Child Care Licensing Laws

The goal of child care licensing laws is to assure the protection and well-being of the children. The laws do vary from one state to other. If you are interested in starting one, or even if you are just interested in if the child care centers you are looking at to bring your child too are up to snuff, look up your state’s regulations online. Your state’s government website will have them listed.

Child care programs create an environment for children for their development by providing their necessities.

To protect and safe guard the rights, safety, health and well-being of children under non parental conditions, government has framed a set of child care licensing laws. There are various laws made by the government for children. Some of the child care licensing laws made by the government for the children well-being are listed below.

Licensing policies and programs

In each state, the policies and processes are related to the staff for managing child care licensing programs, regulations and monitoring facilities.

Staff requirements

The staff of child care programs should have a set of qualifications for working as a teacher at the center. It includes age, education, or training requirements, experience as well as checks to ascertain that they do not have any criminal background. Child care teachers are also required to be up to date on their immunizations and have a physical check-up upon being hired. Part of their training requires them to be currently certified in First Aid and CPR. Most states require each Child care teacher to obtain a certain number of Continuing Education credits per year.

Ratios and Group Size

The program should include specifications about the number of adults taking care of a specific number of children. It is based on the age and number of children in a group. The teacher to child ratio is important. A preschool teacher may be able to have a group of 10 students by herself, but a teacher in the baby room can only have two babies by herself for any given length of time. The younger the age of the children, the more teachers need to be involved to care for them.


Child care licensing regulations also look into the environment of the child care programs. They check the physical premises like arrangement of outdoor and indoor spaces, access, use and the environment safety. Here are some examples of areas which need to be checked and meet regulations:

  • Playgrounds: equipment (no bolts which stick out, all rounded edges, proper fencing, and at least 8 inches of mulch or rubber playground tiles) Toddlers can not play on the playground with preschoolers.
  • Space of rooms: The nap room for the babies has to be big enough to hold several cribs, one for each baby, and cots for babies who are a year old or more. The cribs and cots have to be a certain space apart. All rooms in the center need to have adequate space for safe napping and playtime.
  • High cabinets with safety locks for all cleaning equipment, art, paper, and office supplies.
  • Laundered Smocks for teachers to wear and disposable gloves for diaper changes, and shoe covers need to be easily accessible.
  • Covered garbage cans and recycle bins,
  • Surge protectors need to be off the ground and safely out of sight and reach of children. All electrical outlets need to be covered.
  • Many health standards of diaper changing and food serving need to be followed.
  • Temperature of the rooms needs to be maintained for comfort. Heaters need to be off the floor, and safely installed so that no child will be injured by them.

Care of Children

There are Child Care regulations which are specific to the care of the children, which include health, nutrition, safety, age appropriate toys and equipment, materials, parental involvement, supervision and specialized care for each child.

Philosophy and are they living up to it?

Although the center does not need to have a philosophy by law, ask what it is if the director has not told you, or if you are thinking of opening up a child care center, give your philosophy a lot of thought. An excellent child care center will be “child based.” All of the needs of the child are met, socially, physically, emotionally, and educationally. The workers should be patient, caring, and very involved. Personally, I have taught at a wonderful child care center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. They did not need to advertise, since their reputation is so good many parents recommend them to their friends. What made it so good was that they followed their philosophy. The teachers work as a team. They do activities with the children even babies which are fun and promote literacy and learning. The children sing songs, make arts and crafts, dance, go on walks, look at nature, and play in small groups. When looking into a child care center ask about the philosophy. Ask how they handle an emergency, and visit the center. Observe the teachers with the children. Along with following the regulations the center should be a very nurturing and loving place for your child.

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