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Licensing Requirements Overview

It is important for licensed providers to be knowledgeable of all of the licensing requirements that apply to their type of program. Child care consultants can make unannounced visits at any time. It's the provider's responsibility to be in compliance with all of the applicable laws and rules.


The best way for providers to make sure that they are meeting all regulations is to periodically review the child care law and rules online. The most current versions of the laws and rules that pertain to child care can be found by clicking on the links below.


Child Care Laws - Click here to see the rules in Spanish.

Child Care Rules

Child Care Sanitation Rules

Subsidized Child Care Program Rules


It is also the providerís responsibility to provide a copy of the Summary of the Law to parents when they enroll a child in your program. A printable version is available here.


Rule Changes

The North Carolina Child Care Commission has the authority to establish, and amend, rules for the licensing and regulation of Child Care Centers and Homes in North Carolina. The Commission is comprised of 17 members who are appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the House, and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Each member serves for a two year term not to exceed four consecutive terms.


The Commission considers changes to the rules that are based on recommendations from providers, parents, community members, Division staff or Commission members. The Commission is highly committed to ensuring the availability of quality child care across the state. To ensure this, Commission members must hear from providers about their opinions of North Carolina's Child Care Rules. This can be done at each Commission meeting during time that is set aside for comments from the public. The Commission meets on a quarterly basis, generally in Raleigh at the main office of the Division of Child Development and Early Education.


If you would like to receive mailings prior to any commission meetings, contact us with your name and address.


If you would like to see the rule changes that have been adopted by the Child Care Commission recently, click here.


Requirements for Summer Day Camps

Summer Day Camps are exempt from being licensed because they operate as a recreational program for fewer than four consecutive months. Many Summer Day Camps choose to become licensed. By being licensed, they are able to access funding through the Subsidized Child Care Program. Summer Day Camps are operated by a variety of providers; parks and recs., 4-H, school systems, Y's, or by private operators. You can search for Summer Day Camps through the Division's Facility Search Site.


If you are interested in receiving a Summer Day Camp application packet, it can be requested after April 1st by calling the Division at 800.859.0829 and asking to speak to a customer service representative.


View a presentation about requirements for Summer Day Camps.



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