Types of Care

Registered Family Day Care
Care is for up to 6 children and 2 before and after school-age children. The provider’s children count in the group size until they attend Kindergarten. There must be one caregiver for every 2 children under the age of two. Registered providers are registered through NYS Office of Children and Family Services. They must have background checks for criminal and child abuse histories. Their homes are inspected for health and safety. The provider must receive 30 hours of training every 2 years.

Group Family Day Care
Care is for up to 12 children and 4 before and after school-age children. The provider’s children count in the group size until they attend Kindergarten. There must be one caregiver for every two children under the age of two. Group providers are licensed through NYS Office of Children and Family Services. They must have background checks for criminal and child abuse histories. Their homes are inspected for health and safety. The provider must receive 30 hours of training every 2 years.

Legally Exempt Family Child Care
Care is not regulated but is legal care. The provider can care for up to 2 children who are not related to them. If the care is under 3 hours per day more children are allowed.

Legally Exempt In-Home
Care is provided in the child’s home. The providers are considered an employee of the family and are exempt from licensing.

Day Care Center
Care is licensed and in a public non-residence space. Centers are inspected for health and safety; providers receive background checks and training. Centers may be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Classrooms are divided by age groupings; infants, toddlers, preschool and school-age. Age groups do not mix in centers.

School Age Child Care
Is registered care for children kindergarten through age 12 before and/or after school. Some programs offer care when school is not in session.

Summer Camp
Receives a permit to operate from the State or County Health Department. Camps must be in compliance with health department regulations. They are inspected twice a year with at least one inspection taking place while children are present.

Nursery School
Is not regulated care. Children must attend less than 3 hours per day. They are considered exempt from licensing. They may choose to register with NYS Education Department and meet a higher standard.

Universal Pre Kindergarten (UPK)
Is a program through NYS Education Department. Local school districts may offer UPK in the school or in another setting, such as a Child Care Center. UPK is less than 3 hours per day.

Head Start
Is a federally funded program. The full day programs must be licensed as a Day Care Center. The program is primarily for very low income families. The program works with the entire family, focusing on education, health, parental involvement and social services. Below is a sample of the income guideline. Each County in NYS has separate guidelines.