2014 Child Care Licensing Study

The role of licensing in the early care and education system is to provide a mandatory floor of program standards and monitoring that will protect children from physical harm and enhance learning and development. Within the early care and education system, licensing covers the broadest content, the largest number of children ages birth to school-age, and the largest population of providers.

Using data compiled from state child care licensing regulations and the results of a survey of state licensing agencies administered by the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA), the research briefs examine the state of licensing in 2014 and identify trends that have become apparent during several years of data collection. The findings provide evidence that States are making positive changes in their licensing requirements and policies to protect the health and safety of children in out-of-home care.

The licensing study and research briefs are a joint effort between the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA) and the National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement (NCCCQI), a previous contract of the Office of Child Care. The following briefs are being disseminated in conjunction with the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance.

In addition, the Data Explorer Tool allows users to create tables of state data on key licensing indicators including child-staff ratios, group sizes, staff qualifications, background check requirements, monitoring frequency, and others.