|Regulation in Iowa for Child Care
Registered Child Development Homes Iowa law limits the number of children a home may provide child care for, whether the home is registered or not. A nonregistered child care home may care for up to five children. A home caring for six children must be registered.
Under registration a provider self-certifies in writing that they do and will meet the minimum requirements in all areas of child development home operation. In issuing a registration certificate, the Department of Human Services is stating that you have certified that you comply with these requirements. Responsibility for making sure the requirements are met rests primarily with the provider, the parents of children in the provider's care and the community.
Licensed Child Care Center and Preschool
Iowa law limits the number of children a center may provide child care for without a license or registration as a child development home. A provider caring for six or more children must be registered and when a center cares for seven or more children it must be licensed.
Under licensing a provider applies for a license and the facility is visited and evaluated by a professional staff person who determines if the minimum regulatory requirements are meet or if there is an acceptable plan to meet all the standards before a license is issued. In issuing a license, the Department of Human Service is stating that the provider meets the necessary requirements.
Public and Accredited Nonpublic Schools
The Board of Directors of a public district or an accredited nonpublic school may operate or contract for the operation of a program to provide child care to children on property owned or leased by the board.
A child care program operated by or under contract of a public or an accredited nonpublic school system located on school premises has the option to be licensed by the Department of Human Services or meet the Early Childhood Guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education. If a public or an accredited nonpublic school system chooses to follow the Early Childhood Guidelines the person responsible for the program must hold an appropriate teaching license from the Board of Educational Examiners. Public and accredited nonpublic schools are monitored by professional staff to determine if the school systems meet the regulatory requirements to be an accredited educational program. In issuing the school an accreditation status, the Department of Education is stating that the school meets the necessary requirements.
A child care program operated by or under contract of a public or an accredited nonpublic school system not located on school premises must be licensed by the Department of Human Services.
Quality Rating System
Iowa now has a Quality Rating System (QRS). It is a voluntary program that offers providers a guided way to improve the quality of child care they provide.
For more information, goto: www.dhs.state.ia.us/iqrs.