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The information provided on this page is a basic outline of California Child Care requirements that pertain to the design and construction of Child Care Facilities in the State of California. This information is a brief synopsis and does not include all of the detailed requirements needed to satisfy the governing authorities for Child Care Licensing, Building Code, Fire Code, Accessibility, or local Zoning. These guidelines are for general information and planning purposes. Contact the governing authority directly or engage a Licensed Architect to complete a full analysis of your school location.

 

CALIFORNIA Child Care Licensing Requirements

 Child Care license obtained from:

California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division Child Care Licensing Program 

744 P Street, Mail Stop 19-48, Sacramento, CA 95814

http://www.cdss.ca.gov

 (916) 229-4500

 License renewal is required every year.

 Indoor Space Requirements: 35 sf per Child

 

  

6Wks.

9Mos.

18Mos.

27Mos.

3Years

4Years

5Years

Required

Teacher:Child Ratio

1:4

1:4

1:6

1:6

1:12

1:12

1:14

Required

Max. Group Size

None

12

12

None

None

None

None

Recommended 

Classroom Capacity

8

12

12

12

24

24

28

Recommended 

Staff per Classroom

2

3

2

2

2

2

2

Recommended 

Min. Classroom Area

280 sf.

420 sf.

420 sf.

420 sf.

840 sf.

840sf.

980 sf.

 Outdoor Space Requirements: 75 sf per Child

  • As a condition of license, the areas around and under high climbing equipment, swings, slides, and other similar equipment must be cushioned with material that absorbs falls.
  • The playground must be enclosed by a fence to protect children and to keep them in the outdoor activity areas. The fence must be at least four feet high.
  • Equipment and activity areas must be arranged so that there is no hazard from conflicting activities.
  • Swimming pools, canals, cliffs, buildings, creeks, lakes, and more should not be included in the calculation of the outdoor space.

 

Building Code Requirements

 

child care child toilet child care adult toilet child care drinking fountain child care mop sink child care bath tub

CHILD

FIXTURES

ADULT

FIXTURES

DRINKING FOUNTAINS

MOP

SINK

BATH TUB/

SHOWER

1: 15

1:50

1:100

1

1

2016 International Building Code

 

Fire Code Requirements

 

1

Each licensee must have and keep a file of a current written, definitive plan of operation. A copy of the plan must be submitted to the Department with the license application.

24

A childcare center means a facility with less than twenty-four hour care.

1597.14

A license is not transferable if the sale of licensed child care will result in the issuance of a new license, the requirements of Health and Safety Code Section 1597.14 apply.

2016 International Fire Code

 

Did you know . . .

 

child care playground Sandboxes must be inspected daily and kept free of hazardous foreign materials. child care infant A separate license must be issued for each component of a combination center. child care 30 minutes Full-day programs must offer a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack.

 

To access California Child Care requirements along with other states please see our interactive Child Care Requirements US map here.

 

Research completed by Calbert Design Group, LLC.  Updated 2019