Daycare Licensing Guidance

The State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health (DPH), Division of Community Based Regulation, Child Day Care Licensing Program, is responsible for licensing Child Day Care Centers, Group Day Care Homes, and Family Day Care Homes based on the existing state statutes and regulations. See state definitions for these services noted below.

Per state statutes sections 19a-77 to 19a-82, inclusive, "child day care services" includes:

Child Day Care Center: which offers or provides a program of supplementary care to more than twelve related or unrelated children outside their homes on a regular basis.

Group Day Care Home: which offers or provides a program of supplementary care to not less than seven nor more than twelve related or unrelated children on a regular basis.

Family Day Care Home: which consists of a private family home caring for not more than six children, including the provider's own children not in school full time, where the children are cared for not less than three nor more than twelve hours during a twenty-four-hour period and where care is given on a regularly recurring basis except that care may be provided in excess of twelve hours but not more than seventy-two consecutive hours to accommodate a need for extended care or intermittent short-term overnight care. During the regular school year, a maximum of three additional children who are in school full time including the provider's own children shall be permitted, except if the provider has more than three children who are in school full time, all of the provider's children shall be permitted.

In order to obtain a state license to operate a Child Day Care or Group Day Care, you must:
  • Obtain, complete and submit an application to the DPH Child Day Care Licensing Program, for review and approval.
  • In order to obtain a Bethel Health Department (BHD) local Certificate to Operate, an applicant must first apply for and receive a DPH License. BHD issues a local Certificate To Operate for Child Day Care Centers and Group Day Care Homes. Bethel Health Department does not inspect nor issue a Certificate To Operate for Family Day Care Homes.
  • Once an applicant has received state approval for a state license, BHD will inspect premises. Once local inspection confirms compliance to requirements and DPH has issued a license, a local BHD Certificate To Operate is issued. Certificate is valid for two years.
  • Local Health Inspections are mandated by law: the DPH allows and requires through state statute section 19a-82 (Formerly Sec. 19-43g) for local health department environmental inspections of Child Day Care /Group Day Care operations.
In order to obtain a state license to operate a Family Day Care Home:
  • Obtain, complete and submit an application to the DPH Child Day Care Licensing Program.
  • If the home you are planning to use as a Family Day Care Home was built before 1979 the possibility exists that the home may contain lead-based paint and lead based paint hazards. Paint chip samples will be collected from any peeling, chipping or flaking paint that is noted by a CT DPH Day Care Licensing specialist during the licensure inspection and will be submitted for laboratory analysis. If the analysis identifies any lead based paint, the local Director of Health will be notified and a lead abatement order of any defective lead-based paint surfaces will be issued if a child under the age of 6 years of age resides in your home. Lead abatement work has the potential to be very expensive. Prior to the inspection by the child care licensing specialist it is suggested that you consider hiring a certified lead consultant to conduct a visual inspection of your property in order to evaluated painted surfaces and identify potential lead hazards. If you are in a rental property it is strongly recommended you discuss the licensing process with your landlord prior to scheduling any inspections.
  • If you use a private well water supply, then water quality testing should be important to you and your family. Periodic testing should be a normal part of routine household maintenance. Have your water sampled on a regular basis. Once every 5-10 years is recommended by the State Health Department as long as tested parameters are within accepted levels. The DPH Daycare Licensing Program will require water testing demonstrate that the water is safe to drink and use. There are several CT Licensed Laboratories that provide water testing.
To obtain more information or to begin the process to open a Child Day Care Service, Group Day Care Home, and/or Family Day Care Home, please contact:

CT DPH Child Day Care Licensing Department
(800)-282-6063 or 860-509-8045
www.ct.gov/dph