Section 407.200  Program Requirements for All Ages


a)         Each child shall be recognized as an individual whose gender, ability differences, personal privacy, choice of activities, cultural, ethnic, and religious background shall be respected.


b)         The staff of the day care center shall have a written plan for encouraging parents to visit the center to observe and participate in their children's experience.  Parents shall be allowed to visit the center without an appointment any time during normal hours of operation.


c)         The program shall include opportunities for a child to have free choice of activities to play alone, if desired, or with one or several peers chosen by the child.


d)         The facility shall provide a basic program of activities geared to the age levels and developmental needs of the children served.  The daily program shall be posted in the facility, and shall provide:


1)         Regularity of such routines as eating, napping, and toileting with sufficient flexibility to respond to the needs of individual children;


2)         A balance of active and quiet activity;


3)         Daily indoor and outdoor activities in which children make use of both large and small muscles.  The day care provider shall be required to encourage children of all ages to participate daily in at least 2 occasions of age-appropriate outdoor time, with active movement or play for children who are mobile, weather permitting, and in a safe environment.  In inclement weather, active play shall be encouraged and supported in indoor play areas.  For pre-school programs in which individual children receive care for less than 3 hours per day, outdoor activities are recommended to be encouraged by the day care provider, but not required;


4)         Children who are mobile shall not be allowed to remain sedentary or to sit passively for more than 30 continuous minutes, except during scheduled rest or nap times, or as otherwise allowed in this Part;


5)         Occasional trips and activities away from the facility (frequency to be determined by the day care center);


6)         A supervised nap or rest period for children under 6 years of age who remain for 5 or more hours as required by Section 407.350;


7)         Children younger than 2 years of age shall not be allowed passive screen viewing;


8)         Children 2 years of age and older, who are in the program for 6 or more hours in a day, shall have a passive screen viewing limit of no more than 60 minutes per day of age-appropriate and educational media.


A)        Each uninterrupted, passive screen viewing session shall be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes.


B)        Children attending a program for less than 6 hours in a day shall be limited to a proportionate amount of passive screen viewing;


9)         TV, video or DVD viewing shall not be allowed during meal or snack time;


10)         All screen time must be related to educational program planning developed by the center.


e)         The daily program of the facility shall provide experiences which promote the individual child's growth and well-being and the development of self-help and communication skills, social competence, and positive self-identity.


f)         Program planning shall provide the following:


1)         A variety of activities which takes into consideration individual differences in interest, attention span, and physical and intellectual maturity;


2)         Sufficient time for activities and routines, so that the children can manage them and progress at their own developmental rate;


3)         Sufficient materials and equipment to avoid excessive competition and long waits;


4)         Program planning so that the children are not always required to move from one activity to another as a total group.  Staff-initiated large group activities shall not be the predominant program option;


5)         Smooth transition from one activity to another to avoid long waiting periods between activities and prolonged periods during which the children must stand or sit; and


6)         Provision for privacy through arranging a small, quiet area that is easily accessible to the child who seeks or needs time to be alone.


g)         The use of visual media, such as television, films and videotapes, shall be limited to developmentally appropriate programming, and an alternative activity shall be made available.  Media may be used as a special event or to achieve a specific goal, but shall not be used as a regular daily routine.


h)         The program shall take into account the stress and fatigue that result from constant pressures and stimulation of long hours in a group living situation.


i)          Activity areas, equipment, and materials shall be arranged so that staff can be easily aware of the child's presence and activity at all times.


j)          Equipment shall be arranged in orderly, clearly defined areas of interest, with sufficient space in each area for the children to see various activities available to them.


k)         Programs involving intergenerational activities shall conduct those activities according to Section 407.230.


l)          Materials and equipment shall respect children's racial, cultural, ethnic, religious and gender identities, as well as age and ability.


m)        Each child shall have access to the full variety of age-appropriate equipment on a daily basis.


n)         When a specific plan is developed to meet a child's individual needs, the record shall include:


1)         Any assessments by center staff or resource personnel;


2)         Written program recommendations and goals for the child;


3)         A written plan for implementing those recommendations within the program;


4)         Periodic written evaluations of whether goals are being met;


5)         Adjustments to the program plan as indicated by the evaluations.


o)         Staff shall consult with parents before implementing any special procedures required to meet a child's individual needs.


p)         Children shall not be left unattended at any time.


q)         Staff assignments shall be such that children experience comfortable, ongoing relationships with adults.  Every attempt shall be made to establish a primary relationship between each child and one adult.


r)          Children shall receive supervision appropriate to their developmental age at all times.  All children in the facility shall be protected from exploitation, neglect, and abuse.


s)         There shall be a minimum of 35 square feet of activity area per child in facilities caring for children 2 years of age and older.


(Source:  Amended at 38 Ill. Reg. 17293, effective August 1, 2014)