Home News Local news New Day-Care Regulations to Start April 1

New Day-Care Regulations to Start April 1


With Gov. John deJongh Jr.’s stamp of approval, recently revised rules and regulations for child day-care facilities go into effect April 1, Government House announced Tuesday.

The new rules and regulations were recently revised by the Department of Human Services. Currently there are 90 child day-care facilities on St. Thomas-St. John and 49 on St. Croix, Human Services Commissioner Chris Finch said in the Government House statement.

Aside from improving child care services, the new regulations will make it easier to qualify for federal stimulus and other grants, Finch said during public forums on the regulations last year.

The new regulations require higher education and training levels. Most of the regulations are the same as in the old yellow booklet V.I. child care workers are familiar with. But there are a few major changes.

Under the new regulations, a day care director or supervisor must have a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field, such as early childhood education, or an associate’s degree plus three or more years of experience and a certain amount of annual training in child development, dealing with child abuse and neglect, and other topics.

Under the old rules, which date back 30 years or more, directors were only required to have a high school diploma.

The new rules also require assistant day care teachers to be at least 18, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and complete at least 15 hours of training in the first six months. Also, all staff working with children must learn CPR and first aid. This last has been a longstanding requirement but is now being put into the formal regulation. 

Staffing requirements range from at least one staff member for every five infants less than one year of age to no more than 12 children, ages 12 to 14, per staff member.

The new rules and regulations were made available for public review and comment in December 2009 and public hearings were held in January 2010.

We “understand that the success of our children starts with a quality educational experience at the earliest point and that is our motivation for the investment and attention to early childhood education and the providers," deJongh said in the statement.

To help child care providers improve their service, Human Services recently began meetings to discuss the next steps in developing an Early Child Care Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS), which serves as a blueprint on how child care providers can build on their strengths. Finch added that child care providers who volunteer to participate in the QRIS will improve their professional development.


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