Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 185. Standards for Licensed Child Day Centers
12/13/2019

22VAC40-185-350. Staff-To-Children Ratio Requirements.

A. Staff shall be counted in the required staff-to-children ratios only when they are directly supervising children.

B. A child volunteer 13 years of age or older not enrolled in the program shall not be counted as a child in the staff-to-children ratio requirements.

C. When children are regularly in ongoing mixed age groups, the staff-to-children ratio applicable to the youngest child in the group shall apply to the entire group.

D. During the designated rest period and the designated sleep period of evening and overnight care programs, the ratio of staff to children may be double the number of children to each staff required by subdivisions E 2 through 4 and 7 of this section if:

1. A staff person is within sight and sound of the resting/sleeping children;

2. Staff counted in the overall rest period ratio are within the building and available to ensure safe evacuation in an emergency; and

3. An additional person is present at the center to help, if necessary.

E. The following ratios of staff to children are required wherever children are in care:

1. For children from birth to the age of 16 months: one staff member for every four children;

2. For children 16 months old to two years: one staff member for every five children;

3. For two-year-old children: one staff member for every eight children effective June 1, 2006;

4. For children from three years to the age of eligibility to attend public school, five years by September 30: one staff member for every 10 children effective June 1, 2006;

5. For children from age of eligibility to attend public school through eight years, one staff member for every 18 children; and

6. For children from nine years through 12 years, one staff member for every 20 children effective June 1, 2006.

7. Notwithstanding subdivisions 4 and 5 of this subsection and subsection C of this section, the ratio for balanced mixed-age groupings of children shall be one staff member for every 14 children, provided:

a. If the program leader has an extended absence, there shall be sufficient substitute staff to meet a ratio of one staff member for every 12 children.

b. The center shall have readily accessible and in close classroom proximity auxiliary persons sufficient to maintain a 1:10 adult-to-child ratio for all three-year-olds who are included in balanced mixed-age groups to be available in the event of emergencies.

c. The program leader has received training in classroom management of balanced mixed-age groupings of at least eight hours.

F. With a parent's written permission and a written assessment by the program director and program leader, a center may choose to assign a child to a different age group if such age group is more appropriate for the child's developmental level and the staff-to-children ratio shall be for the established age group.

1. If such developmental placement is made for a child with a special need, a written assessment by a recognized agency or professional shall be required at least annually. These assignments are intended to be a permanent new group and staff members for the child.

2. A center may temporarily reassign a child from his regular group and staff members for reasons of administrative necessity but not casually or repeatedly disrupt a child's schedule and attachment to his staff members and group.

G. For therapeutic child day programs, in each grouping of children of preschool age or younger, the following ratios of staff to children are required according to the special needs of the children in care:

1. For children with severe and profound disabilities, multiple special needs, serious medical need, or serious emotional disturbance: one staff member to three children.

2. For children diagnosed as trainable mentally retarded (TMR), or with physical and sensory disabilities, or with autism: one staff member to four children.

3. For children diagnosed as educable mentally retarded (EMR) or developmentally delayed or diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD): one staff member to five children.

4. For children diagnosed with specific learning disabilities: one staff member to six children.

5. When children with varied special needs are regularly in ongoing groups, the staff-to-children ratio applicable to the child with the most significant special need in the group shall apply to the entire group.

6. Note: Whenever 22VAC40-185-350 E requires more staff than 22VAC40-185-350 G because of the children's ages, 22VAC40-185-350 E shall take precedence over 22VAC40-185-350 G.

H. For therapeutic child day programs, in each grouping of school age children, the following ratios of staff to children are required according to the special needs of the children in care:

1. For children with severe and profound disabilities, autism, multiple special needs, serious medical need, or serious emotional disturbance: one staff member to four children.

2. For children diagnosed as trainable mentally retarded (TMR), or with physical and sensory disabilities; attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), or other health impairments: one staff member to five children.

3. For children diagnosed as educable mentally retarded (EMR), or developmentally delayed: one staff member to six children.

4. For children diagnosed with specific learning disabilities, or speech or language impairments: one staff member to eight children.

5. When children with varied special needs are regularly in ongoing groups, the staff-to-children ratio applicable to the child with the most significant special need in the group shall apply to the entire group.

Statutory Authority

§§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-1734 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Former 22VAC15-30-440 derived from VR175-08-01 § 5.3, eff. November 1, 1993; amended, Volume 12, Issue 04, eff. March 1, 1996; Volume 14, Issue 21, eff. September 1, 1998; Volume 21, Issue 12, eff. June 1, 2005; amended and renumbered as 22VAC40-185-350, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 01, eff. November 1, 2012.

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