Child care is regulated differently in every state, and
sometimes even in different parts of the state.
Licensed facilities are inspected on the average of
once a year to be certain they continue to meet
The maximum numbers of children grouped according to
ages and the minimum staff required vary slightly, but are approximately:
Maximum Child : Staff
Age Group Size Ratio
6 wks.–15 mos. 12 4:1
15 mos.–2 yrs. 15 5:1
2 yrs.–3 yrs. 16 8:1
3 yrs.–5 yrs. 20 10:1
5 yrs.–Kindergarten 20 20:1
All staff in this environment generally must have the skill and competence
needed to contribute to children’s physical, intellectual,
personal, emotional and social development. Each member
of the staff must have a minimum of a certain number of hours of inservice
training each year. All staff must have a current
medical report with a T.B. test, be subjected to a criminal
background check, a child abuse/neglect background
check, and have letters of reference on file. A staff
member trained in First Aid and CPR must be on location
at all times.
In this environment there are Lead Teachers, Directors, Child
Development Associates, or assistants/aides on staff.
A child care center should typically have at least 35 square feet of
indoor space per child and 75 feet of outdoor space per
child. Required space per child for infants and toddlers
who sleep in cribs is 55 square feet. Indoor and outdoor
areas must be designed to protect the health and safety
of children. Equipment and materials must be in a particular
quantity and include child size tables and chairs
and individual space for children’s belongings. The
inspection and approval of the facility by the State Fire
Marshall and Health Department is required.
The child care center should have written policies,
a statement of purpose and philosophy of the program,
and provide these to parents. Cultural and ethnic diversity
and personal privacy of children must be respected.
A variety of activities (both indoor and outdoor) and a
daily routine that promotes the child’s individual growth
must be provided.
Nutritious meals and snacks must be served.
Methods of disciplining children must be carried out in
ways that help children develop self-control and assume
responsibility for their own actions. Children may not be
subjected to spankings, hitting or any other corporal
punishment. Also, children may not be verbally abused,
humiliated, deprived of meals or be punished for toilet
There are some child care situations that you should avoid:
--A situation where there is not enough space for your child to play in
--High turnover of staff
--Not enough staff for the number of children attending
--Untrained, inexperienced staff