(225 ILCS 10/7) (from Ch. 23, par. 2217)
    Sec. 7. (a) The Department must prescribe and publish minimum standards for licensing that apply to the various types of facilities for child care defined in this Act and that are equally applicable to like institutions under the control of the Department and to foster family homes used by and under the direct supervision of the Department. The Department shall seek the advice and assistance of persons representative of the various types of child care facilities in establishing such standards. The standards prescribed and published under this Act take effect as provided in the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, and are restricted to regulations pertaining to the following matters and to any rules and regulations required or permitted by any other Section of this Act:
        (1) The operation and conduct of the facility and
responsibility it assumes for child care;
        (2) The character, suitability and qualifications of
the applicant and other persons directly responsible for the care and welfare of children served. All child day care center licensees and employees who are required to report child abuse or neglect under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act shall be required to attend training on recognizing child abuse and neglect, as prescribed by Department rules;
        (3) The general financial ability and competence of
the applicant to provide necessary care for children and to maintain prescribed standards;
        (4) The number of individuals or staff required to
insure adequate supervision and care of the children received. The standards shall provide that each child care institution, maternity center, day care center, group home, day care home, and group day care home shall have on its premises during its hours of operation at least one staff member certified in first aid, in the Heimlich maneuver and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation by the American Red Cross or other organization approved by rule of the Department. Child welfare agencies shall not be subject to such a staffing requirement. The Department may offer, or arrange for the offering, on a periodic basis in each community in this State in cooperation with the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association or other appropriate organization, voluntary programs to train operators of foster family homes and day care homes in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
        (5) The appropriateness, safety, cleanliness, and
general adequacy of the premises, including maintenance of adequate fire prevention and health standards conforming to State laws and municipal codes to provide for the physical comfort, care, and well-being of children received;
        (6) Provisions for food, clothing, educational
opportunities, program, equipment and individual supplies to assure the healthy physical, mental, and spiritual development of children served;
        (7) Provisions to safeguard the legal rights of
children served;
        (8) Maintenance of records pertaining to the
admission, progress, health, and discharge of children, including, for day care centers and day care homes, records indicating each child has been immunized as required by State regulations. The Department shall require proof that children enrolled in a facility have been immunized against Haemophilus Influenzae B (HIB);
        (9) Filing of reports with the Department;
        (10) Discipline of children;
        (11) Protection and fostering of the particular
religious faith of the children served;
        (12) Provisions prohibiting firearms on day care
center premises except in the possession of peace officers;
        (13) Provisions prohibiting handguns on day care home
premises except in the possession of peace officers or other adults who must possess a handgun as a condition of employment and who reside on the premises of a day care home;
        (14) Provisions requiring that any firearm permitted
on day care home premises, except handguns in the possession of peace officers, shall be kept in a disassembled state, without ammunition, in locked storage, inaccessible to children and that ammunition permitted on day care home premises shall be kept in locked storage separate from that of disassembled firearms, inaccessible to children;
        (15) Provisions requiring notification of parents or
guardians enrolling children at a day care home of the presence in the day care home of any firearms and ammunition and of the arrangements for the separate, locked storage of such firearms and ammunition;
        (16) Provisions requiring all licensed child care
facility employees who care for newborns and infants to complete training every 3 years on the nature of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and the safe sleep recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics; and
        (17) With respect to foster family homes, provisions
requiring the Department to review quality of care concerns and to consider those concerns in determining whether a foster family home is qualified to care for children.
    By July 1, 2022, all licensed day care home providers, licensed group day care home providers, and licensed day care center directors and classroom staff shall participate in at least one training that includes the topics of early childhood social emotional learning, infant and early childhood mental health, early childhood trauma, or adverse childhood experiences. Current licensed providers, directors, and classroom staff shall complete training by July 1, 2022 and shall participate in training that includes the above topics at least once every 3 years.
    (b) If, in a facility for general child care, there are children diagnosed as mentally ill or children diagnosed as having an intellectual or physical disability, who are determined to be in need of special mental treatment or of nursing care, or both mental treatment and nursing care, the Department shall seek the advice and recommendation of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Public Health, or both Departments regarding the residential treatment and nursing care provided by the institution.
    (c) The Department shall investigate any person applying to be licensed as a foster parent to determine whether there is any evidence of current drug or alcohol abuse in the prospective foster family. The Department shall not license a person as a foster parent if drug or alcohol abuse has been identified in the foster family or if a reasonable suspicion of such abuse exists, except that the Department may grant a foster parent license to an applicant identified with an alcohol or drug problem if the applicant has successfully participated in an alcohol or drug treatment program, self-help group, or other suitable activities and if the Department determines that the foster family home can provide a safe, appropriate environment and meet the physical and emotional needs of children.
    (d) The Department, in applying standards prescribed and published, as herein provided, shall offer consultation through employed staff or other qualified persons to assist applicants and licensees in meeting and maintaining minimum requirements for a license and to help them otherwise to achieve programs of excellence related to the care of children served. Such consultation shall include providing information concerning education and training in early childhood development to providers of day care home services. The Department may provide or arrange for such education and training for those providers who request such assistance.
    (e) The Department shall distribute copies of licensing standards to all licensees and applicants for a license. Each licensee or holder of a permit shall distribute copies of the appropriate licensing standards and any other information required by the Department to child care facilities under its supervision. Each licensee or holder of a permit shall maintain appropriate documentation of the distribution of the standards. Such documentation shall be part of the records of the facility and subject to inspection by authorized representatives of the Department.
    (f) The Department shall prepare summaries of day care licensing standards. Each licensee or holder of a permit for a day care facility shall distribute a copy of the appropriate summary and any other information required by the Department, to the legal guardian of each child cared for in that facility at the time when the child is enrolled or initially placed in the facility. The licensee or holder of a permit for a day care facility shall secure appropriate documentation of the distribution of the summary and brochure. Such documentation shall be a part of the records of the facility and subject to inspection by an authorized representative of the Department.
    (g) The Department shall distribute to each licensee and holder of a permit copies of the licensing or permit standards applicable to such person's facility. Each licensee or holder of a permit shall make available by posting at all times in a common or otherwise accessible area a complete and current set of licensing standards in order that all employees of the facility may have unrestricted access to such standards. All employees of the facility shall have reviewed the standards and any subsequent changes. Each licensee or holder of a permit shall maintain appropriate documentation of the current review of licensing standards by all employees. Such records shall be part of the records of the facility and subject to inspection by authorized representatives of the Department.
    (h) Any standards involving physical examinations, immunization, or medical treatment shall include appropriate exemptions for children whose parents object thereto on the grounds that they conflict with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious organization, of which the parent is an adherent or member, and for children who should not be subjected to immunization for clinical reasons.
    (i) The Department, in cooperation with the Department of Public Health, shall work to increase immunization awareness and participation among parents of children enrolled in day care centers and day care homes by publishing on the Department's website information about the benefits of immunization against vaccine preventable diseases, including influenza and pertussis. The information for vaccine preventable diseases shall include the incidence and severity of the diseases, the availability of vaccines, and the importance of immunizing children and persons who frequently have close contact with children. The website content shall be reviewed annually in collaboration with the Department of Public Health to reflect the most current recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The Department shall work with day care centers and day care homes licensed under this Act to ensure that the information is annually distributed to parents in August or September.
    (j) Any standard adopted by the Department that requires an applicant for a license to operate a day care home to include a copy of a high school diploma or equivalent certificate with the person's application shall be deemed to be satisfied if the applicant includes a copy of a high school diploma or equivalent certificate or a copy of a degree from an accredited institution of higher education or vocational institution or equivalent certificate.
(Source: P.A. 102-4, eff. 4-27-21; 103-22, eff. 8-8-23.)