~ Our Mission: To ensure safeguards and enhance quality for children in out-of-home care. ~

About the Search for Licensed Child Care


Why is this information important?

Selecting the right child care provider for your child is a very important decision. This site is here to provide information that can be used to make the best decision for your child. In selecting child care there are many things that should be considered. Here are some helpful links that will provide guidelines to selecting quality child care:

Helpful Information Concerning This Site

Only Licensed Providers are listed on this site.  Providers currently under a Suspension Order will not be shown nor will any Providers who were previously licensed but do not currently hold an active license. If a someone you believe to be a Child Care Provider is not listed that means they do not have a license to provide care in Delaware.

It is important to note that the Office of Child Care Licensing’s website provides only a “snapshot” view of information on Licensed Providers.  More detailed information is available at the Office of Child Care Licensing.

The Office of Child Care Licensing feels that it is only fair to advise anyone viewing the compliance history of Licensed Providers of factors that should be considered when reviewing information on this site: 

  • Providers have been learning to implement new requirements established on January 1, 2007 for Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers and Rules for Family Child Care Homes and Large Family Child Care Homes which became effective on January 1, 2009.  This was the first time that the Rules were changed since 1988 and 1994 respectively.
  • Limitations in our data system do not allow for showing when non-compliances are corrected.  Non-compliances are generally corrected immediately by Providers whenever possible.
  • The citation of a Rule is only “shorthand” for a much longer Rule.  In each Rule there may be several subsets or requirements.  It is important to review the specific Rule for the type of care to better understand the Rule in is entirety. All rules may be found at Regulations and Exemptions.
  • Providers are accountable for correcting any non-compliance and if they fail to do so may be subject to enforcement actions such as Warning of Probation, Probation or Revocation.  Those Providers that do not make the corrections may also show as being under such an enforcement action.

Licensed Providers will appreciate your consideration of the above when assessing which Provider you will select. It is suggested that you fairly weigh the non-compliances along with many other factors. A “file review” offers the public the opportunity to obtain additional information about the current status of corrections of non-compliances, the specifics of any “complaint” and/or the reasons for and history of “enforcement actions”.  To obtain additional information about specific Providers, the public may request to do a “file review” by contacting the Office of Child Care Licensing.  To arrange to review the record of a licensed child care provider contact:

New Castle County
DSCYF/Office of Child Care Licensing
1825 Faulkland Road, Wilmington, DE 19805
302-892-5800
FAX: 302-633-5112

Kent & Sussex Counties
DSCYF/Office of Child Care Licensing
821 Silver Lake Boulevard, Suite 103, Dover, DE 19904
302-739-5487 or 1-800-822-2236
FAX: 302-739-6589

Enforcement Actions of WARNING OF PROBATION and PROBATION are noted in red in both the Provider Alphabetical Listing and on the individual Provider Screen directly under the Provider Name and Type of Licensed Care.  This information is current.  Definitions for Warning of Probation and Probation are contained in the Definition section further down.

Due to limitations of the electronic data, it is not possible to show a chronology of imposition of Suspension, Warning of Probation, Probation, Denial of a License or Revocation of a License.

However, this is available along with other more in-depth information through a “file review”. Additional visits may be made to Providers throughout the year.  Licensing Specialists will make additional visits when monitoring to ensure that corrections have been made to non-compliances, that Providers are fulfilling the terms of any Corrective Action Plan or Agreement of Understanding, to investigate complaints or to provide technical assistance.

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Helpful Definitions

Enforcement Actions

Enforcement Actions are taken to promote compliance with the licensing requirements when conferences, technical assistance and other actions have not resulted in compliance or when it is necessary to take immediate steps to provide protection to children in care. Enforcement also involves a process. This process has two strategies. One strategy is to focus on monitoring the provider to ensure that provider is making progress toward or has come into compliance with the licensing requirements and remains in compliance. This occurs under a Warning of Probation or a Probationary status. However, when a Provider has demonstrated a pattern of non-compliance with DELACARE Rules or a significant event has occurred that impacts child safety a different strategy is used. The second strategy is to stop the operation through a Suspension Order or Revocation of the license. These actions are described below.

Enforcement Type

Description

Warning of Probation

A warning is intended to alert the facility that it has committed or accumulated sufficient serious violations of licensing requirements which, if not promptly corrected, could lead to a recommendation to place the facility on probation A "Warning of Probation" may remain in effect for a period up to two (2) years even though the violations that led to the Warning may have been corrected.

Probation

This is imposed when a facility has clearly demonstrated a continual inability to comply with licensing requirements, has committed a potentially serious violation of licensing requirements, or has violated the terms of the license. Probation is a written warning, approved by the Division Director, which directs the licensee to correct all noncompliance and to continue to maintain compliance or else face revocation or denial of the license. The purpose of probation is to give a licensee a last opportunity to demonstrate its ability and intent to comply with licensing requirements. Probation may be in effect for up to two (2) years.

Suspension Order

When the Office of Child Care Licensing has assessed that a situation constitutes risk to the health, safety or well-being of children in care exists a Suspension Order is issued. Such an Order requires that the Child Care operation close no later than the end of the business day. This action may be as a result of a violation of applicable licensing laws, an allegation of a violation of laws related to child abuse or neglect, or licensing requirement(s). Temporary Suspension Orders are intended to prevent facilities from providing care by suspending their license until such time as violations have been corrected, or the investigation of allegations of child abuse and neglect has been completed and a final determination made and the assessment concludes that the health, safety and well-being of children who would be under the care of the provider would not be compromised. Should the investigation determine that significant risk continues to exist the Office of Child Care Licensing may move to revoke the license to operate.

Revocation

The process of rescinding a license during the effective dates of a license is termed "revocation". This constitutes withdrawal of official permission to operate. The reasons for recommendation for revocation of a license must be related to a violation of applicable licensing laws, a violation of laws related to child abuse or neglect, or failure to comply with licensing requirements. Evidence in the licensing record must substantiate that the facility is unable or unwilling to comply with the requirement.

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Other Licensing Terms

Licensing Term

Description

Non-Compliance

This is any failure to comply with any licensing Rule or Requirement. Non-compliance may be found through a compliant received by OCCL or during a compliance review conducted by a Licensing Specialist such as during an unannounced or annual licensure renewal visit. Whenever possible a non-compliance is corrected immediately.  A specific date for coming into compliance is issued for each non-compliance.

Complaint

A complaint is an accusation that a licensed facility is not in compliance with the licensing requirements (Delacare) or the licensing law (Delaware Code, Title 31 Welfare, Part I, Chapter 3 Child Welfare, Subchapter III, Subsections 341-345 The Delaware Child Care Act). Complaints may be written or oral and may be anonymous.

The Office of Child Care Licensing investigates allegations concerning non-compliance with Delacare Requirements/Rules.

A complaint regarding licensing Rules/Requirements is "substantiated" when it is determined, through an investigative process, that there is sufficient evidence to support the allegations contained in the complaint.

A complaint may also be "unsubstantiated with concern". This finding is made when evidence cannot be found to determine that the allegations contained in the complaint have merit. During the course of the investigation other issues of non-compliance may be documented. The "concern" would be based on other non-compliance issues noted.

The Institutional Abuse Unit of the Office of Children’s Services conducts investigations into allegations of child abuse or neglect that occur in licensed child care programs. This investigation is coordinated with the Office of Child Care Licensing but the responsibility for these investigations and determinations of any findings is that of the Institutional Abuse Unit.

Agreement of Understanding

An Agreement of Understanding (AOU) sets forth the terms under which a Provider may continue to provide care when there has been a violation that provides concern should it continue. An AOU is established when a set of circumstances or a situation exists or has existed that has resulted in a violation of Delacare Rules. The AOU sets down specific conditions under which the Provider must operate the child care service. This may include but is not limited to excluding persons from residing in a Family Child Care Home or restricting their presence to non-child care hours, prohibiting certain individuals from doing child care, limiting the times during which child care may be provided, requiring notices of specific events to OCCL.

Corrective Action Plan

A Corrective Action Plan is a written understanding of the non-compliances that need to be corrected and the latest date by which they need to be corrected. This may include other specific actions needed to correct the non-compliance such as specific training sessions that must be attended, specific topic areas and number of hours that need to be completed, repairs that need to be done, items in personnel or children's files that need to be included in those files or supplying other documentation.

Corrective Action Plans should be completed as quickly as possible. Some non-compliances noted in the Corrective Action Plan are corrected before the Licensing Specialist leaves the child care facility/home. It is the obligation of the Provider/Licensee to be in compliance at all times and returning to full compliance at the earliest possible time is the goal. Consideration of the time allowed to correct a non-compliance is given when the corrective action is not completely within the control of the Provider/Licensee. Examples of such circumstances include: the availability of training, schedules of inspection agents, i.e. Fire Marshal, Zoning, repairs that need to be completed by outside contractors.

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