New York Childcare Licensing and Regulation

The State of New York has gone through great lengths to provide licensing and regulation to protect children, parents, and childcare providers. It’s important that the State, parents, and providers make safety for infants and children up to 14 years old their number one priority.

We will examine what the provider needs to know before becoming licensed and where parents can go to access information.

The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) agency oversees and provides support to daycare centers in New York. Anyone who plans to provide care for three or more children for more than three hours per day regularly must be licensed or have a registration certificate.

Provider Information – Facilities

There are several different classifications of childcare facilities in New York. You will need to determine which of these programs you would like to operate.

Child Day Care Center is a facility that provides care for more than 6 children at a time between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years old. The facility must provide at least 35 square feet per child in the area where children will be cared for. The number of children allowed is also determined by the staff/child ratio according to the ages of the children serviced.

The director of a child day care center should have a bachelor’s degree with 12 credits in child development, one-year experience as a teacher at a child day care center and one-year experience in supervising staff. All staff members must pass a background check and have required education and/or experience in working with young children.

Family Daycare Home is a home facility that provides child care for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. Maximum capacity includes children of the daycare provider.

Group Family Daycare Home is a home facility that provides care for 7 to 12 children for at least 3 hours per day. There must be at least 1 assistant present other than the provider. There must be 1 caregiver for every 2 children under the age of 2 years.

School Age Childcare is a program or facility that provides care for 7 or more school-age children under the age of 13 unless the child 13 or older is certified unable to care for himself by a physician

The certificate requirements that are set by OCFS must be met before a certificate is issued. Training and inspections of the facilities is mandatory. Applications and information about starting a daycare program carried out through regional offices located throughout the state. You can go to: NY Childcare Search.

New York also assists parents to pay for childcare if you meet the low income guidelines and need childcare to look for work, work, or attend job training. Assistance is automatic if you are on Temporary Assistance. You can get information at your local County Department of Social Services.

If you suspect any violations by a daycare facility you can make a complaint by calling the Office of Children and Family Services toll-free at 800-732-5207.

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