NYS CCHC Resources Website

Consultation in NYS

Child Day Care Regulations

In New York State the Child Day Care Regulations are set by the Office of Children and Family Services Division of Child Care or OCFS. The regulations are the rules by which the State expects child day care programs and providers to maintain the health, safety, and protection of children and to promote developmentally appropriate care for children outside the care of their own home.

New York child day care regulations are divided into 6 main parts. The first, 413, covers Definitions, Enforcement, and Hearings for all modalities of child care including the definition of the types of care that are exempt from licensing or registration. The rest are specific as to the modality of care to include 414-School Age Child Care (SACC), 415-Legally Exempt, 416-Group Family Day Care (GFDC), 417-Family Day Care (FDC), and 418-Day Care Centers (DCC and SDCC).

The first regulation to understand in New York is 413.2(c)(7)

Health care consultant means a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or registered nurse who possesses a valid New York State license in his or her field. Such consultant may include a health care professional who is an employee of a local Department of Health.

The responsibilities of the Health Care Consultant (HCC) are outlined in regulation 418-1.11(c)(1) which specifies that the Health Care Plan must be approved by the HCC if the program will administer most types of medications. Note: For simplicity, this website will largely reference the Day Care Center  (DCC) regulations unless further specificity is needed.

Modalities of Child Care

Regulated child day care refers to care that is provided:

  •  for more than 3 hours (but less than 24 hours) per day (school-age child care is not subject to the three-hour daily minimum);
  • on a regular basis away from the child’s home; and
  • by someone other than a relative within the third degree of consanguinity of the child’s parents or step-parents.

Although there are some exceptions (which are identified in NYS Social Services Law §390), when three or more children meeting this definition are cared for in one location for more than three hours, the program is required to obtain a license or registration to operate.

There are five types (or “modalities”) of child day care programs. Social Services Law stipulates which ones must be registered and which ones must be licensed.

Registered Child Care

Family Day Care (FDC) is provided for 3-6 children and up to 2 additional school-age children in the provider’s home.

School-Age Child Care (SACC) is a program for 7 or more school-age children younger than 13 years of age in a facility operating during non-school hours.

Small Day Care Center (SDCC) is a program, not in a residence, where care is provided for 3-6 children for more than 3 hours per day.

Licensed Child Care

Group Family Day Care (GFDC) is care provided in a home, for no more than 7-12 children and up to 4 additional school-age children, by a provider with an assistant.

Day Care Centers (DCC) provide care in a facility (not a residence) for more than 6 children.

Legally Exempt Child Care & Illegal Child Care

Legally Exempt Child Care providers may legitimately offer care to children under circumstances that do not meet the statutory or regulatory definition of child day care. Care providers who meet the criteria for Legally Exempt may receive child day care subsidy, just like Registered or Licensed Child Care programs, but they must be ‘Enrolled’, follow certain requirements, and be monitored for compliance.

Illegal Child Care refers to programs that meet the statutory definition of a family day care home, group family day care home, school-age child care program, day care center or a small day care center, but have not obtained a license or registration to operate. Illegal child care programs are subject to a cease and desist order by the Office of Children and Family Services.

Helpful Acronyms

Glossary of Terms