State child care regulations seek to ensure the health and safety of children in child care and to support families by providing care that promotes the emotional, cognitive, communicative, perceptual-motor, physical and social development of the child. Licensing regulations focus on physical environment, child-staff ratios and maximum group size, staff qualifications and background, health and hygiene and program activities.
What are the potential benefits of licensing?
Licensing requirements for afterschool programs, when implemented effectively, can provide Pennsylvania with a number of potential benefits such as:
What programs need to be licensed?
Afterschool facilities in which out-of-home care is provided at any one time, for part of a 24-hour day to seven or more children, 15 years of age or younger – including care provided in private or public, profit or nonprofit facilities, care provided before or after the hours of instruction in nonpublic schools, and in private nursery schools or kindergartens.
In Pennsylvania, there are four regulations regarding licensing:
55 Pa. Code Chapter 20 Licensure or Approval of Facilities and Agencies.
55 Pa. Code Chapter 3270 Child Care Centers
55 Pa. Code Chapter 3280 Group Child Care Homes
55 Pa. Code Chapter 3290 Family Child Care Homes
For detailed information about these regulations, click here.
For frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding Child Care Facility Regulations, click here.
What programs are exempt from licensing?
Licensing requirements are not applicable to the following programs:
Regional Child Development Offices
There are four child development regional offices in Pennsylvania. Each regional office is responsible for childcare facilities located in specific counties grouped by geographic area. Contact your Regional Child Development Office to request copies of the child daycare regulations, application for licensing, and register for monthly training session on licensing.
North Central Region – Harrisburg Office
Counties served: Adams, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Union and York.
North Central Region – Scranton Office
Counties served: Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming.
Counties served: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia.
Counties served: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland.
Pennsylvania Regional Keys
The Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality, sponsored by the Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning, is a quality improvement program in which all early learning programs and practitioners are encourage and supported to improve child outcomes. There are six regional offices that serve specific counties. Click on your residing county below for more information.
Pennsylvania School-Age Child Care (SACC) Regional Organizations
Through the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Child Care and Development Fund school-age targets funds support regionally based school-age child care organizations and specialists to provide specialized professional development and technical assistance. These agencies subcontract through six Regional Key agencies. A primary emphasis of their services focuses on professional development and technical assistance (PD/TA) to support SACC providers participating in Keystone STARS. SACC PD/TA employ research-based methods for improving program quality, and impacting positive outcomes for children. Regional SACC PD/TA also facilitates partnerships with community stakeholders to promote the development and expansion of out-of-school programming.
2138 Lincoln Street
Williamsport, PA 17701
Community Services for Children, Inc.
1520 Hanover Avenue
Allentown, PA 18109
Northwest Institute of Research
3823 West 12th Street
Erie, PA 16505
South Central Region
13 West Market Street
York, PA 17401
Montgomery Early Learning Centers
201 Sabine Avenue
Narberth, PA 19072
(610) 617-4550 opt. 4
Office of Child Development
400 North Lexington Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
Child Care Information Services
In communities, Child Care Information Services (CCIS) agencies are the hub of local information for parents. CCIS agencies provide families with information on quality and personalized childcare referrals to providers based on their specific needs or preferences. CCIS agencies also administer the Child Care Works subsidized childcare program.
For more information about Child Care Information Services, click here or call (877) 472-5437.