Health & Safety

All licensed child care providers must meet basic health and safety guidelines approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. There are differences in the requirements for child care centers, group child care homes, and family child care homes. Below, the guidelines for each are outlined. If you have a question about these guidelines, or want to report a provider that is not meeting the guidelines you can contact your Regional Child Development Office.

Child Care Centers and Group Child Care Homes

Ratios

Part of the way that providers can ensure that children are properly cared for is by maintaining proper ratios of children to caregivers. Each provider must maintain these ratios at all times. Below are the ratios for each age group.

0-12 months 4:1 3 years – 5 years 10:1
13-24 months 5:1 1st grade – 3rd grade 12:1
25-36 months 6:1 4th grade and up 15:1

Staff Requirements

All staff must have a criminal background clearance, child abuse clearance, federal fingerprinting, a health appraisal every year, and the food handlers at the site must have a food prep license.  Each staff member must complete yearly child care training.

Safety Requirements

– Toys and play equipment must be safe and clean
– Must have fire extinguishers and a fire evacuation plan with fire drills
– Child can only be picked up by a parent or a person given written permission by parent
– Hot water temperature must be at a non-scalding temperature
– Indoor temperature must be at least 65 degrees. If temperature is above 85 degrees, there must be fans or air conditioning

Click here for more information about child care centers and group child care homes;

Family Child Care Homes

Ratios

No more than 6 children unrelated to the provider may be in care at one time.  No more than two of the children may be infants. The provider may care for no more than 5 infants and toddlers at one time.

Staff Requirements

All staff must have a criminal background clearance, child abuse clearance, a health appraisal every two years, and the food handlers at the site must have a food prep license.  Each staff member must complete yearly child care training. Every adult living in the home has to pass federal fingerprinting and state background checks.

Safety Requirements

– Toys and play equipment must be safe and clean
– Must have fire extinguishers and a fire evacuation plan with fire drills
– Child can only be picked up by a parent or a person given written permission by parent
– Hot water temperature must be at a non-scalding temperature
– Indoor temperature must be at least 65 degrees.  If temperature is above 85 degrees, there must be fans or air conditioning

Click here for more information about family child care homes!