Can Providers Use Pack-n-Plays/ Play Yards for Nap?

If you look at the additional notes for the safety practices item in the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised (FCCERS-R), it lists as an example of a safety hazard “a mesh playpen with collapsible sides” (p. 30)*. So, what are they referring to here? Does this include ALL pack-n-plays or play yards?

play yard_bing_share and useCaring For Our Children states all cribs should meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. For non-full size cirbs/ play yards this standard is F406-10b. Collapsible cribs are only a safety hazard if the sides no long lock securely, if the model does not meet ASTM standards, or if the crib is no longer in good condition (holes in the mesh sides, missing parts, etc.). It is also important to note, these cribs/ play yards should only be used for their intended purpose and with the original fitted mattress.

In 2013, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) ruled for more strict and thorough testing of play yards. Play yards made after February 28, 2013 are held to a much stronger standard. A safety approved crib/ play yard is one that has been certified by ASTM, CPSC, and/or Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA). If looking for a crib, JPMA is a common certification you will see. JPMA is based on ASTM standards but also includes federal and state requirements as well as requirements from retailers; thus adhering to the highest level of product testing. It is important for providers to keep the manufacturers information (make, model, and certifications) for each crib in their early childhood program.

Check out these great one page CPSC handouts describing the updated requirements of play yards and crib safety as well as Safe Sleep for Babies.


*Harms, T., Cryer, D. & Clifford, R. (2007). Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale, Revised Edition. New York, NY: Teacher’s College Press.

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner is an Early Childhood Coordinator with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Melissa has over 10 years of experience with the Environment Rating Scales as an assessor for research projects and Iowa's Quality Rating System and now as the ERS Training project coordinator. Melissa loves hearing success stories about providers who have made great strides to improve the quality of care within their program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping, and house projects.

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