Childcare Licensing Law and Legal Definition

Child care licensing is governed by state law, which varies by state. The state agency administering child care licensing is responsible for protecting the health, safety, and well being of children who attend or reside in regulated child-care facilities and homes. The responsible agency develops minimum standards for regulated facilities and homes as well as policies and procedures for enforcing those minimum standards. Such an agency may assume the additional role of providing consultation, technical assistance, and training for child-care providers and educating the public in the selection and improvement of child-care services.

All types of licensed facilities usually have published standards they are required to follow and are routinely monitored and inspected. The application process generally requires that a provider receive orientation and background checks are conducted. A license may not be issued until after licensing staff complete on-site inspection(s) to insure minimum standards are met. Facilities are typically inspected perodically and if a report is received related to child abuse/neglect or standards violations.