In New Jersey, child care centers serving six or more children under the age of 13 must be licensed by DCF. A center becomes licensed after meeting all applicable conditions in the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers. Centers are licensed for a three-year period. A copy of the centers’ license must be displayed in a prominent location at the center.
When parents register a child at a center, they must receive this Information to Parents document highlighting key information that must be made available, upon request, to parents about the center, including inspection and violation reports and a summary of any complaint made against the center. Centers are obligated to provide parents such information if requested. Therefore, going directly to your child care center for the information is the most efficient and effective approach to take.
DCF inspects centers every three years at the time of the center’s renewal and conducts investigations when allegations are made about possible noncompliance with licensing requirements. Inspection reports are available at the center for parents to review. Click HERE to view the type of items DCF reviews during inspections.
Parents are encouraged to discuss with the center any questions or concerns they might have. Parents may also file or make a complaint with the OOL (877-667-9845) who will investigate. Complaints may be made anonymously. If there is a licensing complaint investigation, parents are entitled to review the OOL Complaint Investigation Summary Report, as well as any letters of enforcement or other actions taken against a center during its current licensing period.
Call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873) to report possible child abuse.
Click HERE for additional information about DCF's Office of Licensing.