Child Care for School Age Children

Child care needs for children do not end once they enroll in school. In fact, their needs are more varied and meeting those needs may take some creativity on your part. School-age child care services may be needed for before-school, after-school, and during holiday/vacation days, and summer vacation weeks.

There are several options one might consider when scheduling your child's out-of-school time including:

  • Hire your child's regular care provider for additional hours and days;
  • Talk with other parents about sharing care, trading play dates, etc.
  • Hire a responsible high school, college student, or adult to care for your child alone or with a friend or two;
  • Determine if your child's school offers an organized program;
  • Determine if your local library or museum offers a special program or activity.
  • Explore and enroll your child in a special holiday/vacation camp program.

NYC School-Age Child Care Licensing Regulations

In New York City school-age services are a licensed form of care. The following is a summary of key regulations in NYC. Links to regulations for school-age services in New York State and New Jersey follow.

Number and Ages of Children in Care

Staff to Child Ratios

Age of Child Staff to Child Ratio Max. Group Size
4-9 years 1:10 20
10-12 years 1:15 30

General Staff Requirements and Qualifications

General Staff Qualifications

All staff (and volunteers) must be mature persons in good physical and mental health who are of good character and possess suitable personal qualifications. At least three references must be provided. Applicants must sign sworn statements regarding misdemeanor and felony convictions, be fingerprinted and screened through the NY Statewide Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment. The minimum age of a staff person or volunteer is 16 years of age; no person under 18 years of age may be left alone to supervise a group of children.

Director Qualifications

Must have an Associate's degree in child development, elementary education or related field or two years of college with 18 credits in a related field, or a School-Age Child Care credential, plus a minimum of 2 years direct experience working with children under the age of 13 years, and a least one year in a supervisory capacity. For programs with fewer than 45 children, the director may also perform administrative/fiscal management functions and/or program supervision functions; in larger programs these responsibilities may not be performed by the head of the group.

Head Teacher Qualifications

Must have a High School Diploma or its equivalent and two years direct experience working with children under 13 years of age, or an Associate's degree in child development or a related field.

Assistant Teacher Qualifications

Must have a High School Diploma or its equivalent or have substantial experience working with children under 13 years of age.

Training Requirements

Pre-service and in-service training is required of all staff and volunteers. The Director must receive at least 15 hours of in-service training on specified subjects during the first year of operation and 30 hours of in-service training each two years thereafter. Staff must receive at least 15 hours of in-service training on specified subjects each year. Training hours must be documented and verified.

General Licensing and Facility Requirements

Regulatory Agency

NYS Office of Children & Families (formerly NYS Dept of Social Services) through the NYC Department of Health-Bureau of Day Care.

General Licensing Requirements

All school-age child care programs must register and self-certify that they have met all required standards. The initial registration and each subsequent registration period is for up to two years. Registration is not transferable to any other provider or location.


Scheduled inspection is required before licensing and for any renewal thereafter. Unannounced inspections may be made at any time and always after a complaint. The program must have written approval of the Department of Buildings, Fire Department and the Department of Health - Bureau of Day Care.

Facility Requirements

Areas must be well-lighted and well-ventilated and maintain a temperature of at least 68 degrees. A minimum indoor floor space of 35 square feet per child is required. Areas used for large motor skills, hallways, toilets, office and storage space, kitchens, bathrooms, and the like are not to be included in square foot requirements. Hot and cold running water must be available and accessible at all times. One toilet and wash basin is required for each 20 or fewer children. Readily accessible outdoor play space for active play must be provided.


General Liability Insurance is required.

School-Age Child Care in the New York Metro Area