In the United States, licensing standards for child care centers vary
by each individual state. General provisions for licensing address these issues:
Health and safety requirements
of dealing with a child's negative behavior
The number of staff
that are needed to safely care for the children
requirements for staff
Type of equipment
Requirements for daily program
Types of food
services needed for children of different ages
Standards vary widely by each state. And how each state monitors and enforces guidelines also varies greatly.
As part of your research, find out which of your potential child care
providers are accredited or are in the process of obtaining accreditation by
the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the
National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), and/or the National After School Association.footnote 1
Accreditation from these organizations helps ensure that a family or group
child care center meets basic quality standards, even if your state has lax
licensing requirements or enforcement.
Bauer NS (2011). Nonparental childcare. In CD Rudolph et al., eds., Rudolph's Pediatrics, 22nd ed., pp. 364-366. New York: McGraw-Hill.