Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Early Childhood Education (PA-ECE) 12: Oversight of Family Child Care Homes

The agency provides oversight and support to family child care homes to ensure care is being provided in a safe environment that promotes healthy child development.
NA The agency does not utilize family child care homes to expand its capacity to provide care.
2020 Edition




Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.
Note: This standard is intended only to review the oversight and support provided to family child care homes by a child care facility that utilizes family child care homes to expand its capacity to provide care. Completion of these standards by a child care center will not result in accreditation of the individual homes and cannot speak to the quality of the care being provided within them.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Family child care recruitment procedures
  • Screening criteria for family child care homes
  • Matching procedures for family child care homes
  • Job description for family child care coordinator role
  • Documentation of monthly home visits for the previous six months
  • Curricula of any training offered to family child care personnel
  • Documentation of licensure for family child care homes
  • Documentation of caregiver credentials and completed training hours for family child care providers
  • List of current family child care homes with ratios noted (e.g. Family Child Care Homes Reporting Tool)
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel record for Family Child Care Coordinator


PA-ECE 12.01

Family child care coordinators are qualified by:
  1. a CDA, CCP, or equivalent credential;
  2. an associate’s degree in early childhood education or child development; or
  3. a bachelor’s degree in a related field with two years of post-graduate experience in early childhood education.
Examples: Related fields include elementary education, special education, psychology, family consumer sciences, home economics, social work, and social services.


PA-ECE 12.02

Family child care coordinators:
  1. recruit and assess family child care homes prior to their use;
  2. provide support and supervision through a monthly home visit;
  3. offer training and professional development opportunities; and
  4. monitor the quality of care being provided.


PA-ECE 12.03

The agency utilizes family child care homes staffed by individuals with:
  1. a GED or high school diploma;
  2. at least 45 hours of family child care-related training within the last three years; and
  3. access to ongoing training and education.

Fundamental Practice

PA-ECE 12.04

Prior to use, all family child care homes are screened to ensure they are fully licensed or approved, according to applicable regulatory requirements.


PA-ECE 12.05

The needs of the child and family are matched with a care provider to ensure suitable, family-based care.

Fundamental Practice

PA-ECE 12.06

The agency is aware of available spaces at each child care home and only refers families when it is determined that the resulting teacher-child ratios:
  1. will not exceed COA’s Recommended Teacher-Child Ratios and Group Sizes;
  2. take into consideration changes in supervision needs based on activities being conducted; and
  3. take into consideration the needs of the children in the group.
Examples: Lower ratios may be warranted based on the special physical, social, or developmental needs of children within the group, the risks associated with a particular activity, and the qualifications and competencies of the teachers to ensure that children’s needs are being met.