Early Learning Provider Requirements
Child care and early learning providers operating a program for four or more unrelated children must be certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The Department regulates three types of child care facilities:
- Child Care Center: A child care facility in which seven or more children who are not related to the operator receive child care. A child care center must have a certificate of compliance ("license") from the Department of Human Services (DHS) in order to legally operate.
- Group Child Care Home: A child care facility in which seven through 12 children of various ages or in which seven through 15 children from 4th grade through 15 years of age who are not related to the operator receive child care. A group child care home must have a certificate of compliance ("license") from DHS in order to legally operate.
- Family Child Care Home: A child care facility located in a home in which four, five, or six children who are not related to the caregiver receive child care. A family child care home must have a certificate of compliance ("license") from DHS in order to legally operate.
If you are interested in operating a child care facility, you should contact the Department of Human Services Regional Child Development Office that regulates child care facilities in your county. Each regional office is assigned responsibility for facilities located in specific counties in Pennsylvania.
Staff in Regional Offices conduct orientation sessions for prospective child care providers in which you can obtain information related to opening and operating a child care facility. Attendance at an orientation session is required prior to receiving a certificate of compliance or registration. Effective September 30, 2016, all prospective child care operators must provide verification that they have completed training in 10 health and safety training topics as prescribed by the Federal Government in order to receive a certificate of compliance. There is an on-line module that can be accessed at: http://extension.psu.edu/youth/betterkidcare/early-care/ccdbg where prospective providers can take 9 of the 10 topics. The 10th topic is Pediatric CPR and Pediatric First Aid. The prospective provider would have to contact the American Red Cross, the ELRC or another training organization to determine how to obtain the face to face training for the Pediatric CPR and First Aid. Information for the ELRC can be accessed at www.pakeys.org.
Staff in your Regional Office can provide information regarding the laws and regulations pertaining to child care facilities and can answer questions regarding the requirements for operating a child care facility. In addition, regional staff inspect child care facilities and provide technical assistance to child care providers.
The child care regulations are available on the Web at the following links:
If you have questions regarding the child care regulations, please contact your Regional Child Development Office. If you cannot find the information you need, please contact DHS.
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