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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):

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.

Center Rules

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.

Home Rules

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:

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 You may also contact each agency at (Indiana State Department of Health); (Indiana Department of Environmental Management); (Indiana Department of Homeland Security).

Interpretative Guidelines:

Related Policies:

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

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: A copy of the verification costs $15.