Legally Exempt Child Care

The St. Lawrence Child Care Council is designated by the State of New York as the Legally Exempt Child Care Provider Enrollment Agency serving St. Lawrence County and has provided assistance, support, inspection and enrollment services for Legally Exempt caregivers providing child care for families receiving subsidy assistance in St. Lawrence County since enrollment became a requirement in 2000.  

The St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services will pay a child care subsidy for eligible working parents and/or parents who are in school when the child care provider is approved and enrolled as a legally exempt provider. Registered or licensed child care providers are also eligible for subsidy payment if selected by the family.  

What is Legally Exempt Child Care? 
Legally Exempt child care can often be very difficult to understand with regard to regulations, however, there are three main types of legally exempt child care—Family Child Care, In-Home Child Care and Group Child Care.  

1) Family Child Care  
The provider is often a relative, neighbor or friend and may be able to care for children during evening and weekend hours, or other varied schedules when other child care programs are not open. Care is in the provider’s home typically for up to two non-related children at any given time. If the provider is related to the children, there is no limit to the number of related children that can be in care. It is also possible that more than two unrelated children can be cared for as long as the care is provided for less than three hours per day. Family Child Care Providers are required to be at least 18 years of age, or, if they are less than 18 years of age, they must meet the requirements for employment of minors.  

2) In-Home Child Care  
The care is furnished in the child’s home by a provider who is chosen and monitored by the child’s parent or guardian. As with Family Child Care, In-Home Providers are required to be at least 18 years of age, or if they are less than 18 years of age, they must meet the requirements for employment of minors.      

3) Group Child Care  
Providers are not required by NYS OCFS to be licensed or registered, but will meet all applicable state and local requirements for each program. Group child care providers include the following:
•  Pre-kindergarten and nursery school programs for children three years of age or older operated by public school districts or by private schools.
•  Nursery schools and programs for pre-school aged children operated by non-profit organizations for three or less hours per day.
•  Summer Day Camps operated by non-profit agencies or organizations.
•  Day Care Centers, Family Day Care homes located on federal property.
•  Day Care Centers, Family Day Care homes located on tribal property.  

Legally Exempt Services
The St. Lawrence Child Care Council offers a limited number of health and safety grants to legally-exempt caregivers in an effort to improve the safety and quality of care, based on the needs of the provider.  Grant items may include such items as fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, locks for cabinets, vinyl gloves, electrical outlet covers, first aid kits, and flashlights and must be approved by our Legally Exempt/ Subsidy Assistance Coordinator.

Legally Exempt caregivers are encouraged to participate in training and educational opportunities.  Training information is provided to all Legally Exempt providers enrolled through the St. Lawrence Child Care Council.  Enrolled providers are also subject to inspections in accordance with NYS Office of Children & Family Services Legally Exempt Child Care regulations. 


You can contact our office for Legally Exempt Enrollment Form & Legally Exempt Enrollment Form Instructions or download them by clicking on the links.

If you have questions about Legally Exempt Child Care contact Shana O'Grady-Tolen at (315) 393-6474 Ext. 13