General University Reference Utility
POLICY'S INITIAL DATE: March 18, 1993
THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: September 1, 2017
The University supports the philosophy that quality child care should be available to accommodate the changing University population and to attract and retain competent and dedicated faculty, staff, and students. In addition to recognizing the need for access to child care the University endeavors to provide a level of care that strives to support the health, safety and wellbeing of the children enrolled in its programs.
The University is committed to compliance with all Pennsylvania laws and regulations in its University-managed and contracted childcare centers, (“centers”). This Policy outlines the University’s requirements related to health and safety which may not be required by the PA Department of Human Services or accreditation agencies but which the University has determined are integral to the quality care and wellbeing of the children enrolled in the centers.
The supervision of children not enrolled in a University-managed or contracted childcare center is addressed by policy AD39 Minors Involved in University-Sponsored Programs or Programs Held at the University and/or Housed in University Facilities. Supervision of minors who are involved in University research is addressed by Institutional Review Board processes as outlined in RPG03 - Payments to Human Participants in Research. This policy does not apply to general public events where parents/guardians are invited or expected to provide supervision of minors, or to events where parents/guardians are explicitly required to accompany their children.
Child - A person under the age of eighteen (18). (23 Pa. C.S. §6303(a)) Also referred to as a “minor” in other University policies or documents. For the purpose of this policy, “child” refers to a child enrolled in a University-managed and/or contracted childcare center program.
University-Managed or Contracted Child Care Center - Facilities owned or operated by, or in contract with, the University to provide childcare services.
Authorized Adult - Individuals, age 18 and older, paid or unpaid, who have current clearances and reporting child abuse training records on file with the University and are thereby authorized to have direct contact with minors.
Direct Contact - The care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine interaction with children. (23 Pa. C.S.§6303(a)).
Direct Volunteer Contact - The care, supervision, guidance or control of children and routine interaction with children. (23 Pa. C.S.§6303(a)).
Visitor - A one-time visitor, authorized pick-up person and/or outside company, individual or family touring the facility.
All centers must be licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and shall follow all applicable regulations and procedures related to assuring the health and safety of enrolled children.
All staff are required to maintain current certification in Basic First Aid and Pediatric CPR.
All University-managed or contracted childcare center staff who administer medication are required to complete an approved medication training annually.
University-managed or contracted childcare centers will be staffed with an on-site supervisor as required by The Department of Human Services. In addition, at University-managed or contracted childcare centers the supervisor must be in addition to and not counted in child-to-teacher ratios at least 20 hours per week except in rare circumstances that require an administrator fill-in to meet state ratio for unplanned staff absences.
University-managed or contracted childcare centers must meet state mandated child-to-teacher ratios at all times and make every effort to provide enhanced ratios (as defined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children). Center staff must also follow guidance and policies from the Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania Keystone Stars Program and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) on the appropriate supervision of children including, being able to see and/or hear children in their care.
In addition to state-required training, University-managed child care center staff, students and volunteers must complete the University’s “Building a Safe Penn State: Reporting Suspected Child Abuse” training annually as per University Policy AD72 Reporting Suspected Child Abuse. Contracted childcare centers will review information on reporting requirements and acknowledge their obligation under University Policy AD72 and Pennsylvania law to report suspected incidents of child abuse.
University-managed or contracted childcare center directors must report all injuries resulting in a child or adult seeking medical attention to the Office of Risk Management and Director of Early Child Care Programs and Services.
All staff and volunteers must obtain the state-required criminal background checks in accordance with University Policy HR99 Background Check Process.
Each center shall maintain an investigatory protocol, which will be followed in the event that an allegation of inappropriate conduct is made against an authorized adult, visitor, parent and/or volunteer participating in a program.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Director of Early Child Care Programs and Services at (814)865-5912.
AD39 –Minors Involved in University-Sponsored Programs or Programs Held At the University
AD72 - Reporting Suspected Child Abuse
HR99 - Background Check Process
9/1/2017 - Major revisions and updates made to reflect current practices and health and safety requirements for University-managed and contracted child care centers.
3/29/2010 - Revised to add "Office of General Counsel".