skip navigation Smaller text size Reset text size Larger text size
Families & Children Women Teens Adults Seniors People with Disabilities
DHHS Home > Office of Operations Support > Child Care Licensing Unit >
Quality Initiatives & Licensing Exemptions

Licensed Plus

Licensed Plus is a quality rating system that recognizes NH child care programs for efforts to improve the quality of care for young children and rewards programs that strive to improve their practices and staff qualifications. It also allows families to identify programs with higher quality.

To learn more visit Licensed Plus.


Accredited programs have gone through a rigorous process of self-study and outside evaluation and have met national standards of higher quality child care based on best practice. Accreditation has provided a tool through which early childhood professionals, families, and others concerned about the quality of early childhood education can evaluate and strengthen child care programs.

National accrediting associations include:

Licensing Exemptions

License Exempt providers are not licensed or regulated by the Child Care Licensing Unit. If they are caring for a child who is receiving state scholarship they are required to have a background check that includes a criminal record and DCYF central registry check. License Exempt providers who are linked to their Child Care Resource and Referral Agency may have met additional requirements to be listed for referral.

The following types of child care are not required to be licensed by the Child Care Licensing Unit:

  • Kindergartens, nursery schools, or any other daytime programs operated by a public or private elementary or secondary school system or institution of higher learning.
  • Programs offering instruction to children, including but not limited to athletics, crafts, music, or dance, the purpose of which is the teaching of a skill.
  • Private homes in which any number of the provider's own children, whether related biologically or through adoption, and up to 3 additional children are cared for regularly for any part of the day, but less than 24 hours, unless the caregiver elects to comply with the provisions of this chapter and be licensed.
  • Child care services offered in conjunction with religious services attended by the parent or offered solely for the purpose of religious instruction.
  • Facilities operated as a complimentary and limited service for the benefit of the general public in connection with a shopping center, ski area, bowling alley, or other similar operation where the parents or custodians of the serviced children are on the premises or in the immediate vicinity and are readily available.
  • Municipal recreation programs, including after-school and summer recreation programs.
  • Private homes in which the only children in care are the provider's own children, children related to the provider, and children residing with the provider.

Licensed Exempt Recreation Programs

"Recreational program" means any before and/or after school, vacation, or summer youth program for children 6 years of age or older offered by a school or religious group, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Girls Incorporated, the YMCA, or the YWCA, provided that the program:

  • Does not operate in a private home;
  • Notifies parents or guardians that the program is not subject to licensure under RSA 170-E:4;
  • Has policies and procedures to address the filing of grievances by parents and guardians; and
  • Is a member in good standing and in compliance with the national organization's minimum standards and procedures.
Translate this page


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

copyright 2016. State of New Hampshire