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New Research Briefs About Trends in Child Care Licensing Requirements and Policies for 2017

The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (ECQA Center) is pleased to announce the publication of three research briefs on findings and trends from the 2017 Child Care Licensing Study:

The data presented in these briefs were collected from state child care licensing regulations that were in effect as of December 21, 2017, and from responses to the National Association for Regulatory Administration’s 2017 survey of state licensing agencies from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Trends in Child Care Licensing Requirements

A comparison of the 2017 findings with findings from the previous child care licensing study in 2014 found that several states made changes, such as those noted below, to licensing requirements that were key to protecting children from harm in child care settings:

  • Providers in more states must complete training in important health and safety topics.
  • More states require five types of background checks for providers.
  • States added requirements for group size and lowered child-staff ratios.
  • States improved requirements about emergency preparedness and fire safety.

Trends in Licensing Policies

In comparing the findings from 2017 and 2014, it was also found that state licensing agencies had improved monitoring policies to make sure that child care centers and family child care (FCC) homes met licensing requirements and maintained safe environments for young children, as per the examples provided below:

  • All state licensing agencies inspect child care centers and FCC homes prior to issuing a license and conduct routine inspections to check compliance or to renew a license.
  • More than 90 percent of state licensing agencies visit child care centers and FCC homes at least once a year.
  • Nearly all states support providers with technical assistance and consultation during monitoring activities to help them comply with regulations.
  • The number of states that require licensing staff to complete training each year increased by 20 percent.

Additional resources and tools about child care licensing are available at this Child Care Licensing Tools and Resources site. For additional information, contact the ECQA Center at QualityAssuranceCenter@ecetta.info.