What are the Licensing Standards for Daycare Centers in South Carolina?

Strict standards for daycare center licensing in South Carolina exist to prevent children from being abused, neglected or injured while at a childcare facility. These standards hold centers in Clarendon, SC and around the state to specific health, sanitation and training regulations to ensure children are supervised in a healthy and safe way.

South Carolina Daycare Center Licensing

Daycare centers in our state must meet a long list of regulations if they are to receive a license to operate. These regulations are designed to promote safe, hazard-free childcare centers for our kids.

Some of the standards include:

  • criminal background and child abuse checks of directors, co-directors and staff members;
  • director must be at least 21 years old and meet educational requirements;
  • three letters of reference for the center’s director;
  • health inspection of the facility; and
  • fire inspection of the facility.

After filing the licensing paperwork, along with proper inspection reports and background checks, the Department of Social Services (DSS) will send a representative to perform an on-site inspection of the proposed daycare center in order to determine compliance. If the center meets all requirements, it may be awarded a state license for operation.

Facility Requirements

Once a facility has been approved for daycare center licensing in South Carolina, they become subject to regular inspections by DSS. During an inspection, the DSS representative will examine the physical state of the facility, the qualifications of its staff members, and more to ensure that the facilities are still meeting the standards originally required of the license.

Specifically, representatives will look to see that:

  • the center has not exceeded the child capacity for which it was licensed;
  • each class has the proper child-to-teacher ratio;
  • health and sanitation standards are being met;
  • proper staff and child records are being kept;
  • children are being provided with adequate play space and are not subject to any environmental hazards or risks;
  • play equipment is well-kept and safe;
  • children are being fed meals and snacks that meet the USDA Child Care Food Program Guidelines;
  • staff members are providing the proper amount of stimulation and nurturing required of infants and toddlers; and
  • children are receiving ample time for physical activity.

Representatives may even speak to parents or center staff when doing an on-site inspection to guarantee proper policies are being followed. Inspections are unannounced and performed twice annually. They’re also done if a complaint has been filed against the facility.

Parents or loved ones of children in daycare can report any suspected incident of child abuse or neglect to DSS’ Out of Home Abuse and Neglect Office. Once a complaint is filed, a department representative will perform an on-site inspection to investigate the claim.

Do you think your child was abused, neglected or injured at a daycare center? You may have grounds for an injury claim. Learn more about daycare center licensing in South Carolina by speaking to a child injury attorney at the Law Office of Kenneth Berger today. Our practice extends from Columbia across the state, including Clarendon, Orangeburg, and Sumter county. Call 1-803-790-2800.

Kenneth Berger
Columbia South Carolina attorney dedicated to securing justice by helping the truly injured