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Delaware’s Division of Social Services (DSS) Child Care Subsidy program, also known as Purchase of Care (POC), provides financial support for all eligible families with young children. By removing the expense of childcare as a barrier to employment, we hope to promote self-sufficiency for all Delaware citizens
Additionally, the Division acknowledges that finding quality childcare is an important responsibility and that there are many factors to consider including the price, availability, location and quality of care. This consumer statement provides you with information to help you with your choice.
The Office of Child Care Licensing
The Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL) ensures that children attending childcare programs in Delaware are in a safe and healthy environment and are provided with care, supervision and developmentally appropriate activities that meet each child’s physical and emotional needs. The OCCL licenses child care homes, Large family child care home, Daycare centers, Residential child care facilities, Day treatment programs, Child placement agencies and Transitional living programs.
Click here to learn more about the different types of childcare programs.
Monitoring of Child Care Providers
All licensed programs are required to meet specific health and safety training requirements and must be inspected annually. This now includes providers who were previously exempt, if they wish to continue to serve families receiving Purchase of Care (POC).
Click here to view more information on how the Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL) monitors childcare providers.
The Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL) provides inspection reports for each on-site visit to a childcare program. This report outlines any health and safety violations noted and corrective action that must be taken by the provider.
Click here to search for the information about childcare programs and providers. One of the items about each will be the licensing history and inspection reports for that child care provider.
Criminal Background Checks
All persons 18 and over who have regular direct access to children receiving care or providing services directly to a child or children in specific categories such as licensed child care applicants, employees, volunteers, license-exempt applicants, employees, volunteers, etc. are required to have a criminal background check.
Click here for more information on the criminal background check process and requirements.
Click here for more information on offenses that prevent individuals from being employed by a childcare provider or providing childcare.
Delaware has a voluntary Quality Improvement System (QIS) called Delaware Stars for Early Success, which is available to all licensed and accredited childcare programs. The system is a way to communicate the level of quality in childcare programs. Programs are rated from star level one through five with five being the highest quality. Families can use this information to inform their choices for quality childcare. Please note: Delaware Stars is currently on hold as it is revamped.
More information will soon be out about Delaware’s quality improvement system.
You will soon be able to search for child care providers in Delaware Stars and see their quality improvement plans.
How to Report a Concern About a Child Care Provider
The Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL) investigates complaints about possible violations of licensing rules by childcare facilities. Complaints about possible child abuse or neglect at a childcare facility should be reported to the Child Abuse Report Line 24/7 at 800-292-9582.
Click here to learn more information on how to report a concern.
Childcare Resource and Referral Services
Children & Families First (CFF), a non-profit agency, provides AccessCare, a statewide child care resource and referral program. AccessCare will help you discover childcare options in your area including family childcare homes, childcare centers, pre-school programs, school age programs and summer camps. You can conduct a search online or call 800-734-2388 to speak with a childcare specialist.
Click here for more information about this service.
Services for Children and Families
The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) assists individuals and families with locating and receiving various resources and services including temporary shelter, financial assistance, childcare, developmental screenings, nutrition, medical, and community services.
Click here to learn more about any of these services.
If you have any questions regarding the information found on this website you may call 800-734-2388 and someone will be happy to assist you.