Child Care

Licensing

Types of Licensing and Registration

Family Child Care Home - Registered:

South Dakota law defines a Family Child Care Home as one in which care is given on a regular basis for any part of a 24 hour day to 12 or less children from more than one unrelated family. This includes any children under the age of six who are living in the home. 

  • Family child care is a service provided in the provider's home.
  • Family child care providers are registered rather than licensed. Registration is a voluntary process where the applicants declare their intent to provide family child care and agree to comply with standards that have been established by the Department of Social Services. A registration certificate is in effect for two years. Registration is legally mandated when a provider receives compensation from public funds. Providers who are not receiving reimbursement from public funds and caring for 12 or fewer children are exempt from registration. A registered family child care provider must be at least 18 years old.

Group Family Child Care Home - Licensed:

South Dakota law defines a Group Family Child Care Home as a facility providing child care for a part of a day as a supplement to regular parental care for 13 to 20 children from more than one family, including the provider's own children who are under the age of six years. 

  • A group family child care home may be located in the provider's own home or in a separate facility. 
  • Group family child care homes are mandated by law to be licensed regardless of funding source. 

Child Care Center - Licensed:

South Dakota law defines a Child Care Center as a facility providing child care for a part of a 24-hour day to 21 or more children from one or more unrelated families, including the provider's own children under the age of six years, regardless of the source of income. 

  • A child care center may be located in the provider's own home or in a separate facility. 
  • Child care centers are mandated by law to be licensed regardless of funding source. 
  • A child care center may be operated as a nonprofit organization or as an independent, proprietary facility. 

Before & After School Care Center - Licensed:

Before & After School Care Centers provide care and supervision before and after school hours for children who are five years of age or older and enrolled in school. 

  • Before & After School Care Center providers serve only school-age children and may be providing care for either part of a day or full-time during school breaks. 
  • Before & After School Care Centers are required to become licensed regardless of the funding source or location of the program.  Centers are inspected each year. 
    • The exemption to this requirement is if the after school program is providing educational or recreational activities for children who come and go at their own discretion.
    • See South Dakota Codified Law here.

Licensed and registered child care providers may be eligible to receive reimbursement through the Child Care Food Program.  This program is administered by The Child and Adult Care Food Program.