As a parent, you want to ensure that the facility and individuals you entrust with your child’s safety fulfill their promises. While you may have a few daycare facilities in mind and know the essentials of what to look for, it is imperative that you also understand the licensing requirements for daycare facilities in Florida. These requirements are what protect children the most – and facilities that fail to meet these requirements will not have a valid license in the state. In addition, by understanding these requirements, you can also get a better idea of what you should look for in a potential daycare provider or facility.

What requirements must daycare facilities meet for licensing in Florida?

Daycare facilities have to meet certain worker qualifications, provider-to-child ratios, and training requirements in order to be licensed in Florida. However, in some situations—such as meeting the minimum state requirements for how many care workers should be present per child—there are other things to look for besides proper licensing.

Worker Qualifications

To be a licensed child care worker, an individual must be at least 21 years or older. Inquire about the ages of any care workers – including volunteers – to ensure that they are of legal age. 

Provider and Child Ratios

These are critical. While the state has their minimum requirements, you need to know how many care workers should be present per child – this ensures your child is adequately supervised and given the attention he or she deserves. The state requires a smaller ratio for younger children because they have more extensive needs – from diaper changes to regular feedings and the requirement of human contact. The state does not regulate maximum group sizes; but, as a parent, you do not want a facility that has an overabundance of children present at a single time, regardless of whether or not they are using the proper ratio of caregivers to children.Some ratios to keep in mind when you look for childcare facilities include:

  • 6 Weeks – 4:1
  • 9 Months – 4:1
  • 18 Months – 6:1
  • 27 Months – 11:1
  • 3 Years – 15:1
  • 4 Years – 20:1
  • 5+ Years – 25:1

There are also requirements for the ratios for a smaller child care facility. If your child is staying at a residence rather than a commercial facility, they can only have a maximum of 10 children with no more than five being preschool age, including the provider’s own children if they are under the age of 13.

Training Requirements

To be licensed, there are specific training requirements as well, which include:

  • Child Care Personnel – Must complete 40 hours of department-approved training and pass a competency exam. Also must complete a minimum of 10 hours of in-service training. This does not apply to volunteers or those that work less than 40 hours, as long as they are supervised constantly by a licensed member.
  • Family Home Daycare – Must complete 30 hours of department-approved training and pass a competency exam. Must also complete a minimum of 10 hours of in-service training each year.
  • Large Family Child Care – Must complete 40 hours of approved training, pass a competency exam, and complete 10 hours of supervised training each year.

What do I do if my child was injured due to inadequate daycare training?

Despite these requirements, there are facilities out there that are licensed even though they fail to meet the demands of the state. These facilities are not only breaking the law, but acting negligently. If your child is injured at a facility that fails to meet these safety guidelines, you should not only report them to the state licensing agency, but hold them accountable for their negligence.

free consultation Free Consultation
Ready to get started?
Find a lawyer near you today.