Standards for child and youth development programs

2020 Edition

Child and Youth Development Program Administration (CYD-AM) 4: Legal and Regulatory Compliance

The program complies with applicable laws and regulations.
2020 Edition




Sound administration and management increase program quality and sustainability; promote financial accountability and viability; support transparency and openness; and reduce risk, loss, and liability exposure.
Note: As noted in CYD-AM 1, the program must also operate as, or as part of, a legally-authorized entity.
The program’s practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • A list of licenses applicable to the program, including the oversight bodies that issue and monitor them
  • A letter signed by the Program Administrator or Director and, if applicable, the person/entity responsible for oversight, certifying that the program is in compliance with license requirements and meets applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and codes
  • Relevant licenses or documentation of exemption/non-applicability
  • Documentation of compliance with applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and codes
  • Reports from licensing/regulatory review, if applicable
  • Interview:
    1. Program Administrator and/or Director
  • Observe posted licenses, if applicable

Fundamental Practice

CYD-AM 4.01

The program possesses relevant licenses, if applicable, and displays documents in an area visible to the public.


Requirements related to licensure may vary from state to state and by program type.  For the purposes of this standard, licensing is the process by which an external or superior entity reviews a program and determines whether the program has permission to operate (e.g., state licensing or military inspection).
Note: If the program is exempt from licensing, it should request an “NA” from COA and will be required to provide evidence demonstrating the exemption.

Fundamental Practice

CYD-AM 4.02

The program meets applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and codes, including those related to health and safety.


The program is expected to be familiar and comply with all applicable federal, state, and local requirements.  When codes differ, for example state and local codes, the stricter code applies.  If necessary, the program should consult legal counsel to provide necessary information and guidance.
The program should have current documentation (e.g., inspection reports) showing that it has met applicable state and/or local health and safety codes, regulations, and guidelines.  For example, the program should be prepared to provide proof that it has passed health, building, and fire inspections.  Programs that rent facilities should obtain relevant documentation from their landlord.  In order to be sure that applicable codes, regulations, and guidelines are met, or when the program cannot obtain access to the required documentation from their landlord or relevant authorities, some programs may choose to arrange for their own inspection of the program space by a qualified person, or develop plans that document their efforts to remain in compliance.

Note: See CYD-AM 8.01 for more information regarding expectations for assessing compliance with federal, state, and local requirements.