care and early childhood development before they can start performing their designated duties. The orientation training shall be documented and filed in the center’s records.
- The center director and all its caregivers are required to complete at least a minimum of 20 hours of training annually.
- There shall be a minimum of 10 hours of in-service training completed by the center director and caregivers and the trainings’ mode of instruction shall be face-to-face.
The child care center licensee or operator, who has complied with all federal and local laws stating the rules in the operation of a child care center, shall be legally responsible for the management of the center.
A licensed child care provider shall be of good moral character ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of the public especially of the children in care. The provider is also responsible in securing the safety of the children in care from all dangers.
Whenever a child care center is in operation, a center director or a designee shall always be present. The center director shall be 20-hours per week present in the center during its operation and ensures that his or her duties are consistently performed including exerting effort and time during emergencies.
All child care centers shall have a working telephone. The Utah Department of Health and the parents shall be informed within 48 hours when the telephone number of the center is changed.
The child care provider shall inform the Department within 24 hours any emergencies in the center such as hospitalization, fatality, and injury that require attention from a professional medical practitioner. A medical treatment plan for a child as approved or instructed by a parent shall no longer be relayed to the Department.
All child care center staff shall strictly follow and implement written policies and procedures of the center for the wellbeing of the children in care. These written policies of the center shall be available for review of parents and the Department.
A center director who is the focal person in the administration of a child care center shall execute the following duties:
- appoint one designee from the center caregivers who will act on his or her behalf in his absence; and
- supervise and train center staff to ensure that they comply with center policies and the children’s welfare are well attended to.
A licensed child care provider shall make available the following records on-site for review of the Department whenever necessary:
- documentation of fire and disaster drills conducted in the previous year;
- current records of animal vaccination;
- attendance of children in 6 weeks;
- all current variances granted by the Department;
- current documentation of inspection from the local health department;
- current documentation of inspection from the local fire department;
- the most recent “Request for Annual Renewal of CBS/MIS Criminal History Information for Child Care”;
- individual complete record of each child enrolled in the center; and
- individual complete record of each staff member;
A licensed child care provider shall post a directory or emergency numbers of local fire, health, and police departments including the child care center’s complete address.
There shall be at least one staff member present in the center during operating hours who has certification from Red Cross, American Heart Association, or equivalent infant and child CPR and first aid.
A child care center shall have in the center at least one available first aide kit and one for field trips which contain the following: disposable gloves, different sizes of bandaids, gauze roll and pads, adhesive tape, antiseptic or a topical antibiotic tweezers; and scissors. The first aide kits shall be kept out of reach of children.
A licensed child care provider shall have a written emergency plan which includes the procedures that shall be done in case of disasters or serious injuries in children. This emergency plan shall be followed by the center staff.
Staff to Child Ratios
A licensed child care provider shall ensure that there are enough staff members to take care of the children in care which means the required staff to child ratio is met. At all times, caregivers shall provide direct supervision of children in care even during playtime. Direct supervision of children shall be maintained by the provider.
When a child care center is providing care to more than 8 children, there shall be at least 2 caregivers present in the center at all times.
A staff to child ratio and group size shall always be maintained. The following table shows the minimum caregiver to child ratios and group sizes:
|Minimum Caregiver to Child Ratios and Group Sizes|
|Ages of Children||# of Caregivers||# of Children||Maximum Group Size|
|Birth – 23 months||1||4||8|
|2 years old||1||7||14|
|3 years old||1||12||24|
|4 years old||1||15||30|
|5 years old & school age||1||20||40|
A licensed child care center constructed prior to January 1, 2004 is exempted from the maximum group size requirement as long as the staff to child ratio and square footage per child are maintained.
The following table shows the minimum caregiver to child ratios and group sizes for mixed age groups:
|Minimum Caregiver to Child Ratios and Group Sizes for Mixed Age Groups|
|TWO MIXED AGES|
|Ages of Children||# of Caregivers||# of Children||Maximum Group Size|
|2 & 3 years||1||10||19|
|3 & 4 years||1||14||27|
|4 & 5 years & school age||1||18||35|
|THREE MIXED AGES|
|2, 3, & 4 years||1||11||23|
|3, 4, & 5 years & school age||1||16||31|
|FOUR MIXED AGES|
|2, 3, 4 & 5 years & school age||1||13||27|
Infants and toddlers who are only 8 and fewer in number may be included in the mixed age groups.
Age four or older children of the licensee or the employees shall not be counted in the staff to child ratio but can be counted in the maximum group size.
A licensed child care provider shall ensure that a safe environment is provided to all children in care.
The following safety precaution measures shall be observed and followed to prevent injury to children in care:
- All infrastructures and equipment in the center including grounds and toys shall be maintained and used in a proper and safe manner preventing injury to children;
- The center’s indoor environment shall be free of obstructions and hazards to children in care;
- Areas for children shall be free of unstable and heavy objects which can be pulled by children;
- Hazardous materials such as firearms, illegal substances and sexually explicit materials, hot-surfaced objects or flammable equipment, toxic chemicals, poisonous plants, sharp objects, strings and cords for children aged 4 and younger, and swallow able objects and toys for children aged 3 and younger;
- A child care center shall have a systematic storage for hazardous or toxic chemicals and shall be properly labelled;
- All electrical outlets that are accessible to children shall be provided with protective caps or other safety devices;
- High chairs for children shall have T-shaped safety straps;
- Stationary play equipment for children such as climbers and slides accessible to children below age 3 shall not exceed 3 feet high;
- Stationary play equipment for children such as climbers and slides accessible to children age 3 and older shall not exceed 5-1/2 feet high; and
- Trampolines are not allowed in the indoor play area.
Parent Notification and Child Security
- A licensed child care center shall post a copy of the Department’s child care guide in a conspicuous area in the center where parents can review during business hours.
- There shall be a procedure that should be followed when children arrive and leave at the center:
- Each child must sign in and out through the person assigned to drop off or pick up the child, date and time of arrival and departure shall be posted;
- Persons signing in the center logbook for children shall log identifiers such as signature or initials and electronic code;
- Persons signing out the center logbook for children shall log identifiers such as signature or initials and electronic code and photo if unknown to the provider; and
- Only a person with parents’ authorization can take a child from the child care center. A verbal authorization may be accepted by the provider in the vent of emergency as long as identity of the person designated to pick up the child is confirmed.
- A licensed child care provider shall give parents a written report of the child’s progress including incidents involved by the child while in care. A day’s incident shall be signed by the center director, caregiver(s) involved and the person picking up the child.
- The provider shall immediately inform or notify the parent about a serious injury in a child.
- In the event that a child is exposed to a life threatening injury or to an injury that threatens the loss of the child’s limb or hearing and vision, an emergency personnel is the first to be contacted before the parent.
A licensed child care provider shall ensure the health the health of the children it care for.
- No child shall be inflicted with nay physical, emotional and sexual abuse while enrolled in a child care center.
- All center staff shall be mandated to report all witnessed or suspected child abuse, neglect or exploitation to children while in care following the reporting requirements stated in Utah Code.
- It shall always be prohibited to smoke, drink alcohol, abuse drug, or use sexually explicit materials on the center’s premises or in the vehicles of the center.
- A child care center shall not admit children without proof of current immunizations as required by Utah law, proof of one dose of required vaccine and written schedule of subsequent required vaccinations, and written certification of immunization exemption.
- A child care center shall not admit children without a signed health assessment completed by the parent including allergies, food sensitivities, acute and chronic medical conditions, instructions for special or non-routine daily health care, current medications, and any other special health instructions for the caregiver.
- The child care provider shall ensure that health assessment is reviewed and signed by the child’s parent annually.
If a child care center is providing food to children, meal services shall comply with the local health department’s regulations.
A food service in a child care center shall comply with the nutritional requirements of the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Menus served to children shall be those approved by the Department, provided by the CACFP, or approved by a registered dietician.
A weekly menu shall be posted in the center for review of parents.
Meals or snacks shall be provided to children in care at least once every 3 hours.
Food shall always be served to children in the proper manner using dishes, high chair, napkins, and trays except with snacks that can be directly placed on the child’s hands.
The food preparation area in the center must have a posted list of the children’s allergies and sensitivities to food and the assigned caregivers in a group shall be informed or aware about this.
All food and drink brought by a parent to his or her child shall be labelled with the child’s full name and refrigerated if necessary.
All caregivers must wash their hands at least every 20 minutes with liquid soap and warm running water every before and after handling children and their needs.
The child care provider must also ensure that children wash their hands thoroughly for at least 20 minutes with liquid soap and warm running water every before and after doing activities in the center. A procedure for proper hand washing techniques shall be posted in the hand washing areas for children to follow.
Only single use towels from a covered dispenser or an electric hand-drying device may be used to dry hands. Toilet paper on a dispenser shall be made accessible to children.
Personal items used for hygiene shall be properly stored and not shared or used by other children or staff.
At least once a week or as deemed necessary, washable materials and toys shall be cleaned or washed.
All center staff members must be free of or tested for tuberculosis within 2 weeks before employment.
The provider shall have enough clothes for children in the event that their clothing will get dirty, wet or soiled.
Children who have infectious disease shall not be admitted in a child care center unless the symptom just appeared when the child has already been admitted in the center.
On the day the disease is discovered in a caregiver or a child in care, the local health department shall be informed.
Only trained providers shall give or administer medication to children.
Prescription medications from over-the-counter shall be labelled with the child’s name, kept in the original container, kept with the original label and child-safety caps.
Only approved written medication permission from a parent can be administered to a child and all medications shall be refrigerated and covered.
All medications shall first be consented or permitted by a parent before it is administered to a child.
Caregivers shall first wash hands before administering the medication.
The provider shall provide children a daily opportunity to take a rest or nap in a comfortable environment not exceeding 2 hours per day.
Napping materials such as mats and mattresses shall be at least 2 inches thick, smooth, and waterproof. All napping and sleeping materials shall be in good repair.
All sleeping materials and equipment shall be disinfected every before use.
A licensed child care provider shall provide parents its written behavioural policy.
Disciplinary measures used for children shall not be:
- any form of corporal punishment that inflicts physical pain or discomfort to a child,
- restraining movement of a child,
- shouting at children,
- any form of emotional abuse,
- withholding or forcing of food, sleep, or toileting, and
- confining a child in a locked room.
A licensed child care provider must post a daily schedule of activities in the center as a reference for caregivers and parents.
Child care activities shall be developmentally appropriate to children in care supporting their intellectual, emotional, physical and social development. The child care program of activities shall be posted in the center for review of parents.
The provider shall obtain a written parental consent or permission from parents if off-site activities are conducted or offered.
During the conduct of off-site activities, the center shall maintain the staff to child ratios and direct supervision of children. There shall at least be one caregiver present who has certification from Red Cross, American Heart Association, or equivalent first aid and infant and child CPR.
For a center that has a swimming pool, a lifeguard or pool personnel shall be provided and caregivers shall maintain direct supervision to children in care.
A vehicle that is used to transport children from and to a child care center shall be:
- be enclosed;
- be equipped with individual, size appropriate safety restraints, properly installed and in working order, for each child being transported;
- have a current vehicle registration and safety inspection;
- be maintained in a safe and clean condition;
- maintain temperatures between 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit when in use;
- contain a first aid kit; and
- contain a body fluid clean up kit.
There shall at least be one caregiver present who has certification from Red Cross, American Heart Association, or equivalent first aid and infant and child CPR.
A driver of a vehicle transporting children shall have a Utah valid driver’s license, carry written emergency contact information for all the children being transported, ensure that each child being transported is wearing appropriate individual safety restraint, and ensure that all children are seated while the vehicle is moving.
The provider shall inform parents only what types are permitted in the center.
All animals in the center shall be vaccinated, clean and free of disease that can affect children. No aggressive animal shall be allowed in the center.
Children shall not be allowed to assist in handling animals such as in cleaning them. No animals shall be allowed to enter in food preparation areas.
All children who are still diapering must be changed in a changing table not just in any surface such as tables. The surface of the changing table shall be smooth, cushioned, waterproof and in good repair.
All changing tables shall be railings protecting a child from rolling when being diapered.
No child shall be left unattended when placed in a changing table.
Each caregiver or diapering personnel shall follow diapering procedures and they shall first wash their hands with liquid soap every before and after diapering.
A caregiver must place the soiled diaper in a trash bin that has a plastic lining and tightly fitting cover. All diaper trash bins must be disinfected and cleaned.
A child’s diaper shall be changed immediately or promptly once soiled and a child’s diaper shall be checked by the assigned caregiver at least every 2 hours.
Caregivers shall document the number of times each infant’s or toddler’s diaper is changed for the day.
Diapering personnel shall not assist in food preparation.
Caring for Infants and Toddlers
A child care center offering care for infants and toddlers shall:
- provide separate areas for infants and toddlers from the other children in care unless there are only 8 or fewer number of children in care;
- ensure infants and children do not use the outdoor play area at the same time scheduled for older children in care;
- make sure a caregiver holds the infant or toddler when feeding if the child is unable to sit upright or hold his own bottle;
- sanitize all high chairs every before and after use;
- make sure that food served to infants and toddlers will be cut into pieces not larger than 1/4 inch in diameter;
- properly handle food and milk brought from the home of a child such as labelling, refrigerating and discarding when needed;
- label all bottles, pacifiers and drinking cups with each child’s name to prevent sharing;
- provide each child an equipment or seat at a time;
- make sure infants sleep in a crib, playpen, or bassinet. Infants shall not be placed to sleep on mats, cots, bouncers, swings, car seats or any similar equipment;
- ensure that all sleeping materials shall be properly and fittingly placed and in good repair;
- ensure that infants are not put to sleep on their stomach unless when necessary for a medical treatment;
- document and keep a record of each infant’s eating and sleeping habits;
- make sure that infants and toddlers are monitored on their sleep and promptly attended to as need arises; and
- ensure that the sleeping materials for infants and toddlers such as cribs and cots are free of obstructions and hazards such as too many toys, pillows, strings and other objects which may cause sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
FIND A DAYCARE OR CHILD CARE IN UTAH
- American Fork
- Brigham City
- Canyon Rim
- Cedar City
- Cottonwood Heights
- Cottonwood West
- East Millcreek
- North Ogden
- Pleasant Grove
- Salt Lake City
- South Jordan
- South Ogden
- South Salt Lake
- Spanish Fork
- St George
- West Jordan
State Licensing Contact
Bureau of Licensing
Child Care Unit
288 N. 1460 West
P.O. Box 142003
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-2003
Phone: (801) 538-9084 or (888) 287-3704
Web Page: http://hlunix.hl.state.ut.us/licensing/