blog article

state by state guide to child care licensing


Every State Has it’s Own Laws

Every state has it’s own nuances when it comes to laws and regulations, and child care licensing is no exception.

Child care regulations and licensing procedures are governed and monitored by each individual state to meet that particular State’s regulations.  Many of the regulations are the same, with slight variations.  And then there are States that go completely out on their own. 

Therefore, we have created a master list for you to use as a state by state guide to child care licensing. 

The differences between requirements can be very subtle, but as Architects that specialize in the child care industry, we stay on top of what each state requires.  We closely monitor when various states change or update their local regulations.

For instance, most states require 35 square feet per child, which coincides with the International Building Code.  But there are always exceptions to the rule; Alabama, for instance, requires 32 sf per child instead.  And then Mississippi reduces the area requirement even further, down to 25 square feet per child.  Then there are the states like West Virginia, who require different area calculations based on the age of the children in the classroom.

Do you know what the rules are for when the State licensing requirements conflict with the National Building Code?  We do, we’ve got your back!  We know exactly when to follow which rules so that when we design your childcare facility, you won’t get burned at the end of construction.

Over the years of having worked with individual childcare owners, we’ve also learned tricks of the trade for how to deal with the variety of requirements that each State mandates.

We know how to plan for a classroom to be two different age groups.

We know how to accommodate the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) while still complying with Texas State childcare licensing regulations.

To help you learn the many variations involved too, we’ve compiled and organized the most pertinent childcare state licensing regulations into an organized and easy way to get the data you need quickly!

Below is each state, listed Alphabetically, with links to our information database.  And to the right of each state is the childcare indoor space requirements for that state.

Overall, the most stringent states when it comes to childcare regulations and indoor area per child are Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

The lease stringent states are Mississippi and North Carolina.

Take a moment to explore our database map here.  The list above are the cliff notes to the map that contains more detailed information.  It will help you navigate our state by state guide to child care licensing.

To see how we can help you accomplish your construction dreams, get in touch with Calbert Design Group today.

If you’re considering building a new daycare center, learn more about the real estate and property development process that Rebecca teaches her clients.  Check out her blog article, How to Develop Real Estate.