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All daycare centers in Connecticut have to be licensed in order to operate. Therefore, the first step to choosing a child care provider is determining whether they are licensed in the state. Even though licensing does not guarantee the quality, state statutory childcare center laws define the minimum compliance requirements for daycare operations. 

The State of Connecticut distinguishes between three types of childcare providers:

  • Family daycare homes providing supplementary care for 1 to 6 children in private residences
  • Group day care homes provide care for not less than seven nor more than 12 children in private residences or 1 to 12 children in a non-residential setting
  • Child care centers provide care to more than 12 children in non-residential settings

Daycare License Requirements for Connecticut

Childcare licensing regulations in Connecticut cover many topics, including:

  • The number of children one adult can care for at a time and the number of children allowed in a class. 

The child/provider ratio is as follows:

Age Range Child/Staff Ratio
Infants (1:4)
Toddlers (1:4)
Preschool (over age 3) (1:10)
School-age (1:10)
Mixed-age group (1:4)

For family daycare homes, the regulations stipulate a maximum of two infants per provider and a mixed-age ratio of (1:6), including the provider’s children. 

  • Immunizations, handwashing, and other hygienic practices are designed to stop the spread of disease.

Childcare center laws must ensure that the enrolled child has received the necessary, age-appropriate immunizations. At a minimum, children must receive immunizations against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps, polio, and other mandated vaccines.

  • Training and health requirements for the child care providers working at the center

Childcare center laws state that all child care providers must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or have 540 hours of documented experience with the specific age group they’ll be working with. In addition, all staff who work in-person at a child care center must also undergo professional development that covers early childhood education and development, health issues, nutrition, first aid, and programming for children with disabilities or special health care needs. 

The center should also engage the services of a healthcare professional to review individual health care plans for children with disabilities or special needs.

  • Nutrition of food served to the children

The childcare center should develop the food service program with a registered dietitian. Any child who remains on the premises for at least five hours should receive a nutritious snack, while those who stay for at least eight hours should receive one meal and a healthy snack. The content and times of meals and snacks should be made available to all parents for approval.

  • Safety and comfort of the building

Child care center laws also state that they must provide a minimum of 30 square feet per child of total usable indoor space free from furniture. This space should not include bathrooms, hallways, kitchens, or food service areas. 

Cots, cribs, and playpens must also be placed so that the walkways are clear for situations requiring immediate action and/or evacuations. Outdoor play spaces with swings, seesaws, or climbing setups should be lined with at least 8 inches of collision-absorbing materials.

  • Educational requirements

Each child care center must develop and implement an education and child development plan, which should be available to the parents, guardians, and staff. The program should aim to meet the individual needs of the children and should include:

  • Indoor and outdoor physical activities
  • Problem-solving experiences that facilitate language and cognitive development
  • Creative experiences that allow children to explore and express ideas, thoughts, and feelings
  • Child-initiated and teacher-initiated activities
  • Rest, sleep, or quiet activity

Choosing the Right Daycare Center for Your Child

It’s essential to ensure that your child care provider is appropriately licensed. Licensing ensures that you’re leaving your child in the care of a qualified adult and in an environment that meets child safety standards.

Contact The Learning Center

Contact us to learn more about our early childhood education programs in Windsor, South Windsor, and Manchester, CT. You may reach us at (860) 643-8639 or visit our contact page.