Child Care Regulations
The child care facility regulations for Child Care Centers, Group Child Care Homes and Family Child Care Homes became effective on Sept. 22, 2008. The documents and links listed below are resources to help you understand the changes to the regulations as well as important information you will need in order to comply with these new regulations.
The Department of Human Services regulations for operating a child care facility are available on the Web. Listed below is each regulation that pertains to operation of a child day care facility, a brief description of the regulation and the hyperlink to the regulation:
55 Pa. Code, Chapter 20, Licensure or Approval of Facilities and Agencies. This regulation provides the rules regarding applying for a certificate of compliance (license), frequency and content of DHS inspections, preparing and issuing a certificate of compliance, conditions under which a certificate of compliance may be denied, not renewed, or revoked and the DHS licensure or approval decisions that may be appealed. Chapter 20 applies to child day care centers and group day care homes. View the regulation.
55 Pa. Code, Chapter 3270, Child Care Centers. This regulation provides the rules regarding the operation of a child day care center. A child care center is a facility in which seven or more children unrelated to the operator receive child care services. A child day care center must have a certificate of compliance (license) from DHS in order to operate. View the regulation.
55 Pa. Code, Chapter 3280, Group Child Care Homes. This regulation provides the rules regarding the operation of a group day care home. A group care home is a facility in which seven to 12 children unrelated to the operator receive child care services. A group day care home must have a certificate of compliance (license) from DHS in order to operate. View the regulation.
55 Pa. Code, Chapter 3290, Family Child Care Homes. This regulation provides the rules regarding the operation of a family care home. A family day care home is a facility in which four, five or six children unrelated to the operator receive child care services. A family care home must be located in a home and must have a certificate of registration from DHS in order to operate. View the regulation.
Family Child Care: What to Expect in an Inspection
All family child care homes in Pennsylvania will soon be required to earn a Certificate of Compliance as a CERTIFIED, also called LICENSED, child care provider. The process to get certified/licensed includes annual unannounced inspections of family child care homes.
Conducted by Certification Representatives from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), under the Department of Human Services (DHS), the annual unannounced inspections will help family child care homes meet regulatory standards for providing safe and healthy environments for children.
OCDEL worked with the Pennsylvania Key, Better Kid Care, and several experienced family child care programs to produce this introductory video on what providers can expect during an inspection.
OCDEL Program Self Assessment Checklist to Support Certification Compliance
These new user-friendly tools were designed to assist Child Care Center, Family, and Group Child Care Home Providers in performing periodic reviews of their facility operations to achieve compliance with OCDEL certification regulations. When utilized regularly, these checklists can help to identify program strengths and gaps in the understanding of and compliance with OCDEL regulations.
Certification Inspection Instrument (CII)
New Certification Inspection Instrument and Worksheets for Renewal Visits
The creation and implementation of the Certification Inspection Instrument (CII) represent DHS and OCDEL's commitment to consistent monitoring of all existing regulations and transparency of the certification and inspection process. The CII standardizes how certification regulations are applied, measured, and enforced consistently across Pennsylvania and support consistent documentation of inspection results and compliance.
The CII accessed via the links below and presented in the webinar is for use in conducting a renewal inspection at a Child Care Center. An Inspection Instrument specific to Group Child Care Home and Family Child Care Home will be developed in the future.
Download the CII and related worksheets and forms below:
Provider Survey/Facility Information Sheet
This document helps Certification Representatives prepare for your visit. It is available on our website and will be sent out in advance of a Renewal Visit. Program administrators may email the sheet to their Certification Representative in advance of their visit or have it ready when the Certification Representative arrives.
Certification Inspection Instrument (CI) Center Renewal
The CII supports the consistent monitoring of Certification Regulations. Use this to support your own review of requirements related to: posted notices, required paperwork, transportation, ratio and supervision, and physical site.
This document replaces the former set of individual disclosure statements related to swimming, firearms, and consumer product safety.
Worksheet 1: Child Care Staff Data Sheet
Worksheet 2: Child Records
Worksheet 3: Child Health Records
Worksheet 1, 2, and 3 help you monitor your own compliance related to critical staff and child records. Certification Representatives use these worksheets to document your compliance related to child and staff records.
Learn more about the Certification Inspection Instrument and Worksheets by watching this webinar. We recommend downloading and printing the Certification Inspection Instrument (CII) tool before watching the video.
Webinar: Launch of New Certification Tool: Certification Inspection Instrument (CII)