The website Noodle, which is aiming to be a national clearinghouse for information on early-childhood programs, has created a database that outlines the child-care and preschool regulations for each state.
These regulations vary widely among states. Plus, the rules can be different based on whether the child-care program is in a center or inside a provider’s home and the age of the children under care. (Larger adult-to-child ratios generally are permitted as children get older.)
The guide also includes links to where parents can find out about inspection reports and any history of regulation violations.
“It’s shocking how hard it can be for families to get answers to basic questions about preschools, such as ‘What’s the difference between being licensed and certified?’ or, ‘Is it illegal not to be licensed?’ or, ‘Who is in charge of inspecting preschools in this area?’” said Noodle Editor in Chief Suzanne Podhurst in a statement.
Noodle, which is free to users, was created by Princeton Review founder John Katzman. Its goal is to “bring transparency” to the preschool search process, Katzman said.
Photo: Preschooler Hylene Holguin plays with dolls in a dual-language classroom at the Ignacio Cruz Early Childhood Center in Perth Amboy, N.J. in 2012.—Emile Wamsteker for Education Week-File
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A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.