Types of Child Care

Listed below are brief descriptions of common types of child care programs in New York State. Regulated programs are regulated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Division of Child Care services (except New York City based child care modalities, which are regulated by the New York City Department of Health).

Day Care Centers – provide care for more than six children at a time, not in a personal residence.

Small Day Care Centers – provide care for up to six children, not in a personal residence.

Family Day Care Homes – provide care for up to eight children at a time in a residence; may add up to two school-age children. The maximum allowable number of children will depend on whether there are and how many infants are in care and the ages of the providers own children.

Group Family Day Care Homes – provide care for up to sixteen children at a time in a residence; may add up to two school-age children. The maximum allowable number of children will depend on whether there are and how many infants are in care and the ages of the providers own children. A provider must use an assistant when more that six children are present.

**Each of the programs listed above can serve children ages six weeks through twelve years and operate for more than three hours a day.

School-Age Child Care Programs – provide care for more than six children from kindergarten through age twelve. Care for children during non-school hours; also may provide care during school vacation periods and holidays.

Other forms of legal child care include:

Nursery Schools – provide care for three hours a day or less. In New York City, the City Department of Health regulates these programs. A nursery school may voluntarily register with the State Education Department (SED).

Pre-Kindergartens – usually located in public schools, but can also be found in private schools or day care centers; supervised by the SED.

Early Head Start and Head Start Centers – targeted for preschool-age children from low income families; federally funded and usually licensed as Day Care Centers.

Legally Exempt Care (Informal) – provide care for up to two children at a time in addition to the provider’s own children, usually in the provider’s home; are not required to register or become licensed.

Summer Day Camps – regulated by the NYS Department of Health.

Nanny Services – The Sullivan County Child Care Council, Inc. only gives referrals to registered or licensed or otherwise government regulated modalities of care.

For more information about doing your own background check on a “nanny” visit this site: http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/publications/Pub4628text.asp