SCDSS - Serving Children and Families


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Child Care Licensing

Overview of Requirements for Child Care Facilities

The following information highlights the requirements for the types of child care facilities that are approved, licensed, or registered by the South Carolina Department of Social Services. If you have any questions concerning the approval, licensure or registration of a child care facility, contact one of our regional offices.

Types of Child Care Facilities

Family Child Care Home - capacity of up to 6 children
Group Child Care Home - capacity of 7-12 children
Child Care Center - capacity of 13 or more children
Facility Sponsored by a Religious Entity


Family Child Care Home (FCCH)

May provide care for up to six (6) children at any given time. Registration or licensure is required if a person provides care to more than one unrelated family of children on a regular basis (more than two days a week and more than four hours a day).

Registered FCCH

  • Located in an occupied residence and have a working, listed telephone number
  • Application
  • Letters of reference
  • Written approval from their local Zoning Board
  • Statement from parents affirming that regulations have been reviewed by operator
  • State and Federal fingerprint checks on operator, all household members 15 years and older, and any substitute caregivers ($48 for operators and paid caregivers, $36 for volunteers)
  • Regular registrations expire one year from the date of issuance

Licensed FCCH

  • Located in an occupied residence and have a working, listed telephone number
  • Application
  • Letters of reference
  • Written approval from their local Zoning Board
  • Fire Inspection
  • Health / Sanitation Inspection ($60)
  • Child Care Licensing Inspection
  • State and Federal fingerprint check ($48 for operators and paid caregivers, $36 for volunteers)
  • Regular licenses expire two years from the date of issuance

Group Child Care Home (GCCH)

Applies to facilities operating with a capacity from seven (7) to twelve (12) children. May care for eight (8)children without an additional caregiver. When the attendance reaches nine or there are more than three children under the age of 24 months, an additional caregiver must be present at all times. In addition, there must be an emergency backup person available that is not included in the staff to child ratio. After August 25, 2000, a Group Child Care Home may not be operated in a separate building. A Group Child Care Home must be in the residence of the operator. If you reside in a mobile home, you may contact the State Fire Marshal's office (803-896-9800) to discuss if the structure meets Fire Codes.

  • Operator must be at least 21 years old and meet one of the following qualifications:
    1. A bachelor's degree in child development or early childhood education from an accredited college or institution;
    2. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or institution and at least six months verifiable experience as a caregiver in a licensed /approved child care facility;
    3. An associate degree in child development / early childhood education from an accredited college with one year verifiable experience as a caregiver in a licensed / approved child care facility;
    4. A diploma in child development / early childhood education from an accredited college or institution with two years verifiable experience as a caregiver in a licensed / approved child care facility;
    5. A Child Development Associate Credential (also called Early Childhood Development Certificate; or
    6. A high school diploma or General Educational Development Certificate (GED) in addition to 3 years of experience as a caregiver in a licensed / approved / registered child care facility.
  • Fire Inspection
  • Health / Sanitation Inspection ($60)
  • Child Care Licensing Inspection
  • State and Federal fingerprint checks ($48 for operators and paid caregivers, $36 for volunteers)
  • Three letters of reference
  • Zoning Approval

Child Care Center (CCC)

Applies to facilities operating with a capacity of 13 or more children. Must be licensed or approved if the program operates more than four hours a day and more than two days a week. Programs that operate less than four hours a day may keep children during school vacations and holidays and be exempt from licensing.

Licensed CCC

  • Operator must be at least 21 years old and meet one of the following qualifications:
    1. A bachelor's degree in child development or early childhood education from an accredited college or institution;
    2. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or institution and at least six months verifiable experience as a caregiver in a licensed /approved child care facility;
    3. An associate degree in child development / early childhood education from an accredited college with one year verifiable experience as a caregiver in a licensed / approved child care facility;
    4. A diploma in child development / early childhood education from an accredited college or institution with two years verifiable experience as a caregiver in a licensed / approved child care facility;
    5. A Child Development Associate Credential (also called Early Childhood Development Certificate); or
    6. A high school diploma or General Educational Development Certificate (GED) in addition to 3 years of experience as a caregiver in a licensed / approved child care facility. One of the three years experience shall be supervision of other child care staff.
  • Fire Inspection
  • Health / Sanitation Inspection ($60)
  • Child Care Licensing Inspection
  • State and Federal fingerprint checks ($48 for operators and paid caregivers, $36 for volunteers)
  • Three letters of reference
  • Zoning Approval

Approved Child Care Center

  • Applies to child care centers that are publicly funded by federal, state, county or city monies.
  • Same requirements a Licensed CCCC.

Child Care Center or Group Child Care Home Sponsored by a Religious Entity

These centers may choose to be licensed or registered.

Licensed

  • Same requirements a Licensed CCC.

Registered

  • Fire Inspection
  • Health / Sanitation Inspection ($60)
  • State and Federal fingerprint checks ($48 for operators and paid caregivers, $36 for volunteers)
  • Caregiver/volunteer with CPR and First Aid certification during all hours of operation
  • Zoning Approval

Contact(s):

Leigh Bolick, Director

Child Care Services

Rita Paul, Director

Child Care Licensing and Regulatory Services

Gary Rice, Program Manager

Child Care Licensing and Regulatory Services

Mailing Address:

South Carolina

Department of Social Services

2638 Two Notch Road, Suite 200

Columbia, South Carolina 29204

Telephone:

(803) 898-9020

Fax:

(803) 898-9029

   

South Carolina Department of Social Services

P.O. Box 1520 ? Columbia, SC 29202-1520

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