Law & Legal & Attorney Children Law

Government Regulations for a Home Day Care


    • Seven states in the U.S. do not require home day care licenses. They are South Dakota, Virginia, New Jersey, Louisiana, Ohio, Arizona and Idaho. Some states require child day care certifications, whereas others allow day cares to remain unlicensed as long as the number of children you care for is not beyond a limit. To know for sure what licenses you need for your state, call your local state day care licensing agency.

    Child Abuse

    • Federal law requires you to report any suspected child abuse, exploitation, or neglect by parent(s) or legal guardian(s). You, as caregiver, must establish connections with health care providers to report alleged abuse. You must be trained to know common behaviors of children who are abused. You must also keep documentation paperwork for reporting any suspected abuse.


    • Parents must provide up-to-date immunization records or blue slips for their children. Federal law requires you have these records for each child in your care. According to the federal government, having children without up-to-date immunizations in a day care setting is a health hazard.

    Child to staff ratios

    • Federal law states you may care for three children 24 months or younger. The law allows four children 25 months to 30 months old to be in your care. With a two-member staff there may be six children in these groups. Child-to-staff ratio guidelines vary from state to state.

    Role as caregiver

    • You must provide a clean, safe environment for the children in your home day care center. This means that you must install locks on cabinets and drawers. You must maintain the cleanliness of the areas in which these children will be in your home. You must provide nutritious meals that follow all state guidelines. You must have CPR training, and you must treat small cuts and scrapes as well as insect bites. You must maintain a spacious area for children who take naps in your home. There is a limit for how many children will be allowed to occupy an area of a certain size. You must make sure you have the guidelines from your state for these and they are followed.

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