All children will be provided an opportunity to rest in a quiet and calm environment. The rest time routine will be consistent from day to day to ensure that children feel secure and can relax.  Mats and all linen used during napping will be cleaned and disinfected in a manner that prevents spread of communicable disease.


  1. Communication will occur between parents and staff on or before the first day of school regarding the child’s current rest time routine.
    1. Staff will use appropriate (and acceptable) suggestions from the parent to assist children in resting.
  2. The written daily schedule will include a regularly scheduled rest period.
    1. To the extent possible, staff will schedule calming activities before rest time to help prepare children’s bodies for rest.
    2. Staff will maintain a consistent transition to rest time routine.
      1. Mat placement will be consistent from day to day as much as possible
    3. Staff will create a calm, quiet environment by dimming lights, closing shades, playing quiet music, and using quiet voices.
    4. Children will have appropriate freedom of movement on their mat.
      1. Children will not be physically restrained on their mat.
    5. When appropriate, children will assist with setting up for rest time.
    6. Children will be allowed to wake up at their own pace to the extent feasible.
  3. Children are not required to sleep.  Children who do not sleep after 20-45 minutes of quiet time must be provided with an alternative quiet activity. The activity may be in the same room where children are sleeping if it is not distracting to sleeping children.
    1. The quiet activities provided will be varied and rotated over time to maintain child interest and engagement.
  4. Children will be supervised during rest time.
    1. When all children are at rest and the room is arranged so all children are supervised, if the situation permits, there may be one staff member supervising the resting room. As children awaken and become active, additional staff shall be added to return the room to the appropriate staff:child ratio. Sufficient staff to meet the required ratio shall be in the facility and able to be summoned by the caregiver without leaving the resting room.
  5. There shall be a safe, washable rest mat for each child in the center at nap time.
    1. Each mat will be washable and at least one inch thick.
    2. Each child who is resting shall have individual bedding consisting of at least a sheet or blanket.
    3. Children may bring blankets or other soft items (ie. Stuffed animal) from home for use during rest time.
  6. Care of Mats and Linen.
    1. Children should not share personal bedding items and personal bedding will be stored in individually labeled bags in between use.
    2. Mats must be placed at least two feet apart if children are placed head to toe; or three feet apart otherwise. They shall be arranged in a manner that allows for a direct, unobstructed passage to each child.
    3. Mats will be disinfected weekly (utilizing Alpha HP) in addition to any time that the mat is soiled with body fluids, or after a child’s illness.
    4. Linen used on mats will be washed and changed weekly in addition to any time that the linen is soiled with body fluids or after a child’s illness.
    5. Soiled linen will be stored away from food preparation areas and in a sanitary manner.
    6. Each child will be assigned their own mat, identified by their name.
    7. When a child is ill and requires isolation, the isolation area shall be thoroughly cleaned after each use and all bedding laundered before it is used again. Also refer to our Classroom Sanitation Policy

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard CFR 1304.21(a)(1)(iv), 1304.53(a)(2), (b)(1) and Oregon Administrative Rules for Child Care Centers OAR 414-300-(0040, 0130, 0180, 0210, 0290, 0310).

Policy Council approved August 12, 2014.

2014 Head Start of Lane County. Updated February 2016