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Monday, September 01, 2014
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Child Care Licensing 

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The Child Care Licensing Program enforces laws and regulations established by the South Carolina Legislature to ensure that child care facilities provide the basic health and safety requirements for all children in their care. 

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What we do

  • We help child care providers make sure that children in their care are healthy, safe, and supervised at all times. 

  • We make sure that all child care facilities comply with laws and regulations and we issue permits (licenses) that allow them to operate. 

  • We investigate all regulatory complaints quickly.
  • We open up records on any child care facility, as required by law, so that parents can see the history of compliance for that child care provider.

  • We provide technical assistance to child care providers and help them obtain the necessary inspections from the State Fire Marshal and from the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
  • We conduct unannounced visits to make sure providers abide by all laws and regulations.
  • When a child abuse or neglect report is made against a child care facility, we work with staff from the agency’s Out of Home Abuse and Neglect division to thoroughly investigate the report.
  • When children are in danger, we revoke a license or registration. 

  • We develop child care regulations, with the help of an advisory committee (the State Advisory Committee on the Regulation of Child Care Facilities), for providers to follow.


Frequency of Inspections

Centers, Group Homes, and Licensed Family Homes: Unannounced visits are made twice each year or in response to a complaint; visits are scheduled with the facility during the re-licensing process which occurs every two years.

Registered Family Homes: Most family homes are registered, not licensed. By law, the agency can only inspect these homes in response to a complaint. When a complaint is filed, DSS inspectors make an unannounced visit to investigate it. Family homes are required to register with the agency by mail every year. Because family homes are not inspected on a regular basis, parents should be aware that these facilities have fewer deficiencies listed on this website than other regulated facilities. Click here for an overview of each facility and the requirements they must meet according to state law.

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P.O. Box 1520 | Columbia, SC 29202-1520 | 803-898-2570