In New Jersey, child care centers serving six or more children under the age of 13 must be licensed by DCF (Department of Children and Families). Centers are licensed for a three-year period. A copy of the centers’ license is displayed in a prominent location at the center. Children’s residential treatment centers provide 24-hour care for 13 or more children placed or financed by DCF. Residential treatment centers under contract with the Department, both in New Jersey and in other states are approved by the office of licensing.
When parents register a child at a center, they receive information to parents document highlighting key information that is 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 a 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.