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West Virginia Day Care Centers – How Is a Child Care Center Defined Under West Virginia Law?

By Stephen New, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In West Virginia, day care centers / child care centers are regulated by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. The definition under West Virginia law as to what constitutes a child care center is quite broad and includes the following:

A facility maintained by the state or any county or municipality thereof,
or any agency or facility operated by an individual, firm, corporation, association or organization, public or private, for the care of thirteen (13) or more children for child care services in any setting, if the facility is open for more than 30 days per year per child.

The following are exceptions to the above definition:

*A kindergarten through grade twelve education program, that is operated by a public
school or that is exempt from the compulsory school attendance law by the state department of education;

*A West Virginia Pre-K classroom operated by a county Board of Education in a public
school setting;

*Any other kindergarten, preschool or school program that operates with sessions not
exceeding four (4) hours per day for any child;

*An individual or facility that offers occasional care of children for brief periods while
parents are shopping, engaging in recreational activities, attending religious services or engaging in other business or personal affairs;

*Hospitals or other medical facilities that are primarily used for temporary care of
children for treatment, convalescence, or testing; and

*Persons providing care solely for children related to them.

See Title 78 – Legislative Rules – Department of Health and Human Resources – Division of Human Services – Child Care Centers Licensing.

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