1. This rule is being amended to include specific requirements for your operational policies and procedures for discipline and guidance.
This rule now specifies that your discipline and guidance operational policies must be consistent with Subchapter G of this title (relating to Discipline and Guidance). A copy of Subchapter G may be used for your discipline and guidance policy, unless you use disciplinary and training measures specific to a skills-based program, as specified in 744.2109 May I use disciplinary measures that are fundamental to teaching a skill, talent, ability, expertise, or proficiency?.
2. This rule is being amended to add requirements for information that must be addressed in operational policies. Specifically, your operational policies must now include:
a. policies for suspension and expulsion
Your operational policies must now inform parents of your operation's policies and procedures for suspension and expulsion. There are no specific minimum standard rule requirements surrounding your operation's procedures for suspension or expulsion; however, the idea behind including these policies is to avoid incidences of suspension and expulsion based on behavioral concerns from occurring by outlining and implementing preventative measures when possible.
Consider implementing the following procedures before considering exclusionary practices:
• implement Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ), which are developmental screenings, for all children at the time of enrollment
• observation from a professional
• documenting incidents
• teaching social-emotional skills
• making environmental modifications
• engaging in discussions with parents
• seeking support services from specialists
In addition, consider including:
• the behaviors or actions for which your operation may suspend or expel a child from care (e.g. the amount of behavioral infractions, the type of behavioral infractions, non-payment, etc.)
• how you will notify the parent or guardian of suspension or expulsion
• the duration of suspension and terms for returning to care
Technical Assistance: If you do not already have operational policies for suspension and expulsion, consider reviewing The joint policy statements from the Office of Child Care and HHS for ideas on what you may want to include in your operational policies.
b. policies for the use of insect repellent and sunscreen
Your operational policies must include procedures for providing and applying, as needed, insect repellent and sunscreen, including what types will be used, if applicable.
Can my operation choose to allow use of one of these products and not the other?
Yes, as long as your operational policies indicate this.
If your operation plans to allow the use of these products, consider answering the following questions in your operational policies.
Procedures for providing: Who will be providing these products? Your operation or parents? If your operation will be providing these products, can parents opt out of product use? Can parents provide alternatives for their children?
Procedures for applying: When will you be applying these products (e.g. every time children are outdoors, certain times of the year, specific ozone days, etc.)?
Product types: Brands? Ingredients? Specific acceptable brands or product types that parents can provide? Visit Healthy Children - Safety and Prevention for guidance on choosing insect repellents and sunscreens.
Technical Assistance: When writing operational policies, it is best to be as clear as possible and to include all necessary details. Consider what a parent might ask and address the answers to those questions. You might find it helpful to ask a friend or peer to review your operational policies to identify information you may have left out. Consider applying the technique of identifying Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.