Do you want to operate a child care facility? Do you currently operate a child care facility and want to relocate or open another facility? If so, please see the important information below.
The Department of Public Welfare’s regulations for child care centers, group child care homes and family child care homes state that a legal entity or a representative of the legal entity shall participate in an orientation training provided by the Department within 12 months prior to commencing operation of the child care facility (see 55 Pa. Code §3270.11(b), §3280.11(b) and §3290.11(c)). This means that anyone who wants to operate a child care facility for the first time or any current provider who wants to open a new location must attend an orientation training session within 12 months prior to operating the new facility. A legal entity or the legal entity’s representative may attend an orientation session provided by a Regional Office of Child Development and Early Learning at any location statewide.
There are two types of orientation training sessions – one for certified facilities i.e., child care centers and group child care homes, and one for registered facilities i.e., family child care homes. Each orientation training session is one day long. The same curriculum is used statewide. The orientation training focuses on issues relating to opening and operating a new child care facility. Examples of the topics covered are as follows: the types of child care facilities, child care facility regulations, the application process, clearance requirements, business papers, certificate of occupancy, staffing, recognizing safety hazards and information about child care subsidy, Keystone STARS and Early Intervention. The orientation training curriculum was developed using adult education principles and combines video presentation, group activities, group discussion, exercises and many handouts. Certification representatives facilitate the orientation training sessions.
Each person who attends orientation training will receive a certificate of attendance. When filing an application for a certificate of compliance or registration to open a new facility, the legal entity must submit, along with the application, the certificate of attendance as proof of compliance with the requirement for orientation training. If the certificate of attendance is not submitted with the application, the application is not complete. Please note that a complete application must be submitted to the Department in order for an initial inspection to be scheduled.
Please download and print a copy of the orientation manual to bring to the orientation session. There is a separate manual for each type of orientation session:
Getting a Child Care Center or Group Home Started - Orientation Manual for Certified Facilities (Child Care Center and Group Child Care Home)
Getting Started in Family Child Care - Orientation Manual for Registered Facilities (Family Child Care Home)
You can access the manual by clicking on the hyperlink above. You are strongly encouraged to print a manual to bring to the session. This will allow you to take notes and use the materials in the manual in the future. You can then refer to the manual as you proceed through the process of opening your facility.
Please be aware of the following:
- You must register to attend an orientation session. YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER OR YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE SESSION.
- You must bring and present CURRENT, VALID AND UNEXPIRED PICTURE IDENTIFICATION at the orientation session. Acceptable picture identification is a state-issued driver’s license or state-issued identification card. If you do not have a state-issued driver’s license or identification card, picture identification issued by the U.S. government is acceptable including, but not limited, to the following: U.S. passport, Certificate of Citizenship (N560), Certificate of Naturalization (N550).
- You may attend orientation training at any location in Pennsylvania.
- One person per legal entity is permitted to attend an orientation session due to room capacity restrictions. If you need assistance that requires a second person to attend the session, please discuss this when you register for the session.
- If you are unable to attend after you have registered, please call the registration number for your location so that we can make room for someone on the waiting list.
- You will receive a confirmation letter once you have registered. You must bring a copy of your confirmation letter to gain entry to the orientation.
- Your name must appear on the enrollment list or you must show a copy of an enrollment letter to be admitted to the training session.
- Plan to attend the training for a full day with a break for lunch. Exact start and end times will be provided when you register.
- Please arrive promptly. Anyone who arrives more than 15 minutes late will not be admitted to the session.
- Please bring a copy of the orientation manual. You will not be given a copy of the manual to use at the orientation.
- Please bring a copy of the appropriate child care regulations. You will not be given a copy of the regulations at the orientation.
- Please make child care arrangements. The orientation training session is not an appropriate setting for children.
- Anyone who is not participating in the orientation session may not remain in the training room or on the same floor.
- No food or drink permitted in classrooms.
Below are the schedules for the Orientation Training Sessions through 2014. Please note that there are two different schedules: one for certified facilities i.e., child care centers and group child care homes, and one for registered facilities i.e., family child care homes. Please be sure you are selecting the correct orientation. You must call the telephone number provided to register for orientation session at the specified location.
Is Your Child Care Center Safe?