1. The first revision to this rule adds 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 safe sleep for infants 12 months and younger; and
Your operational policies for safe sleep must be consistent with the rules in Subchapter H of this chapter (relating to Basic Care Requirements for Infants) that relate to sleep requirements and restrictions, including sleep positioning, and crib requirements and restrictions, including mattresses, bedding, blankets, toys, and restrictive devices. You may use Form 2550, Operational Policy on Infant Safe Sleep, which includes the minimum standard rules in Subchapter H, as part of your safe sleep operational policies or create your own operational policies as long as they are aligned with the safe sleep practices outlined in Subchapter H. Subchapter H of this presentation will provide additional information surrounding new and amended rule requirements for infant safe sleep.
c. 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.
2. The second revision specifies requirements for your discipline and guidance policies.
This rule has been amended to specify that your operational policy for discipline and guidance practices must meet Subchapter L. Your operation can choose to use a copy of Subchapter L as your discipline and guidance policies.
3. The third revision applies to new subsection (b) and specifies that notification to parents regarding their ability to visit the operation at any time during operating hours and information surrounding gang free zones be communicated in one of three ways:
1. you can notify parents in operational policies (as previously required);
2. you can notify parents in writing (e.g. newsletter, email, etc.); or
3. you can notify parents verbally as part of an individual group or parent orientation.