INDIANAPOLIS — The regulations for registered ministries — such as 'Tomorrow's Child Day Care' in Indianapolis — vary depending on whether they accept federal income vouchers.
Registered ministries do not accept federal low-incomes vouchers. Which means the only regulations they have to follow are essential health and safety.
Registered ministries that do not take federal vouchers do not have to follow child-to-staff ratios or meet supervision requirements.
A new law went into effect in 2015 that says registered ministries who do accept low-income vouchers have to follow more regulations, including child-to-staff ratios and group size.
The state inspects registered ministries twice a year. If they do not comply with health and safety requirements, the state can revoke their registration.
If parents are not sure what type of childcare their child is attending, they can visit the state's childcare finder website, which will also include inspection reports.
"This is your most valuable possession.. your children. Ask lots and lots of questions," Marni Lemons, FSSA spokesperson, said. "Don't be afraid to drop in unannounced. When you see them in the mornings and the evenings, they may behave differently than they do in the middle of the day."
Licensed homes and centers are the two other types of facilities. Not only do they have to follow child-to-staff ratios and proper supervision of children, but their staff must also be trained in safe sleep and CPR. They're inspected once a year.
Experts say you should ask your child's daycare about their license, as well ask about the child-to-staff ratios in your child's classroom.
An illegally operated childcare facility is when the operator has too many children, but they're not licensed or registered with the state.
If a provider has six or more children, they should have a license.
Parents should also be asking about background checks. Almost all types of child cares have to do criminal background checks, including registered ministries and licensed facilities. They have to check employees every three years.