36-883. Standards of care; rules; classifications

A. The director of the department of health services shall prescribe reasonable rules regarding the health, safety and well-being of the children to be cared for in a child care facility. These rules shall include standards for the following:

1. Adequate physical facilities for the care of children, such as building construction, fire protection, sanitation, sleeping facilities, isolation facilities, toilet facilities, heating, ventilation, indoor and outdoor activity areas and, if provided by the facility, transportation safely to and from the premises.

2. Adequate staffing per number and age groups of children by persons who are qualified by education or experience to meet their respective responsibilities in the care of children.

3. Activities, toys and equipment to enhance the development of each child.

4. Nutritious and well-balanced food.

5. Encouragement of parental participation.

6. Exclusion of any person from the facility whose presence may be detrimental to the welfare of children.

B. The department shall adopt rules pursuant to title 41, chapter 6 and section 36-115.

C. Any rule that relates to educational activities, physical examination, medical treatment or immunization shall include appropriate exemptions for children whose parents object on the ground that it conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination of which the parent or child is an adherent or member.

D. The department of health services shall conduct a comprehensive review of its rules at least once every two years. Before conducting this review, the department shall consult with agencies and organizations that are knowledgeable about the provision of child care facilities to children, including:

1. The department of economic security.

2. The department of education.

3. The office of the state fire marshal.

4. The league of Arizona cities and towns.

5. Citizen groups.

6. Licensed child care facility representatives.

7. The department of child safety.

E. The department shall designate appropriate classifications and establish corresponding standards pertaining to the type of care offered. These classifications shall include:

1. Facilities offering infant care.

2. Facilities offering specific educational programs.

3. Facilities offering evening and nighttime care.

F. Rules for the operation of child care facilities shall be stated in a way that clearly states the purpose of each rule.