The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Division of Licensing is responsible for the administration of the child care and youth camp licensing programs at the State of Connecticut Office of Early Childhood.
Family child care homes, group child care homes, child care centers, and youth camps are required to be licensed.
Local Health Inspections are mandated by law; the OEC allows and requires through state statute section 19a-82 for local health department environmental inspections of Child Day Care/Group Day Care operations.
Per state statutes section 19a-77 to 19a-82, inclusive, “child daycare services” includes:
- Child Day Care Center: which offers or provides a program of supplementary care to more than twelve related or unrelated children outside their homes on a regular basis
- Group Day Care Center: which offers or provides a program of supplementary care to not less than seven or more than twelve related or unrelated children on a regular basis or that meets the definition of a family child care home except that it operates in a facility other than a private family home.
- Family Day Care Home: which consists of a private family home caring for not more than six children, including the provider’s own children not in school full time, where the children cared for not less than three nor more than twelve hours during a twenty-four-hour period and where care is given on a regularly recurring basis except that care may be provided in excess of twelve hours but not more than seventy-two consecutive hours to accommodate a need for extended care or intermittent short-term overnight care. During the regular school year, a maximum of three additional children who are in school full time including the provider’s own children shall be permitted, except if the provider has more than three children who are in school full time, all of the provider’s children shall be permitted.
In order to obtain a state license to operate a Child Day Care or Group Day Care, you must:
- Obtain, complete and submit an application to the OEC Division of Licensing, for review and approval.
- In order to obtain a Housatonic Valley Health District local Certificate to Operate, an applicant must first apply for and receive a DHD License. DHD issues a local Certificate To Operate for Child Day Care Centers and Group Day Care Homes. Housatonic Valley Health District does not inspect nor issue a Certificate to Operate for Family Day Care Homes.
- Once an applicant has received state approval for a state license, DHD will inspect the premises. Once local inspection confirms compliance to requirements and OEC has issued a license, a local DHD Certificate To Operate is issued. The certificate is valid for two years.
In order to obtain a state license to operate a Family Day Care Home:
- Obtain, complete and submit an application to the OEC Child Care Licensing Program
- If the home you are planning to use as a Family Day Care Home was built before 1979 the possibility exists that the home may contain lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards. Paint chip samples will be collected from any peeling, chipping, or flaking paint that is noted by an OEC Day Care licensing specialist during the licensure inspection and will be submitted for laboratory analysis. If the analysis identifies any lead-based paint, the local Director of Health will be notified and a lead abatement order of any defective lead-based paint surfaces will be issued if a child under the age of 6 years of age resides in your home. Lead abatement work has the potential to be very expensive. Prior to the inspection by the child care licensing specialist it is suggested that you consider hiring a certified lead consultant to conduct a visual inspection of your property in order to evaluate painted surfaces and identify potential lead hazards. If you are in a rental property it is strongly recommended you discuss the licensing process with your landlord prior to scheduling any inspections
- If you use a private well water supply, then water quality testing should be important to you and your family. Periodic testing should be a normal part of routine household maintenance. Has your water been sampled on a regular basis? One every 5-10 years is recommended by the State Health Department as long as tested parameters are within acceptable levels. The OEC Day Care Licensing Program will require water testing to demonstrate that the water is safe to drink and use. There are several CT Licensed Laboratories that provide water testing.