Child Care Definitions and Exemptions – District of Columbia

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Child Care Facilities

The phrase “Child Development Facility” (“Facility”), as defined in this chapter, includes any person or persons, or entity or organization, whether organized formally or informally, unless specifically exempted:

  1. That provides care, education, and other services, supervision, and guidance for more than two (2) infants, toddlers, and children that are not related, on a regular basis;
  2. Includes the administration, program, and premises of a Child Development Facility, other parts of the building housing the Facility, and adjoining grounds over which the administrator has direct control; and 
  3. Includes:
    1. A Child Development Center (“Center”);
    2. A Child Development Home;
    3. An Expanded Child Development Home (“Expanded Home”); and
    4. An Out-of-School-Time (OST) Program. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-A, § 101.3.




The following child development services shall be exempt from obtaining a license to operate a Facility:

  1. Occasional babysitting in a babysitter’s home or a child’s home for the children of one (1) family;
  2. Care provided in a child’s home by a caregiver paid for by a child’s family;
  3. Care provided for more than one (1) child in a Nanny-Share, as defined in this chapter;
  4. Informal or occasional parent-supervised play groups;
  5. Adult gyms or clubs that provide temporary babysitting as a benefit in order for members to utilize services;
  6. Adult education programs that provide child care services while parent(s) are on the same campus as the child attending a class or education program for a temporary period of time; 
  7. Child-centered businesses that solely provide sessions, classes or activities including, but not limited to, tutoring, music, dance, sport, or art, while parent(s) or guardian(s) remain on the business’ premises;
  8. Care provided in places of worship during religious services;
  9. Care provided by a related person, as defined in this chapter;
  10. Facilities operated by the Federal Government on Federal Government property, except that a private entity utilizing space in or on Federal government property is not exempt unless Federal law specifically exempts the Facility from the District of Columbia’s regulatory authority;
  11. A District of Columbia public school or public charter school providing education services to children in grades pre-K-3 through twelfth (12th) grade during a full school day;
  12. A private school providing education services to children in grades pre-K­ through twelfth (12th) grade during a full school day; and
  13. A community based organization providing only pre-K education services to pre-K age children pursuant to the Pre-K Act and funded by OSSE;
  14. Facilities that provide only before school care, only after school care, or only summer camp to school age children; and
  15. Facilities otherwise exempted by law. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-A, § 101.5.


Current through August 2017. For a PDF of the 50-state dataset, click here (this is a large document - you may need to use the zoom function in order to read it). If you would like the spreadsheet version of the dataset, please email Natasha Frost at