Laws, Rules and Related Policies
Indiana Code 12-17.2 establishes the authority for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning, to regulate child care in the state. It also authorizes the office to adopt rules to implement the federal Child Care and Development Fund voucher program administered by the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning for the state. Following are the laws (*updated August 2018):
- IC 12-17.2-2 Chapter 2. General Powers and Duties of the Division *
- IC 12-17.2-2.5 Chapter 2.5. Child Care Advisory Committees *
- IC 12-17.2-3.5 Chapter 3.5. Eligibility of Child Care Provider to Receive Reimbursement Through Voucher Program *
- IC 12-17.2-4 Chapter 4. Regulation of Child Care Centers *
- IC 12-17.2-5 Chapter 5. Regulation of Child Care Homes *
- IC 12-17.2-6 Chapter 6. Regulation of Child Care Ministries *
- IC 12-17-12 Chapter 12 School Age Child Care Project Fund (establishes the authority for the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning to make grants to approved applicants for the establishment and maintenance of a school age child care program)
For the legal definition of a child care center, child care home, child care ministry, Class I child care home, or Class II child care home as contained in IC 12-7-2, or the definition of a school age child care program as contained in IC 12-17-12-5, please click here.
For legislation that was passed for child care ministries on July 1, 2020, please click here.
For information on programs exempt from licensure (IC 12-17.2-2-8), please click here.
In partnership, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and the Indiana Department of Education have created the following Frequently Asked Questions document for issues related to the intersection of non-public (private) schools and early childhood programs serving children under the age of five. Click here to view the FAQ document.
The following administrative rules have been promulgated based upon the above laws:
- 470 IAC 3-1.1 Rule 1.1 Child Care Homes
- 470 IAC 3-1.2 Rule 1.2 Infant and Toddler Services in a Child Care Home
- 470 IAC 3-1.3 Rule 1.3 Class II Child Care Homes
- 470 IAC 3-4.5 Rule 4.5 Child Care Facilities; Registered Day Care Ministries
- 470 IAC 3-4.6 Rule 4.6 School Age Child Care Program
- 470 IAC 3-4.7 Rule 4.7 Child Care Centers; Licensing
- 470 IAC 3-4.8 Rule 4.8 Emergency or Temporary Closure of Child Care Centers and Child Care Homes
- 470 IAC 3-18 Rule 18 Child Care Development Fund Voucher Program; Provider Eligibility
The following rule was promulgated by the Indiana State Department of Health. Licensed child care centers and unlicensed registered child care ministries, whether cooking or vending, must comply with this rule:
Within the child care laws/rules, references may be made to compliance with other agencies' laws/rules (Indiana State Department of Health; Indiana Department of Environmental Management; State Fire Marshal, now known as Indiana Department of Homeland Security). These laws/rules may be found at http://iga.in.gov/. You may also contact each agency at http://www.in.gov/isdh (Indiana State Department of Health); http://www.in.gov/idem (Indiana Department of Environmental Management); http://www.in.gov/dhs (Indiana Department of Homeland Security).
- Interpretative guide for child care center rules
- Interpretative guide for child care home rules
- Interpretative guide for child care home rules (changes effective 7/01/2016)
- Interpretative guide for unlicensed registered child care ministry rules
- Interpretive guide for Voluntary Certification Program
- Policy and procedures manual for Voluntary Certification Program
- Voluntary Certification Program standards
Within the child care rules and policies, references may be made to compliance with the Caring for Our Children, National Health and Safety Performance Standards Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, third edition, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. Below is the PDF version for this resource.
All applicants with a GED must provide verification from the website listed below. This is a one-time verification and cost.
Individuals requesting GED verification must use Indiana's GED document fulfillment service, Diploma Sender: https://www.diplomasender.com/. A copy of the verification costs $15.
If the individual has trouble registering an account or locating his/her record, he/she needs to send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining the issue and providing contact information.
Once you log on to the website, you will need to create a username on the left hand side then continue completing the information requested. You must have an email address to continue. If you do not have an email address, you may call the company at the number provided on the home page in the left hand side.
Acceptable conditions for re-opening of child care facilities following flood damage
Click here for a list of acceptable conditions that must be adhered to in order for a child care facility to re-open following flood damage.
Unlicensed registered child care ministries: annual checks of child abuse and neglect substantiations
Unlicensed registered child care ministries were notified by letter dated August 20, 2007, that in accordance with IC 12-17.2-6-14(C), the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning would begin conducting annual checks of child abuse and neglect substantiations for all applicants (persons signing the ministry application); and on employees and volunteers, who interact with children, at an unlicensed registered child care ministry. These checks began October 1, 2007.
Child care centers: annual checks of child abuse and neglect substantiations
Child care centers were notified by letter dated July 20, 2007, that in accordance with IC 12-17.2-4-5(a) and IC 12-17.2-4-32(a), the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning would begin conducting annual checks of child abuse and neglect substantiations for all applicants, employees and volunteers of child care centers who have direct contact, on a regular and continuous basis, with children. These checks began October 1, 2007.
Effective 10-1-06: Important safe sleep policy information for licensed child care homes
Public Law 162-2005 requires that all licensed child care homes and all licensed-exempt child care homes receiving CCDF voucher dollars participate in a state approved "Safe Sleep" training. All affected child care home providers were notified by letter that September 30, 2006, was the deadline for completing this training.
Click here for the safe sleep policy update that affected licensed child care home providers that had not completed the mandatory training by September 30, 2006.
Effective 10-1-06: Important safe sleep policy information for legally license exempt homes eligible for CCDF voucher payments
Click here for the safe sleep policy update that affected LLEP home providers who are eligible to receive CCDF payments and had not completed the mandatory training by September 30, 2006.