View the regulations that licensed facilities must follow.

DELACARE: Regulations for Family and Large Family Child Care Homes Effective 08/10/2022

DELACARE: Regulations for Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers Effective 06/10/2022

DELACARE: Regulations for Child Placing Agencies Effective 03/01/2021

DELACARE Requirements for Residential Child Care Facilities and Day Treatment Programs

DELACARE Regulations for child protection registry checks for persons working in health care facilities, public schools, private schools and youth camps

DELACARE Regulations for Background Checks for Child-Serving Entities

DELACARE Regulations for Youth Camps


Here you will learn if your program requires a license to operate.

Certain types of care are not considered “child care” under Delaware Code and DELACARE Regulations. The following facilities that run for less than 24 hours per day do not need a license:

  • Youth camps that provide care for only school-age children and are issued permits from public health (Please note: Beginning the summer of 2022, youth camps that accept Purchase of Care must be licensed. Contact the Office of Child Care Licensing for more information);
  • Programs run by the State of Delaware;
  • Summer religion classes that last less than a month, for example, vacation bible school;
  • Programs that have an onsite child care center where parents do not leave;
  • Programs that offer free activities for children, who are school-age, where children can come and go as they please, and there is no agreement with parents that care is provided;
  • Programs that offer school-age care on a limited basis in order to meet an emergency or special need, or only during school in-service days, school holidays, or school vacations;
  • Programs that solely provide lessons or classes, for example, tutoring, music, a sport, dancing, karate, or painting; and
  • Programs run by schools that provide regular and thorough instruction through at least the 6th grade that are registered with the Department of Education. Please note:  As of July 1, 2024, any child care, “including early education programs for children below the grade of kindergarten that are operated by public or private schools” must be licensed by the Office of Child Care Licensing.  Only the early education program must be licensed and follow DELACARE Regulations for Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers.  

People who operate these types of programs should get an Exemption Letter from the Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL) as proof of their status as an “Exempt” program. Holding an “Exemption” will verify that the program is not providing “unlicensed care” which would be in violation of Delaware Code and DELACARE Regulations. The owner or governing body of the facility must complete the Application for License Exemption and submit it to the appropriate OCCL office.

New Castle County
Licensing Supervisor
Office of Child Care Licensing
3411 Silverside Road
The Concord – Hagley Building
Wilmington, DE 19810
(302) 892-5800

Kent or Sussex Counties
Licensing Supervisor
Office of Child Care Licensing
821 Silver Lake Blvd.
Barratt Building, Suite 103
Dover, DE 19904
(302) 739-5487