15A NCAC 18A .2832       OUTDOOR learning environment and premises

(a)  At child care centers, the premises, including the outdoor learning environment, shall be kept clean, drained to minimize standing water, free of litter and hazardous materials, and maintained in a manner which does not encourage the harborage of vermin.  All debris, glass, dilapidated structures and broken play equipment shall be removed.  Wells, grease traps, cisterns and utility equipment shall be made inaccessible to children.

(b)  Sand toys, water tables and other items that can collect standing water in the outdoor learning environment shall be emptied and stored to prevent standing water.

(c)  For outdoor play equipment, including all structures accessible to children, the following shall apply:

(1)           Equipment shall be kept in good repair, free of peeling, flaking, or chalking paint and free of rust and corrosion;

(2)           The sandbox used in outdoor play shall be constructed to allow for drainage and shall be covered when not in use and kept clean.

(d)  If a daily air quality forecast is made by the Division of Air Quality or the regional air quality agency for the county where a center is located, outdoor activity for children shall be restricted as follows.  On days with a code orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups) forecast, children shall not be outside participating in physical activity between noon and 8:00 p.m. for more than one hour.  On days with a code red (unhealthy) forecast, children shall not be outside participating in physical activity between noon and 8:00 p.m. for more than 15 minutes.  On days with a code purple (very unhealthy) forecast, children shall not be outside participating in physical activity between noon and 8:00 p.m.  Provisions shall be made to allow children with diagnosed asthma or with coughing or wheezing symptoms to participate in physical activity indoors on days with a code orange, red or purple air quality forecast.

(e)  When food service is provided in the outdoor learning environment, food shall be protected, stored, prepared and served in accordance with 15A NCAC 18A .2806, .2807 and .2808.  Employees and children shall wash hands in accordance with 15A NCAC 18A .2803 and food service tables shall be cleaned or covered prior to use.

(f)  When diapering and toileting facilities are provided in the outdoor learning environment, they shall be maintained in accordance with 15A NCAC 18A .2817 and .2819 and employees and children shall wash hands in accordance with 15A NCAC 18A .2803.

(g)  Storage provided outdoors for children's toys shall be kept clean.  Storage areas that are accessible to children shall be kept free of hazardous equipment and substances in accordance with 15A NCAC 18A .2820.  Storage areas shall meet requirements for lighting in accordance with 15A NCAC 18A .2826 by means of opening doors, windows, sky lights, battery operated light, flashlight or electric lighting.  Spare batteries shall be available for battery operated light fixtures and flashlights.

(h)  Outdoor water activity centers shall be maintained in accordance with 15A NCAC 18A .2822.  Flow through water play systems shall be designed to minimize standing water.  Employees and children shall wash hands in accordance with 15A NCAC 18A .2803 before and after water play.

(i)  Central vacuums that exhaust to the outdoors away from children may be used in lieu of HEPA vacuum cleaners to meet the daily vacuuming requirements in Rule .2824(c).

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 110-91;

Eff. July 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. July 1, 2006; January 1, 2006; April 1, 1999; July 23, 1992.