Legal Requirements Governing Child Care in Ohio
In Ohio, two state agencies regulate early care and education programs. The Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) regulates group child care for children in centers, school age programs and camps. The Department of Education (ODE) licenses child care programs operated by public and private chartered schools. The City of Cincinnati has an additional license required of all non-school based child care centers located in the city.
Not all forms of child care must be licensed. Examples of exempted programs include those that operate only two weeks or less a year, enrichment programs in specific subject such as drama or dance, or programs where a parent remains on the premises while care is provided, such as a health club. Places of the parent’s employment are not exempt.
Ohio's child care regulations cover children’s basic health, safety and development in the areas of staffing, equipment, records and program policies. Trained staff inspect centers before a license is issued and twice a year thereafter. Staff also investigate complaints. Child care centers are required to post their license and copies of inspection reports in a conspicuous place.
Types of Regulated Child Care in Ohio
- Center – a facility where trained staff care for seven or more children of any age at one time.
- School-age centers – a program caring for seven or more children aged kindergarten and above.
- Type A Homes – a family child care home where the provider and assistant(s) cares for seven to 12 children (or four to 12 children if four children are under age two) at one time. The provider's own children under age six are included in the total count.
- Child day camps – a program which operates less than seven hours a day during school vacations and cares only for school-age children. At least half the program time is spent outdoors.
State of Ohio Requirements
|0 - 12 mos.
|12 - 18 mos.
|18 - 30 mos.
|30 - 36 mos.
|4 and 5 yrs.
|K - 11 yrs.
|11 - 14 yrs.
Type B family child care homes are currently exempt from licensing. Type B family child care homes are the most common family child care home in Ohio. Type B providers can care for six or fewer children under age 6. A provider can care for no more than three children under age 2. There are two types:
- Certified Type B refers to a home that is permitted to accept the County Department of Job and Family Services child care subsidy voucher. The home provider has chosen to participate and the county has deemed that area of the community has a need for the child care subsidy program. Requirements include a criminal background check (fingerprinting). There are two monitoring visits annually by County Department of Job and Family Services staff, one of which is unnannounced.
- Alternate Approved Type B refers to a home that has agreed to meet and uphold 4C's 20 Minimum Standards in order to participate in 4C's Child Nutrition Program. Standards include a letter from a physician attesting that the provider is in good physical and mental health, a criminal records check showing they have never been convicted of a felony, child abuse or neglect and an initial basic health and safety 4C staff home visit. 4C does not guarantee continued compliance with the standards or collect updated physicians statements or criminal records checks and does not conduct ongoing home visits.
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Legal requirements governing child care in Kentucky.