Job & Family Services Early Learning and Development
Child Care In Ohio

 How Can ODJFS Help Me With Child Care?

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) licenses Ohio Early Learning and Development programs and helps parents who are working or in school pay for child care through the Publicly Funded Child Care (PFCC) program.  To obtain additional information on eligibility for publicly funded child care, please click here.

ODJFS licensed programs are defined by Ohio Law as "child day care": Administering to the needs of children outside of school hours by persons other than their parents or guardians on a less than twenty four hour basis. Some types of child care must be regulated in Ohio; other types of child care may operate without a license*.

Licensed programs are inspected prior to and after receiving a license verify compliance with state and federal requirements. In addition, programs will also be investigated in response to complaints received through ODJFS.

Parents can search the ODJFS Search For Early Learning and Development Programs page for care by county, city, zip code, program type, quality, and self-reported program specific information.  The license child care center and Type A Home programs within the search provide program information, licensure details, and ODJFS inspection results.   Information for Type B Homes can be obtained through your local County Department of Job and Family Services (CDJFS).

What Types of Child Care Are Right For Me?

While searching for a child care provider, it is important to understand the different types of care available so the provider can meet you and your child’s need.  ODJFS licenses the following types of Early Learning and Development programs: child care centers, Type A Homes, and a Type B Homes.   Care can also include school age programs and day camps.  The types of care  are listed below:

Child Care Centers -13 or more children at one time, 7 to 12 children if not in   home.

Type A Homes -7 to 12 children (or 4 to 12 children if 4 children are under 2 years of age) cared for in the provider’s home. The provider's own children under 6 years of age must be included in the total count.

Type B homes serving children through the publicly funded child care program -1 to 6 children cared for in the provider's personal home. No more than three children may be under the age of two. The provider's own children under six years of age must be included in the total count. Type B Homes are only licensed by ODJFS if they serve, or intend to serve, children through the publicly funded child care program. Please note: anyone can operate a Type B Home without a license.

Child day camps - A program which cares for only school age children and operates for less than seven hours each day during the time school is not in session, and the program operates at least 50% outdoors. Child day camps must register with ODJFS each year. To receive reimbursement for publicly funded child care, the child day camp must be accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA) and submit the certificate annually with the day camp registration.

What Are the Benefits of a Licensed Program?

A licensed program can provide a parent and child with regulated, quality care through state and federal requirements monitored by ODJFS for compliance.  This can include healthy and safety, staff Professional Development training, CPR and First Aid, background checks, and additional monitoring inspections, as needed.  In addition, children can receive additional early learning supports through the participation of licensed programs in Ohio’s 5-star Quality Rating and Improvement System, Step Up To Quality. Step Up To Quality recognizes learning and development programs that exceed licensing health and safety standards, family and community engagement, health promotion, staff professional development, and child development standards.  

An unlicensed program is a program that is not monitored by any entity and is not required to meet any standards of safety, health, staffing, or early learning. This can include*:

  • care provided in a child's own home;
  • programs which operate two weeks or less a year;
  • programs where parents remain on the premises (unless at the parent's employment site);
  • specialized training in specific subjects, such as art, drama, dance, swimming, etc.;
  • programs which operate one day a week for no more than six hours.

When Searching for Child Care, What Steps Should Be Taken?

  • Use the Search for Early Learning and Development Programs page on the ODJFS website to search for a program that interests you.
  • Visit the program to review:

Environment

Activities

Licensing Inspection reports; licensed child care providers must post their license in a conspicuous place where parents can see it. They must also post copies of inspection reports for parent's review.

Staffing

Emergency Procedures

Early Learning and Development Curriculum

License Status

Step Up To Quality Rating

  •  Contact the programs with additional questions or concerns.

Is ODJFS the Only Agency With Licensed Child Care?

 
Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Centers - In Ohio, the Department of Education licenses early care and education programs, such as preschool and school age programs operated by public and private chartered schools.

Additional Information About Quality Child Care:

Early Childhood Ohio

Ohio Child Care Resources and Referral Agency 

National Association for the Education of Young Children has a voluntary accreditation program for child care centers who wish to meet quality standards that go above and beyond basic licensing requirements. See individual center listings for more details.

National Association for Family Child Care has a voluntary accreditation program for type B family day care homes. Visit their web site for more information about their organization and its services to family day care providers.