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Summary information on some of the regulations
(The information below is provided as a convenience to interested parties, it is highly recommended that the actual regulations be viewed, as the information contained below is a non-expert summary.  Links to the current regulations are provided)

General Information
This document summarizes some of the elements in a Child Care environment which have been identified as key to meeting a child's developmental needs. What cannot be set out in regulations is the manner in which a caregiver interacts with a child.  This element must be observed and judged carefully by a parent.  To help parents carefully review child care options please review our detailed child care questionnaire.

Child Care Staff Ratios and Group Size The number of caregiving staff to the number of children is critical to the quality of care and interaction your child will receive.  The overall size of the group also has a significant impact on the quality of interaction.  Larger groups generate more noise, tension and related stresses.
Child Care Space Requirements
The amount of physical space for each child to play impacts a child's ability to have sufficient room to explore and to play without feeling over crowded.  There needs to be adequate space indoors and out.
  Child Care Staff Education Requirements Numerous studies have shown that better trained staff provide higher quality care.  

KNOW THE RULES - PROTECT YOUR CHILD

Click Here to view the full set of Pennsylvania Child Care Group Home Regulations

Pennsylvania Group Home Child Care Ratios(while related or foster children of the operator or a staff person are not counted in the number of children severed (i.e. more than 12/15 children may be in care) these children are counted in the Provider to Child Ratio.  Chick here to see the Pennsylvania Children of the operator or a facility person regulation)

Age Group Age Range Ratio Provider to Child1 Max in a Group2 Ratio during Nap Periods
Infants 0-12 months 1 care giver to every 4 children 12 1 to 4
Young Toddlers 13-24 months 1 care giver to every 5 children 12 1 to 5
Older Toddlers 25-36 months 1 care giver to every 6 children 12 1 to 12
PreSchool 37 months – until 1st day of 1st grade 1 care giver to every 10 children 12 1 to 20
Young School Age 1st grade – until 1st day of 4th grade 1 care giver to every 12 children 12 1 to 24
Older School Age 4th grade – 15 years of age 1 care giver to every 15 children 15 1 to 30
  1. If the group is of mixed ages, the ratio for the youngest child in the group applies to the entire group.
  2. A group is defined as the number of children who may be assigned to one or two staff persons. A group occupies a space or a defined part of a space.

Click here to see the Pennsylvania Group Home Ratio Requirement regulation.

 

Pennsylvania Group Home Child Physical Space Requirements

Age Group Age Range

Sq. ft of care space per child1

Playground Sq. ft required3

Infants 0-12 months

40

40

Young Toddlers 13-24 months

40

50

Older Toddlers 25-36 months

40

50

PreSchool 37 months – until 1st day of 1st grade

40

65

Young School Age 1st grade – until 1st day of 4th grade

40

65

Older School Age 4th grade – 15 years of age

40

65

  1. Square feet is the amount of space available in a room, measuring from permanent wall to permanent wall, less any significant ‘cutouts’. The number of children in a room cannot exceed the space of that room, regardless of the overall center capacity.

    Space may be 'overcrowded' during Nap time and Meal time, for children over 24 months, for a maximum of 2 1/2 hours per day. Space may never be over crowded for Infants and Young toddlers.
  2. Playground space required is based on the number of children using the playground at one time. A reasonable amount of playground space, to allow all children playground use, must be available. Playground space cannot be counted in the care space. Playground space may be indoor or outdoor space, suitable for Large Motor activities.

Pennsylvania Child Care Group Home Measurement and use of Indoor child care space

 

Pennsylvania Child Care Staffing Levels & Education Requirements

Pennsylvania Group Home Staffing: There are two (2) 'levels' of staff.  Primary and Secondary.

  • Primary: A high school diploma or general educational development certificate and at least two years of experience with children.  Post secondary education can used to replace the experience requirement.  A primary staff person is responsible for the supervision of children receiving care in the facility.  Click here to see Pennsylvania Group Home Primary staff person qualifications and responsibilities regulation.
  • Secondary staff person: Must have at least a high school diploma or general education development certificate or an 8th grade education and acceptable training or an 8th grade education and 2 years experience.  Secondary Staff person's performance must be supervised by a primary staff person.  Click here to see Pennsylvania Group Home Secondary staff person qualifications and responsibilities regulation.

If you feel your child's day care environment does not meet any of the above regulations please visit our  Suggestion to help resolve problems at your child's Day Care page and also contact your State Child Day Care Regulatory Agency.

 

 

  Send mail to pat@forkidssakecc.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 12/07/09