Michigan Law Requires Childcare Playground Inspections

Children in licensed programs (pre schools and day cares) in Michigan schools are not allowed on the playground equipment unless it is specifically built for that age group.

I contacted Jim Sinnamon of the Michigan Childcare licensing department regarding the recent ruling that licensed programs daycares, Pre-schools, etc can’t use the playground equipment at the elementary schools. Children in licensed programs in michigan schools are not allowed on the playground equipment unless it is specifically built for that age group. Here is what I found out:

Colleen returned my call and explained that the kids (in these licensed programs) could play on the equipment if the school gets a playground inspection. Schools are not required to have a playground inspection for the school age children, so it is ok for them to play on the equipment. She informed me that either the principal or the licensee/program director can arrange for an inspection, which ranges from $200-$900. The inspection must be completed by a certified inspector. Sounds simple enough.

This is a statewide ruling, so it does not matter what county you reside in. I contacted Laura Brown, who is the program director for the Rochester Schools District, to see if she was aware of this. Laura explained that they did get an inspection by their certified district inspector. The inspector said the equipment could be approved (among other things) if the architectural plans state the design is intended for that age group. In our case, at my daughter’s school, the designs were structured for ages 5-12. I told the director how Colleen informed me that this would be an easy process and she did not foresee any problems. Needless to say, we are a bit confused.

Laura said she would do some more legwork and let me know if she finds out anything. In the meantime, I feel for her, the teachers, and of course the children who are really missing out.

If this affects you and you would like to voice your concern, feel free to call Jim Sinnamon directly at 517-373-3661.

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