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New York – Parent’s Guide to Day Care and Child Care Centers

By Steven Smith, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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New York day care and child care centers are regulated by the New York Office of Children and Family Services. Licensing requirements and regulations depend on the type and size of the child care center. Some are in residences. Others are not. Some are affiliated with religious institutions. Some are exempt from licensing requirements. Since the regulations and various types of day care centers vary, it is helpful to know the categories and types of day care centers in New York. The Office of Children and Family Services has a helpful guide that outlines the types of day care and child care centers in New York. The categories are as follows:

Day Care Centers. Day Care Centers provide care and supervision for more than 6 children but not in a private home / residence.

Small Day Care Centers. Small Day Care Centers are Day Care Centers that provide care and supervision for as many as six children but not in a private home or residence.

Family Day Care Homes. Family Day Care Homes provide care and supervision for three to six children at any one time in a home / residence.

Group Family Day Care Homes. Group Family Day Care Homes provide care and supervision for seven to twelve children at any one time in a home / residence.

School-Age Child Care Programs. School-Age Child Care Programs provide care and supervision for more than six children ranging from kindergarten students to 12 year olds. Care and supervision are provided during non-school hours and vacaction periods as well as holidays.

Nursery Schools. Nursery Schools provide care and supervision for children for three hours of less per day.

Pre-Kindergarten Program. Pre-Kindergarten Programs are typically located in public schools. They are also in private schools and day care centers as well.

Head Start Centers. Head Start Centers are programs for preschool-age children from low income families.

Legally Exempt Child Care Centers – Legally Exempt Child Care Centers provide care and supervision for one or two children at a time (in addition to to caregiver’s children) in or outside of the caregiver’s home / residence.

It is important to identify and evaluate the type of program, licensing history, inspection history, and facility before enrolling a child in any New York day care center / child care center.