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NH’s Current Quality Designations
NH currently has three designations for quality child care: Licensed; Licensed Plus; and Accreditation (accredited programs). Families can use this information to inform their choices for quality child care.


Licensed programs include child care centers and family child care homes. The Child Care Licensing Unit regulates quality based on the following aspects of child care:

  • Ratio: The number of children per adult in a home or classroom;
  • Group Size: The total number of children;
  • Health: Policies and practices around illness, immunization, nutrition, cleanliness, and preventing the spread of germs;
  • Safety: Practices to make sure the environment is safe, both indoors and outdoors. This includes practices around First Aid and Infant and Child CPR training for staff, fire precautions, criminal background checks, etc.; and
  • Training, education and experience of the provider: Assures that providers are knowledgeable in child development and other related topics.

Licensed Plus

Licensed Plus is a quality rating in New Hampshire. It means that a child care program has practices above and beyond required licensing standards. Programs who are Licensed Plus may be in the process of becoming accredited. To learn more visit Licensed Plus.


Accredited programs have gone through a process of self-study and outside evaluation and have met higher standards of quality child care.

National accrediting associations include:

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

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