(a)  The family child care home operator (operator or operators) shall provide the following on a daily basis for all children in care:

(1)           Developmentally appropriate equipment and materials for a variety of outdoor activities that allow for vigorous play, large and small muscle development, and social, emotional, and intellectual development. For purposes of this Rule "vigorous" means done with force and energy. Each child shall have the opportunity for a minimum of one hour of outdoor play each day that weather conditions permit. The operator shall provide space and time for vigorous indoor activities when children cannot play outdoors;

(2)           Individual sleep requirements for infants aged 12 months or younger shall be provided for as specified in 10A NCAC 09 .1724(a)(2). A supply of clean linens must be on hand so that linens can be changed whenever they become soiled or wet. Linens shall be changed weekly or whenever they become soiled or wet. An individual sleeping space such as a bed, crib, play pen, cot, mat, or sleeping bag with individual linens shall be provided for each pre-school age child in care for four hours or more, or for all children if overnight care is provided, to rest;

(3)           A safe sleep environment by ensuring that when a child is sleeping or napping, bedding or other objects shall not be placed in a manner that covers the child's face;

(4)           A separate area that can be supervised pursuant to 10A NCAC 09 .1720(a) for children who become ill to the extent that they can no longer participate in group activities. Parents shall be notified if their child becomes too sick to remain in care;

(5)           The opportunity each day for each child under the age of 12 months for supervised play while awake and alert while positioned on his or her stomach;

(6)           Developmentally appropriate activities as planned on a written schedule and activity plan. The schedule and activity plan may be combined as one document. Materials or equipment shall be available indoors and outdoors to support the activities listed on the written schedule and activity plan;

(7)           A written schedule that shall:

(A)          Show blocks of time assigned to types of activities and include periods of time for both active play and quiet play or rest;

(B)          Show times and activities that are developmentally appropriate for the ages of children in care;

(C)          Reflect daily opportunities for both free choice and guided activities;

(D)          Include a minimum of one hour of outdoor play throughout the day, if weather conditions permit;

(E)           Include a daily gross motor activity that may occur indoors or outdoors; and

(F)           For children under two years old, interspersed among the daily events shall be individualized caregiving routines such as eating, napping, and toileting;

(8)           A written activity plan that shall:

(A)          Include activities intended to stimulate the following developmental domains, in accordance with North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development, available on the Division's website at https://www.ncchildcare.ncdhhs.gov//pdf_forms/nc_foundations.pdf:

(i)            emotional and social development;

(ii)           health and physical development;

(iii)          approaches to play and learning;

(iv)          language development and communication; and

(iv)          cognitive development.

(B)          Identify activities that allow children to choose to participate with the whole group, part of the group, or independent of the group;

(C)          Reflect that children have at least four different activities daily, at least one of which is outdoors, if weather conditions permit, as specified in G.S. 110-91(12) as follows:

(i)            art and other creative play;

(ii)           children's books;

(iii)          blocks and block building;

(iv)          manipulatives; and

(v)           family living and dramatic play.

(D)          Provide materials and opportunities at least weekly, indoors or outdoors, for the following:

(i)            music and rhythm;

(ii)           science and nature; and

(iii)          sand and water play.

(9)           A clean and open area that allows freedom of movement shall be available, both indoors and outdoors; and

(10)         Operators who provide care to school-age children shall provide a balance of activities appropriate to the age, needs and interests of the school-age children.

(b)  When screen time is provided on any electronic media device with a visual display, it shall be:

(1)           offered to stimulate a developmental domain in accordance with the North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development as referenced in this Section;

(2)           limited to a maximum of 30 minutes per day and no more than a total of two and a half hours per week per child; and

(3)           documented on a cumulative log or activity plan, and shall be available for review by the Division.

(c)  Screen time is prohibited for children under the age of three years. The operator shall offer alternate activities for children under the age of three years.

(d)  When needed to complete homework assignments, screen time for school-age children may exceed 30 minutes.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 110-85; 110-88; 110-91(12); 143B-168.3;

Eff. July 1, 1998;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2016; December 1, 2012; July 1, 2010; March 1, 2006; May 1, 2004;

Readopted October 1, 2017;

Amended Eff. February 1, 2021; September 1, 2019.