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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Rule 5101:2-12-20 | Sleeping and napping requirements for a licensed child care center.


(A) What are the sleep and nap requirements for a licensed child care center?

(1) The licensed child care center shall provide a quiet space for children who want to rest, nap, or sleep.

(2) Nap and rest time shall be in accordance with the developmental needs of the child.

(3) Rest or nap areas shall be lighted to allow for visual supervision of all children at all times.

(4) Any child who does not fall asleep during a designated nap time shall have the opportunity to engage in quiet activities.

(5) Evacuation routes shall not be blocked by resting or napping children. Each child shall have a free and direct means of escape, and the provider shall have a clear path to each resting child.

(6) Cribs shall be separated from the play space by a safe and sturdy physical barrier which does not impair the ability of child care staff to supervise infants by sight and hearing. Sight and hearing is when the child care staff can see the infants in and out of their cribs and hear their sounds. The barrier shall provide for safe accessibility.

(7) Ratio may be doubled for no more than two hours during nap time, and shall only be doubled if all of the children in the group are on cots or on mats, if the group does not include any infants and if there are enough child care staff members in the building to meet staff/child ratio pursuant to rule 5101:2-12-18 of the Administrative Code for the group.

(B) What are the crib requirements for a licensed child care center?

(1) Unless the infant meets the requirements of paragraph (D) of this rule, each infant in attendance shall have a separate crib labeled with their name on it that meets the following requirements:

(a) Any crib manufactured before June 28, 2011 shall have a certificate of compliance (COC) on file. The center may have to contact the manufacturer of the crib to receive a COC if they do not request one from the retailer when they purchase the crib.

(b) Cribs with a documented manufacture date after June 28, 2011 have to meet the new federal standards to be sold, so they do not require a COC. The date of manufacture shall be attached to the crib.

(c) Cribs shall be used according to manufacturer's instructions.

(d) Each crib shall be of sturdy construction and have:

(i) Closely spaced bars with corner posts that do not exceed one sixteenth of an inch above the top of the end panel.

(ii) Spaces between the bars of the crib and between the bars and end panels of the crib shall not exceed two and three-eighths inches.

(e) Cribs shall be used with the mattress supports in their lowest positions and the sides in the highest position.

(f) Each crib shall have a firm mattress that is at least one and one half inches thick.

(g) The space between the mattress and the side or end panels of the crib shall not exceed one and one-half inches.

(h) Each mattress shall be securely covered with a waterproof material which can be thoroughly sanitized and is not dangerous to children. The waterproof cover shall be free of rips or tears.

(i) Each mattress shall have a properly fitted clean sheet that is changed at least weekly, when soiled, and before another child uses the mattress.

(2) Stacked cribs are prohibited.

(3) When cribs are in use they shall be spaced apart from each other by a minimum of two feet on all sides or the cribs shall be separated by a divider and have at least two feet of space on two of the sides or ends of the crib. If a divider is used between cribs, the divider shall meet all of the following requirements:

(a) Be constructed so that staff may view children through or around the divider.

(b) Be unbreakable in normal use situations.

(c) Be made of a non-porous material that can be easily sanitized.

(d) Extends up higher than an infant standing in a crib can reach up and shall not impede child care staff members' ability to hear the child.

(4) Bumper pads shall not be used.

(5) Nothing shall be placed or hung over the side that obstructs the provider's view of the infant.

(6) Infants shall not be placed in cribs with bibs or any other items which could pose a strangulation or suffocation risk.

(7) No blankets shall be in the crib for infants under twelve months old. A one-piece sleeper or wearable blanket is permitted. Only children who are not yet able to roll-over are permitted to be swaddled using a wearable swaddling blanket.

(8) The cribs may be placed in storage on the premises if not currently assigned to an infant.

(9) Infants shall be placed in their cribs for sleeping, and shall not be allowed to sleep in bassinets, swings, car seats or other equipment. If a medical condition exists where a child needs to sleep in equipment other than a crib, written permission shall be obtained from a physician and shall be on file.

(10) Infants under twelve months old shall be placed on their backs to sleep unless the parent provides written authorization on the JFS 01235 "Sleep Position Waiver Statement for Child Care" signed by the child's physician. The JFS 01235 shall be maintained on file for review and is valid for one year. Infants who are able to roll from back to front and front to back shall be placed initially on their back for sleeping but allowed to remain in a position they prefer.

(11) Cribs assigned to a child shall not be used for storage of toys and other materials.

(C) What are the cot and mat requirements for a licensed child care center?

(1) A cot shall stand at least three inches and not more than eighteen inches off the floor. The cot shall be firm enough to support the child, but shall be resilient under pressure. Each cot shall be at least thirty-six inches in length and at least as long as the child assigned to the cot is tall.

(2) A mat is a pad that is at least one inch thick and at least as wide and long as the child using the mat.

(3) Children are only permitted to rest, nap, or sleep on a cot or mat.

(4) Centers that operate for fewer than seven hours without a scheduled nap time are not required to have a cot or mat for each preschool and school-age child.

(D) When shall children stop using cribs?

(1) When the child is able to climb out of the crib.

(2) When the child reaches the height of thirty-five inches.

(3) An infant twelve months or older may use a cot or mat with written permission from the parent.

(4) If the use of a crib is considered hazardous for a child, regardless of age, the infant may use a cot or mat with written permission from the parent.

Last updated October 29, 2021 at 8:37 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 5104.015
Amplifies: 5104.015
Five Year Review Date: 10/29/2026
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/1981, 6/1/1984, 9/1/1986, 1/2/1992 (Emer.), 4/1/1992, 4/1/2003, 9/1/2005, 1/1/2007, 9/1/2007, 7/1/2010, 11/22/2015, 12/31/2016