School-based Child Care — Information for Operators

COVID-19 Guidelines for Child Care Programs

When child care programs are able to reopen in New York City, they will need to follow new guidelines issued by New York State to address COVID-19. We encourage you to review these requirements and begin planning for reopening:

Borough offices are closed and not available for walk-ins, but they are operating virtually. You can reach out to your assigned representative by phone or email, or call your borough office (PDF) or email childcareinfo@health.nyc.gov.


School-based child care provides care to six or more children who are 3–5 years old. These programs are located in a City school or are otherwise affiliated with a school. They are regulated by Article 43 (PDF) of the New York City Health Code.

Due to recent changes to Article 43, group child care programs must now comply with new requirements:

The fact sheet below will help you follow the law and assure families that you are protecting and promoting their children's health and safety.

If you are starting a new program, you must submit a Notice of Filing to the Health Department, which must include at least one of the following Department of Education documents:

  • New York City Department of Education Approval of Curriculum
  • New York State Board of Regents Registration
  • New York City/State Department of Education issued charter
  • New York State Department of Education Basic Education Data System (B.E.D.S.) number

Forms, Guides and Other Helpful Documents

Written Safety Plan

Medical Examinations and Medications

Prior to starting work in your program, all staff and volunteers are required to have physical examination certificates from a licensed health care provider. Reports must certify that staff are physically and mentally able to perform assigned duties, and confirm receipt of immunizations for measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap).

All children in your program are required to have a medical examination before admission, and age-appropriate medical examinations thereafter. Children must be immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (i.e., DPT), polio, measles, mumps, rubella and influenza.

Programs are required to maintain current health records on all children and logs for accidents and illnesses.

For more information about medical requirements and forms, see:

Learn about the requirements and training needed for your staff to administer medications.

Attendance and Supervision Requirements

Your program must maintain a daily attendance record (PDF) that include each child’s name and arrival/departure times.

Nutrition

For information about best practices and regulations for feeding children in your program, visit Nutritional Education Programs for Young Children.

Lead Paint Poisoning Prevention

Inspections and Violations

Every child care program in the city is inspected at least once annually to ensure compliance with regulations. Operators will receive an inspection report that lists violations and when they must be corrected.

Inspectors may issue citations for the following types of violations:

  • Public Health Hazard. This is the most serious type of violation, as it may present an immediate threat to the health and safety of children. You must correct this type of violation immediately, or the Health Department may close your program and suspend your permit until it has been resolved.
  • Critical Violation. This poses a serious but not immediate threat to the health and safety of children. You must correct this type of violation within two weeks. Programs that receive this type of violation will receive an unannounced re-inspection to confirm compliance.
  • General Violation. This does not pose a direct threat to children. You must correct this type of violation within one month. Programs receiving more than five General Violations will be re-inspected.

Hearings and Penalties

If inspectors find your program has not resolved a Public Health Hazard or Critical Violation within the necessary time, you will be issued a Notice of Violation (NOV). Inspectors may also issue NOVs at the initial citation of a violation.

If you receive an NOV, you must attend a hearing at the time and location specified on the NOV. At the hearing, you may:

  • Present evidence to contest the violation, or otherwise provide a defense
  • Show compliance

For more information on NOVs, visit the City’s Health Tribunal page.

You may be required to submit a Corrective Action Plan. See our Guidelines on the Completion of CAPs (PDF) to learn when and how to submit such a plan.

Additional Resources

More Information