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Minnesota Administrative Rules

9503.0040 STAFF RATIOS AND GROUP SIZE.

Subpart 1.

Staff-to-child ratios and maximum group size.

Except as provided in subpart 2, the minimally acceptable staff-to-child ratios and the maximum group size within each age category are:

Age Category Minimum Staff:Child Ratio Maximum Group Size
Infant 1:4 8
Toddler 1:7 14
Preschooler 1:10 20
School-age child 1:15 30

Subp. 2.

Staff distribution.

The license holder must ensure that the following requirements for staff distribution are met and a written staff distribution record is kept in the administrative record.

A.

Only a staff person who is qualified as a teacher, assistant teacher, or aide and who works directly with children can be counted in meeting the staff-to-child ratios.

B.

An assistant teacher may be substituted for a teacher during morning arrival and afternoon departure times if the total arrival and departure time does not exceed 25 percent of the center's daily hours of operation.

C.

The maximum group size applies at all times except during meals, outdoor activities, field trips, naps and rest, and special activities such as films, guest speakers, and holiday programs.

D.

Except as provided in item B, staff distribution within each age category must follow the pattern in subitems (1) to (4).

(1)

The first staff member needed to meet the required staff-to-child ratio must be a teacher.

(2)

The second staff member must have at least the qualifications of a child care aide.

(3)

The third staff member must have at least the qualifications of an assistant teacher.

(4)

The fourth staff member must have at least the qualifications of a child care aide.

The pattern in subitems (1) to (4) must be repeated until the number of staff needed to meet the staff-to-child ratio for each age category has been achieved.

Subp. 3.

Age category grouping.

Children in different age categories may be grouped as follows:

A.

During morning arrival and afternoon departure times, children in different age categories may be grouped together if:

(1)

the total arrival and departure time does not exceed 25 percent of the daily hours of operation;

(2)

the staff-to-child ratio, group size, and staff distribution applied are for the age category of the youngest child present; and

(3)

the group is divided when the number of children present reaches the maximum group size of the youngest child present.

B.

During the center's regular hours of operation, children in different age categories may be mixed within a group if:

(1)

infants are not grouped with children of other age categories;

(2)

there is no more than a 36-month range in age among children in a group;

(3)

the staff-to-child ratios, group size, and staff distribution applied are for the youngest child present; and

(4)

program staff are qualified to teach the ages of all children present within the group.

The restriction in subitem (2) may be waived if all children in the group are school age.

Subp. 4.

Age designation.

A child must be designated as a member of the age category that is consistent with the child's date of birth with the following exceptions:

A.

A child may be designated as an "infant" up to the age of 18 months for purposes of staff ratios, group size, and child care programming, if the parent, teacher, and center director determine that such a designation is in the best interests of the child. A child may be designated as a "toddler" up to the age of 35 months, or as a "preschooler" at the age of 31 months for purposes of staff ratios, group size, and child care programming, if the parent, teacher, and center director determine that the designation is in the best interests of the child.

B.

A child attending kindergarten must be designated a school-age child.

Statutory Authority:

MS s 245A.02; 245A.09; 252.28

History:

13 SR 173; 18 SR 2748

Published Electronically:

October 8, 2007

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569