Laws Rules and Related Policies
Indiana Code 12-17.2 establishes the authority for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning, to regulate child care in the state. It also authorizes the office to adopt rules to implement the federal Child Care and Development Fund voucher program administered by the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning for the state. Following are the laws (*updated July 2022):
- IC 12-17.2-2 Chapter 2. General Powers and Duties of the Division *
- IC 12-17.2-2.5 Chapter 2.5. Child Care Advisory Committees *
- IC 12-17.2-3.5 Chapter 3.5. Eligibility of Child Care Provider to Receive Reimbursement Through Voucher Program *
- IC 12-17.2-4 Chapter 4. Regulation of Child Care Centers *
- IC 12-17.2-5 Chapter 5. Regulation of Child Care Homes *
- IC 12-17.2-6 Chapter 6. Regulation of Child Care Ministries *
- IC 12-17-12 Chapter 12 School Age Child Care Project Fund (establishes the authority for the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning to make grants to approved applicants for the establishment and maintenance of a school-age child care program)
For the legal definition of a child care center, child care home, child care ministry, Class I child care home, or Class II child care home as contained in IC 12-7-2, or the definition of a school age child care program as contained in IC 12-17-12-5, please click here.
For legislation that was passed for child care ministries on July 1, 2020, please click here.
For information on programs exempt from licensure (IC 12-17.2-2-8), please click here.
In partnership, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and the Indiana Department of Education have created the following Frequently Asked Questions document for issues related to the intersection of non-public (private) schools and early childhood programs serving children under the age of five. Click here to view the FAQ document.
Licensing Laws Effective July 1, 2022
The Office of Early Childhood and Out- of- School Learning would like to inform you that during the last session, the Indiana General Assembly passed two new laws that effect child care programing. These law changes take effect on July 1, 2022.
There has been an update to law IC 12-17.2-4-15.5. The updated language states that Montessori programs may be able to have licensed child care preschool programs if they confirm that they are validated as a Montessori program by the United Montessori Schools of Indiana and meet the other stated child staff ratio, group size requirements and all health and safety requirements.
This update law for IC 12-7-2-33.7 Sec. 33.7. is in reference to a child care home that serves any combination of full-time and part-time children, not to exceed at anyone (1) time twelve (12) children plus three (3) children who are enrolled in at least full-day kindergarten. This new legislation eliminated the language “during the school year only” and only allowing for additional three (3) children “during breaks that exceed four (4) weeks”.
New Exemption and Updated Guidance for School Corporations
Updated guidelines for public and private school settings to allow for child care programing on the school premises for children of students or employees of schools in the school corporation in which the public or private school is located if it meets the appropriate criteria as a public or private school and division-specific health and safety guidelines.
Click the following to review the legislative changes:
The following administrative rules have been promulgated based upon the above laws:
- 470 IAC 3-1.1 Rule 1.1 Child Care Homes
- 470 IAC 3-1.2 Rule 1.2 Infant and Toddler Services in a Child Care Home
- 470 IAC 3-1.3 Rule 1.3 Class II Child Care Homes
- 470 IAC 3-4.5 Rule 4.5 Child Care Facilities; Registered Day Care Ministries
- 470 IAC 3-4.6 Rule 4.6 School Age Child Care Program
- 470 IAC 3-4.7 Rule 4.7 Child Care Centers; Licensing
- 470 IAC 3-4.8 Rule 4.8 Emergency or Temporary Closure of Child Care Centers and Child Care Homes
- 470 IAC 3-18 Rule 18 Child Care Development Fund Voucher Program; Provider Eligibility
The following rule was promulgated by the Indiana State Department of Health. Licensed child care centers and unlicensed registered child care ministries, whether cooking or vending, must comply with this rule:
Within the child care laws/rules, references may be made to compliance with other agencies' laws/rules (Indiana State Department of Health; Indiana Department of Environmental Management; State Fire Marshal, now known as Indiana Department of Homeland Security). These laws/rules may be found at http://iga.in.gov/. You may also contact each agency at http://www.in.gov/isdh (Indiana State Department of Health); http://www.in.gov/idem (Indiana Department of Environmental Management); http://www.in.gov/dhs (Indiana Department of Homeland Security).
- Interpretative guide for child care center rules
- Interpretative guide for child care home rules
- Interpretative guide for child care home rules (changes effective 7/01/2016)
- Interpretative guide for legally licensed exempt child care providers
- Interpretative guide for unlicensed registered child care ministry rules
- Interpretive guide for Voluntary Certification Program
- Policy and procedures manual for Voluntary Certification Program
- Voluntary Certification Program standards
Within the child care rules and policies, references may be made to compliance with the Caring for Our Children, National Health and Safety Performance Standards Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, third edition, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education.
Within the child care rules and policies, references may be made to compliance with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (“CPSC” or “Commission”) Public Playground Safety Guidelines. Below is the PDF version for this resource
- Public Playground Safety
- The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning recently held several webinars on these new laws. If you were unable to attend one of these webinars, you can view the PowerPoint presentation used during the session by clicking here.
- Important changes to the CCDF provider eligibility laws effective July 1, 2015 (Note: This new law DOES NOT affect licensed providers.)
- The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning will be mailing out a series of letters and will also have webinars with more guidance on the new laws.
- To view a copy of the letters that were mailed out, please click on the appropriate link below:
- CCDF Changes effective October 1, 2018
- New law effective July 1, 2015, English, Spanish
- Nutritional requirements, English letter / resources, Spanish letter / resources
- Requirements on staff-to-child ratios and group sizes, English, Spanish
- Daily activities and safe conditions, English, Spanish
- Requirements on ongoing training, English letter / resources, Spanish letter / resources
The Child Care and Development Fund program requires childcare providers receiving CCDF funding to meet certain standards of health and safety. These standards are called Provider Eligibility Standards.
Licensed Child Care Home Provider
All applicants with a GED must provide verification from the website listed below. This is a one-time verification and cost.
Individuals requesting GED verification must use Indiana's GED document fulfillment service, Diploma Sender: https://www.diplomasender.com/. A copy of the verification costs $15.