Overview: State Child Care Licensing Regulations for Summer Programs and Camps
This document provides an overview of some general characteristics of state child care licensing regulations for summer programs and day camps. The information is based on a scan of regulations in 17 states (Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin), selected because of their geographic diversity. The data was drawn from the National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations.
Each state has a slightly different definition of summer programs and which regulations apply. In a few cases, summer learning programs, as opposed to summer camps, may be licensed under state school-age regulations if the programs are run by school districts, or if similar programming is offered to children and youth throughout the year. This is known as “contiguous” programming. Even when a program is full-year, there are often significant changes from after school to summer programming, with a large increase in staff, change in location, and shift in mission and curriculum.
As shown in the chart, the agency that licenses summer programs and the applicability of licensing regulations vary significantly by state