Latest DELACARE: Regulations Information

Dec. 1, 2021: Updated Child Care Guidance

To Licensed Family, Large Family, and Center Child Care Providers,

  1. Effective January 1, 2022, all CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) initial certifications as well as renewal certifications must contain the hands-on skill demonstration component to be acceptable to OCCL.  Refer to Center Regulation #35 A 2 and Family/Large Family Regulation #56A.  The temporary waiving of this requirement will no longer be in place as of January 1, 2022.  Any certifications issued prior to January 1, 2022 and already submitted to OCCL without the hands-on skills demonstration will remain valid until they expire.

2: The variance granted by OCCL on the use of interns in centers will continue.  The variance pertains to center regulations 24K and 87D.   As a reminder:

A: How interns will be used in an individual child care center is the decision of each facility until the variance is withdrawn by OCCL.  Providers will be informed at least 30 days in advance of any change.

B: A licensed child care center may follow the current DELACARE Regulations regarding the use of Early Childhood or School-Age Interns or may follow the modified requirements shown below.  An Intern may be alone with children after meeting these requirements:

  • Is qualified as at least an early childhood or school-age intern by Delaware First or DEEDS Early Learning;
  • Is at least 18 years old;
  • Has been determined eligible by the Criminal History Unit after completion of a comprehensive background check; and
  • Has at least one month of employment at the current center and has been oriented to the policies and procedures of that center and DELACARE Regulations.

It is recommended that centers place their more experienced staff with the younger children they serve.  Remember, an Early Childhood or School-Age Aide may never be alone with children.

Please contact your licensing specialist with any questions.

The Office of Child Care Licensing

Department of Education

Oct. 29, 2021:Updated Guidance for Exempt Child Care Providers

Certain types of care are not considered “child care” under Delaware Code and DELACARE Regulations. The following facilities that run for less than 24 hours per day do not need a license:

  • Youth camps that provide care for only school-age children and are issued permits from public health (Please note: Beginning the summer of 2022, youth camps that accept Purchase of Care must be licensed. Contact the Office of Child Care Licensing for more information  DELACARE: Regulations for Youth Camps )
  • Programs run by the State of Delaware;
  • Summer religion classes that last less than a month, for example, vacation bible school;
  • Programs that have an onsite child care center where parents do not leave;
  • Programs that offer free activities for children, who are school-age, where children can come and go as they please, and there is no agreement with parents that care is provided;
  • Programs that offer school-age care on a limited basis in order to meet an emergency or special need, or only during school in-service days, school holidays, or school vacations;
  • Programs that solely provide lessons or classes, for example, tutoring, music, a sport, dancing, karate, or painting; and
  • Programs run by schools that provide regular and thorough instruction through at least the 6th grade that are registered with the Department of Education. Please note: Senate Bill #169 of the Delaware State 151st General Assembly removed this exemption.  As of January 1, 2023, any child care, “including early education programs for children below the grade of kindergarten that are operated by public or private schools” must be licensed by the Office of Child Care Licensing.  Only the early education program must be licensed and follow DELACARE Regulations for Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers.  Register for a virtual Information Session to learn more.  This is the first step toward licensure so start early!  

10/9/20: New DELACARE: Regulations for Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers for 2020

Good Afternoon Child Care Community,

The revised DELACARE regulations can be read from the link are below:

10.9.20_OCCL_New DELACARE Regulations for CENTERS

The changes are as follows:

  • Programs that offer school-age care on a limited basis in order to meet an emergency need or special need, or only during school in-service days, school holidays, or school vacations are now exempt from being licensed;
  • To comply with the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, proof of a blood lead test was added as a required component for each child age 12 months and older when enrolled in child care. (This regulation will not be enforced until 12/1/21);
  • All licensed child care programs, including school-age programs operating in a public school, are required to have a lead-risk assessment when operating in a building that was built before 1978 and must remedy any identified lead-paint hazards;
  • School-age programs operating in a public school must have radon testing performed;
  • The radon testing requirements were revised to state that testing must be performed in each room used for child care;
  • Substitutes who work less than 25 hours per week are exempt from annual training requirements and from having a professional development plan;
  • The provision allowing 15-passenger vans that were leased or purchased before 1998 to be used is no longer permitted;
  • OCCL moved from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families to the Department of Education on July 1, 2020. Therefore, the definition of department was changed as well as references to the division director and the division’s role; and
  • References to Title 31 were stricken and replaced with Title 14 due to the change in departments.
  • Radon testing requirements and mitigation if necessary were added to the relocation procedures;
  • Verbal requests for appeals of warning of probation or probation are permitted and written requests are required for all other appeal requests;
  • Warning of probation may initially last up to six months and may be renewed;
  • Probation may initially last up to one year and may be renewed;
  • Written evidence of follow-up of any known health condition of the staff member affecting or potentially affecting his or her ability to care for children is required to be on file before the staff member returns to work;
  • If a person is determined ineligible, the licensee shall make the final determination on whether to hire or retain the person;
  • Attendance for staff members and children must be documented at the time of arrival in and departure from the classroom;
  • Due to travel distance that may be required by licensing specialists, the 9 AM delivery deadline for suspension orders was changed to 11 AM;
  • The center’s phone must be on-site;
  • Volunteers for field trips and routine program outings may not be left alone with children other than their own children, unless they had a comprehensive background check and were determined eligible;
  • Files for volunteers must be on-site;
  • All the policies and procedures required for the employee handbook were grouped together;
  • Participation in supervised experience must be approved by OCCL in advance;
  • Disputes over noncompliance cited at visits or complaints may be handled via telephone;
  • Juice may not be fed to infants;
  • School buses may be used to transport children;
  • Requirements for employees or volunteers who transport children on the center’s behalf were made clear;
  • Gates on outdoor fencing must move freely when opened and not be hindered by scraping the ground;
  • In emergency situations when a child needs a prescribed Epipen or Diastat medication, administer the medication before calling 9-1-1 or have someone call 9-1-1, while it is being administered; and
  • An eye patch or eye pad is required in the first aid kit, rather than an eye patch or dressing.

If you have any questions, please contact your licensing specialist.  For currently licensed providers, these new regulations take effect on March 1, 2021, except for the proof of a blood lead level test for children older than 12 months; that takes effect 12/1/2021.

We hope that things are back to normal long before then,

Kelly McDowell

Resource and Development Administrator

April 23, 2021: New DELACARE: Regulations for FCC & Large FCC

Good Afternoon Family and Large Family Providers,

DELACARE: Regulations for Family and Large Family Child Care Homes were changed in January of 2021.  Many of these changes are minor and do not require you to do anything.  The 8 changes that you will want to pay close attention to are shown below and underlined.  Except for the blood lead test, OCCL will monitor compliance with these regulations beginning July 1, 2021. 4.23.21_OCCL_New DELACARE Regulations for FCC & Lg FCC

The changes from the current regulations are as follows:

  • School-age household members, ages five to 12 years of age, not attending school outside of the home, count toward the capacity as preschool-age children (This regulation applies to children who are home-schooled, not school-age household members participating in virtual learning from their school district); 
  • To comply with the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, proof of a blood lead test was added as a required component for each child age 12 months and older when enrolled in child care (this regulation will not be enforced until 12/1/21);
  • The radon testing requirements were revised to state that testing must be performed in each room used for child care;
  • Radon testing requirements and mitigation, if necessary were added to the relocation procedures;
  • The provision allowing 15-passenger vans that were leased before 1998 to be used is no longer permitted;
  • Poisonous or aggressive animals may not be kept in rooms used by children; 
  • Juice may not be fed to infants; 
  • A licensee shall ensure activities and materials are adapted to support all children’s learning, including a child with disabilities or other special needs, to benefit from the program;
  • Written evidence of follow-up of any known health condition of the substitute or staff member that pose a direct threat to the health or safety of children and any reasonable accommodations that may be required. affecting or potentially affecting his or her ability to care for children is required to be on file before the staff member returns to work;
  • Due to travel distance that may be required by licensing specialists, the 9 AM delivery deadline for suspension orders was changed to 11 AM;
  • Disputes over noncompliance cited at visits or complaints may be handled via telephone;
  • OCCL moved from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families to the Department of Education on July 1, 2020. Therefore, the definition of department was changed as well as references to the division director and the division’s role;
  • References to Title 31 were stricken and replaced with Title 14 due to the change in departments;
  • Verbal requests for appeals of warning of probation or probation are permitted and written requests are required for all other appeal requests;
  • Warning of probation may initially last up to six months and may be renewed;
  • Probation may initially last up to one year and may be renewed;
  • Applicants and licensees who have a child or children currently or permanently removed from their custody because of abuse, neglect, or dependency are prohibited from providing child care; and
  • After receiving an eligibility determination, a person who is determined ineligible or prohibited under the DELACARE Regulations – Background Checks for Child Serving Entities, is entitled to an administrative review for reconsideration. If the person requests an administrative review, the licensee and the person shall be bound by the final decision of the administrative review.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact your license specialist.

All the best, 

Kelly McDowell

Resource and Development Administrator 

Delaware’s Office of Child Care Licensing

Phone: 302-222-3319

Email: Kelly.McDowell@doe.k12.de.us

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