Every state regulates the child care setting in some manner, although the depth and breadth of the regulations vary by state and by the type of care. Most states require a license for child care centers and family child care homes, but afterschool programs and informal care providers (such as family, friends and neighbors) are often exempted from these regulations. State regulations also establish baseline protections for the health and safety of children receiving non-parental care, and are important in establishing norms.
The Public Health Law Center has developed a 50-state analysis of child care licensing laws, including state statutes and licensing regulations. Below is a map summarizing information on local authority to regulate the child care setting found in child care licensing statutes and regulations.