170-295-2090  <<  170-295-2100 >>   170-295-2110

What are the exceptions to group sizes and staff to child ratios?

(1) If the center is licensed for twelve or fewer children, you may combine children (excluding infants not walking independently) of different age groups if you:
(a) Maintain the staff to child ratio for the youngest child in the mixed group; and
(b) Provide a separate area when infants not walking independently are in care.
(2) In centers licensed for thirteen or more children, you may group children between one year and two years of age who are walking independently with older children, provided:
(a) The total number of children in the group does not exceed twelve; and
(b) Two staff are assigned to the group.
(3) Excluding infants not walking independently, you may place an individual child in a different age group and serve the child within the different age group's required staff to child ratio. Prior to making the change, you must:
(a) Consult with the child's parent; and
(b) Document that the change is appropriate to the child's individual needs and developmental level.
(4) Mixed groups including infants walking independently under subsections (1) and (3) of this section must not include school-age children.
(5) You may combine children of different age groups for periods of no more than one hour at the beginning and end of the day provided you maintain the staff to child ratio and group size designated for the youngest child in the mixed group;
(6) You may have nine infants in a classroom with appropriate square footage if you maintain a ratio of one staff to three infants; and
(7) You can request a waiver to group size limitations. If we approve variations to group size limitations, you must maintain the required staff-to-child ratios. Our approval will depend on factors including, but not limited to:
(a) Staff qualifications;
(b) Program structure;
(c) Square footage; and
(d) Lower staff to child ratios.
(8) As used in this section, "walking independently" means being able to stand and move about easily without the aid or assistance of or holding on to an object, wall, equipment, or other person.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.215.060, 43.215.070, and chapter 43.215 RCW. WSR 14-13-057, § 170-295-2100, filed 6/12/14, effective 7/13/14. WSR 06-15-075, recodified as § 170-295-2100, filed 7/13/06, effective 7/13/06. Statutory Authority: Chapters 74.12 and 74.15 RCW. WSR 04-09-093, § 388-295-2100, filed 4/20/04, effective 5/21/04; WSR 03-14-110, § 388-295-2100, filed 6/30/03, effective 8/1/03.]
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