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Laws Rules and Related Policies

Laws:

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:

Rules:

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 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 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

3/13/2015 update:
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.

If the individual has trouble registering an account or locating his/her record, he/she needs to send a message to support@diplomasender.com explaining the issue and providing contact information.

Once you log on to the website, you will need to create a username on the left hand side then continue completing the information requested. You must have an email address to continue. If you do not have an email address, you may call the company at the number provided on the home page in the left hand side.

Important updates for registered ministries on the national criminal history checks

Approved list of anti-scald valves

No electricity policy

Acceptable conditions for re-opening of child care facilities following flood damage
Click here for a list of acceptable conditions that must be adhered to in order for a child care facility to re-open following flood damage.

Unlicensed registered child care ministries: annual checks of child abuse and neglect substantiations
Unlicensed registered child care ministries were notified by letter dated August 20, 2007, that in accordance with IC 12-17.2-6-14(C), the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning would begin conducting annual checks of child abuse and neglect substantiations for all applicants (persons signing the ministry application); and on employees and volunteers, who interact with children, at an unlicensed registered child care ministry. These checks began October 1, 2007.

Child care centers: annual checks of child abuse and neglect substantiations
Child care centers were notified by letter dated July 20, 2007, that in accordance with IC 12-17.2-4-5(a) and IC 12-17.2-4-32(a), the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning would begin conducting annual checks of child abuse and neglect substantiations for all applicants, employees and volunteers of child care centers who have direct contact, on a regular and continuous basis, with children. These checks began October 1, 2007.

Effective 10-1-06: Important safe sleep policy information for licensed child care homes
Public Law 162-2005 requires that all licensed child care homes and all licensed-exempt child care homes receiving CCDF voucher dollars participate in a state approved "Safe Sleep" training. All affected child care home providers were notified by letter that September 30, 2006, was the deadline for completing this training.

Click here for the safe sleep policy update that affected licensed child care home providers that had not completed the mandatory training by September 30, 2006.

Effective 10-1-06: Important safe sleep policy information for legally license exempt homes eligible for CCDF voucher payments
Click here for the safe sleep policy update that affected LLEP home providers who are eligible to receive CCDF payments and had not completed the mandatory training by September 30, 2006.