Notice of Intended Action

Child care centers—staff requirements, combining age groups, 109.8, 109.11(2)

Untitled document

ARC 6406C


Notice of Intended Action

Proposing rule making related to child care center staff requirements and providing an opportunity for public comment

The Human Services Department hereby proposes to amend Chapter 109, "Child Care Centers," Iowa Administrative Code.

Legal Authority for Rule Making

This rule making is proposed under the authority provided in Iowa Code section 237A.12.

State or Federal Law Implemented

This rule making implements, in whole or in part, Iowa Code section 237A.5.

Purpose and Summary

This proposed rule making allows an increased number of children to be served per staff person in the two-year-old and three-year-old age categories in licensed child care centers. The proposed amendments modify requirements when combining age groups and also allow a staff person under the age of 18 to provide care to school-aged children without being under the direct care of an adult. Clarification is added that a person under the age of 18 shall not be the sole provider on the premises of a child care facility or transport children.

Fiscal Impact

This rule making has no fiscal impact to the State of Iowa.

Jobs Impact

After analysis and review of this rule making, no impact on jobs has been found.


Any person who believes that the application of the discretionary provisions of this rule making would result in hardship or injustice to that person may petition the Department for a waiver of the discretionary provisions, if any, pursuant to rule 441—1.8(17A,217).

Public Comment

Any interested person may submit written comments concerning this proposed rule making. Written comments in response to this rule making must be received by the Department no later than 4:30 p.m.on August 2, 2022. Comments should be directed to:

Nancy Freudenberg

Department of Human Services

Hoover State Office Building, Fifth Floor

1305 East Walnut Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0114


Public Hearing

No public hearing is scheduled at this time. As provided in Iowa Code section 17A.4(1)"b," an oral presentation regarding this rule making may be demanded by 25 interested persons, a governmental subdivision, the Administrative Rules Review Committee, an agency, or an association having 25 or more members.

Review by Administrative Rules Review Committee

The Administrative Rules Review Committee, a bipartisan legislative committee which oversees rule making by executive branch agencies, may, on its own motion or on written request by any individual or group, review this rule making at its regular monthly meeting or at a special meeting. The Committee's meetings are open to the public, and interested persons may be heard as provided in Iowa Code section 17A.8(6).

The following rule-making actions are proposed:

Item 1. Amend subrule 109.8(1) as follows:

109.8(1) Staff requirements. Persons counted as part of the staff ratio shall meet the following requirements:

a. Be at least 16 years of age. If less than 18 years of age, the staff shall be under the direct supervision of an adult. However, a staff person under the age of 18 may not be the sole provider on the premises of a child care facility.

b. Be involved with children in programming activities.

c. At least one staff person on duty in the center and outdoor play area when children are present and present on field trips shall be over the age of 18 and hold current certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as required in rule 441—109.7(237A).

d. Staff persons under the age of 18 shall not provide transportation to children in care.

e. If staff persons under the age of 18 are providing child care services without an adult, they shall only provide care to school-aged children.

Item 2. Amend subrule 109.8(2) as follows:

109.8(2) Staff ratio. The staff-to-child ratio shall be as follows:

Age of children

Minimum ratio of staff to children

Two weeks to two years

One to every four children

Two years

One to every six seven children

Three years

One to every eight ten children

Four years

One to every twelve children

Five years to ten years

One to every fifteen children

Ten years and over

One to every twenty children

a. Combinations of age groupings for children four years of age and older may be allowed and may have staff ratio determined on the age of the majority of the children in the group. If children three years of age and under are included in the combined age group, the staff ratio for children aged three and under shall be maintained for these children. Preschools shall have staff ratios determined on the age of the majority of the children, including children who are three years of age.

b. Combinations of age groupings for children between three years of age and five years of age may be allowed with a ratio of one staff member to every 12 children.

b. c.If a child between the ages of 18 and 24 months is placed outside the infant area, as defined at subrule 109.11(2), Children between 18 months and three years of age may be combined, if appropriate to the developmental needs of the child. If a child under two years is in a combined age group, the staff ratio of 1 one to 4 seven shall be maintained as would otherwise be required for the group until the child reaches the age of two. Otherwise, staff ratio may be determined by the age of the majority of the children in the group.

c. d.Every child-occupied program room shall have adult supervision present in the room. Brief absences of a staff member may be allowed for no more than five minutes when another staff person is present.

d. e.During nap time, at least one staff shall be present in every room where children are resting. Staff ratio requirements may be reduced to one staff per room where children are resting for a period of time not to exceed one hour provided and staff ratio coverage can be maintained in the center. The staff ratio shall always be maintained in the infant area for children under two years of age.

e. The minimum staff ratio shall be maintained at mealtimes and for any outdoor activities at the center.

f. When seven or more than eight children over the age of three are present on the licensed premises or are being transported in one vehicle, at least two adult staff shall be present. Only one adult is required when a center is transporting children in a center-owned vehicle with parent authorization for the sole purpose of transporting children to and from school. When a center contracts with another entity to provide transportation other than for the purpose of transporting school-age children to or from school, at least one adult staff in addition to the driver shall be present if at least seven eight children provided care by the center are transported.

g. Any child care center-sponsored program activity involving five or more children conducted away from the licensed facility shall provide a minimum of one additional staff over the required staff ratio for the protection of the children.

h. For a period of two hours or less at the beginning or and end of the center's hours of operation, one staff may care for six seven or fewer children, provided no more than two four of the children are under the age of two years and there are no more than six seven children in the center.

i. For centers or preschools serving school-age children, the ratio for school-age children may be exceeded for a period of no more than four hours during a day when school classes start late or are dismissed early or canceled due to inclement weather or structural damage provided the children are already enrolled at the center and the center does not exceed the licensed capacity.

Item 3. Amend subrule 109.11(2) as follows:

109.11(2) Infants' area. An area shall be provided properly and safely equipped for the use of infants and free from the intrusion of children two years of age and older. Children over 18 months of age may be grouped outside this area if appropriate to the developmental needs of the child. Upon the recommendation of a child's physician or the area education agency serving the child, a child who is two years of age or older with a disability that results in significant developmental delays in physical and cognitive functioning who does not pose a threat to the safety of the infants may, if appropriate and for a limited time approved by the department, remain in the infant area.

Human Services Department

Closed For Comments

This notice is now closed for comments. Collection of comments closed on 8/2/2022.

Official Document

  • Child care centers—staff requirements, combining age groups, 109.8, 109.11(2)
  • Published on 7/13/2022
  • 149 Views , 0 Comments
  • Notice of Intended Action

The official published PDF of this document is available from the Iowa General Assembly’s Administrative Rules page.

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View the Iowa Administrative Bulletin for 7/13/2022.

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Administrative Rule References

The following administrative rule references were added to this document. You may click a reference to view related notices.

Rule 441-109.11(2) Rule 441-109.7 Rule 441-109.8(1) Rule 441-109.8(2)


The following keywords and tags were added to this document. You may click a keyword to view related notices.

Infants’ area Staff ratio Staff requirements
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