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License Exempt Child Care

License Exempt Child Care Overview

Some types of child care are not required to be licensed with the Early Learning Division Office of Child Care. If any of the following exemptions apply to you, the type of care you provide may not be required to be licensed but you may be required to record as a program. If you are operating a preschool or school-age program that meets recording requirements, you will need to submit a recorded program application. See Recorded Programs for more information.

  • I am providing care in the home of the child and all children present, not including my own children, reside in the home.
  • I am related to all the children I care for.
  • All the children I care for – not including my own children – are from the same family.
  • The number of days that I care for children is not more than 70 days in a year.
  • I am caring for three or fewer children, not including my own children, at any one time.
  • I am operating a program that is for school-age children, is focused on a single enrichment activity and operates for no more than eight hours a week.
  • I am operating a program that is mostly a group athletic or social activity and is sponsored by an organized club or hobby group.
  • I am operating a parent cooperative child care program. Parents of the children in care must provide care on a rotating basis and the program cannot operate for more than four hours per day.
  • The program is operated by a school district, political subdivision of the state or a governmental agency.
  • I am operating a program in a facility that provides care to children while the parents remain on the premises and are engaged in an activity offered by the facility or in other non-work activity.
  • I am operating a preschool recorded program or a school-age recorded program.

Disclaimer: This is an informational tool only and may not be relied upon for a determination of exempt status.  Please contact OCC staff should you have any additional questions.

Recorded Programs Overview

Oregon statutes (ORS 329A.255 and ORS 329A.257) require certain programs serving children to be recorded with the Early Learning Division Office of Child Care. The purpose of the statutes are to ensure adults having contact with children complete criminal background checks and to keep parents informed about the types of child care program they are using. 

 

Types of Recorded Programs

There are two types of recorded programs. Preschool Recorded Programs serve children 36 months to 5 years of age, are primarily educational and no child is in the facility more than four hours per day. And School-age Recorded Programs serve child from first grade to 13 years of age, provide youth development activities that are extracurricular in nature and do not take the place of parental care.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether your program needs to be recorded.  If your program is required to be recorded, you must complete criminal background checks on all staff and volunteers 18 years of age and older and submit an application for a recorded program with the Office of Child Care.

 

Preschool Recorded Program

If you answer “yes” to all 3 questions, your program must be recorded with the Office of Child Care.

  1. Is my program for children between the ages of 36 months and not yet eligible to be enrolled in first grade at public school?
  2. Is my program designed to be primarily educational?
  3. Is my program designed so that no child is in the facility for more than four hours per day?

 

School-Age Recorded Program

If you answer “yes” to all 4 questions, your program must be recorded with the Office of Child Care.

  1. Is my program for children eligible for first grade and up to age 13 years?
  2. Does my program provide youth development activities that help a child increase skills and gain proficiency?
  3. Is my program designed so that it only takes place when regular school is not in session?
  4. Is my program designed so that children can come and go as they please?*

If your program is required to be recorded, you must complete criminal background checks on all staff and volunteers 18 years of age and older and submit an application for a recorded program with the Office of Child Care.

 

Questions?

If you have more questions about Preschool or School-age Recorded Programs check out the FAQ or contact the Office of Child Care at 1-800-556-6616 or email childcare.emp@state.or.us.

*The school age recorded program must meet several requirements. One of which is that the parents retain responsibility for their child. This is one of several criteria for determining responsibility as to whether the children may come and go as they please from the program.

Regulated Subsidy Provider Overview

A Regulated Subsidy Provider is a non-relative who cares for children whose families are eligible for child care assistance through the Department of Human Services (DHS), but who is not required to be licensed. A Regulated Subsidy Provider (sometimes referred to as a license exempt child care provider) is required to be listed with DHS and to follow new federal regulations for training and allow a visit by the Office of Child Care. Learn more about the changes and the new requirements for Regulated Subsidy Providers through the DHS website.

Early Learning Division Office of Child Care is working closely with DHS to provide up to date information about the changes and to ensure a smooth transition for providers.

Click the button below for more information or call Direct Pay Unit at 1-800-699-9074.

License Exempt Child Care Forms & Resources

  • Application for a Preschool Recorded Programs (REC-102)
  • Application for a School-Age Recorded Programs (REC-100)
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Recorded Programs (REC-200)

FAQ

Will anyone from the Office of Child Care visit my program?

Office of Child Care staff member will not inspect your facility. A recorded program continues to be exempt from child care licensing. If the Office of Child Care is made aware that a program has not completed the required criminal background checks, or has not posted the recorded program notice, or may need to be licensed, the Office of Child Care staff may make a visit.

How do I complete criminal background checks for myself and staff?

The statute requires that all staff and volunteers 18 years of age or older must have had a criminal background check prior to having contact with children in the program. The Office of Child Care does not have the authority to complete background checks for recorded programs, except for Oregon Head start Pre-Kindergarten or federal Head Start programs. Individuals in your program may go to the Oregon State Police to get a background check completed. For additional resources, you can go online and search for “employment background check” or “employee screening”. If you already have a process in place to complete these, it will not need to change.

The information obtained in the criminal background check is intended for the program to make a determination on the suitability of individuals that may have contact with the children. The decision as to whether an adult may have contact with the children is at the sole discretion of the program. The Office of Child Care does not oversee or regulate those determinations.

What is the process to become recorded?

First, complete criminal background checks on all staff and volunteers 18 years of age and older who will have contact with children in the program. Then download the application from the Early Learning Division website or call the Office of Child Care to request an application be mailed to you. Complete the form and send it with the $20 application fee to the address listed on the form. You may also need to send the following documentation with the application and fee:

  • A statement describing the purpose of the program
  • Description of types of activities provided to children
  • Parent Agreement
  • Daily Schedule

A recorded program notice is valid for two years and must be renewed. The notice itself must be posted in a place where it can easily be seen.

What type of program must be recorded?

All preschool programs that operate for four hours a day or less, are educational, and serve children from 36 months of age to eligible to attend public school, must be recorded. These programs are exempt from licensure, but as of July 1, 2010, are required to become recorded with the Office of Child Care.

School-age programs that offer youth development activities that do not take place of parental care. In most cases school-age programs are exempt from licensure, but will be required to become recorded with the Office of Child Care. The Office of Child Care will not record classes or activities where a child attends for less than eight hours per week and there is a single activity. For instance, girl scouts, boy scouts, swimming lessons, dance lessons, and tutoring are not required to be recorded.

What does it mean to be recorded?

Being recorded with the Early Learning Division Office of Child Care is different than being licensed, in that there are only two requirements:  (1) Complete a background check on all staff and volunteers 18 years of age and older who will have contact with children in the program; and (2) Inform parents about their recorded status and post the program notice in a place where it can be seen. Unlike a licensed child care facility, the rules for recorded programs are not extensive. The Office of Child Care will not look at staff requirements, ratio of children to adults, equipment, activities or any other aspects of the program. In most cases, Office of Child Care staff will not visit the facility.