Types of Child Care

There are different types of child care providers to select from.

Child Care Centers

  • Serve seven or more children unrelated to the child care operator
  • Number of caregivers is dependent on the number and ages of the children in care
  • Certification by the State Department of Human Services (DHS) is required and is reviewed annually
  • Voluntary participation in Keystone STARS or other accredited programs

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Family Home Child Care

  • One caregiver with up to six children unrelated to the caregiver
  • State certification
  • Home setting

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Group Home Child Care

  • Serves between seven and 12 children unrelated to the child care operator
  • State certification required
  • Usually in a home setting however, can also be in another facility

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Relative Child Care

  • A relative caring for up to 3 children. A grandparent can also watch up to 3 grandchildren.
  • No state oversight and no health or safety requirements.

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The PA Department of Human Services (DHS) certifies child care providers. Every year, child care centers, group homes, and family home child care are subject to an annual inspection. The DHS is responsible for addressing all complaints and and reports of incidents that occur at all child care facilities.

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