Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

55 Pa. Code § 3280.4. Definitions.

§ 3280.4. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   ACIP—The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Health and Human Services.

   Act—The Human Services Code (62 P.S. § §  101—1503).

   Age level—The grouping category appropriate for the child’s age.

     (i)   Infant—A child from birth to 1 year of age.

     (ii)   Young toddler—A child from 1 to 2 years of age.

     (iii)   Older toddler—A child from 2 to 3 years of age.

     (iv)   Preschool child—A child from 3 years of age to the date the child enters kindergarten in a public or private school system.

     (v)   Young school-age child—A child who attends kindergarten to the date the child enters the 4th grade of a public or private school system.

     (vi)   Older school-age child—A child who attends the 4th grade of a public or private school system through 15 years of age.

   CPS—Children’s Protective Services.

   CPSLChild Protective Services Law—Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Chapter 63 (relating to Child Protective Services Law).

   CRNP—Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner.

   Casual contact—The ordinary, routine and age-appropriate association of children, parents and facility persons in the course of daily assembly in a facility.

   Certificate of compliance—A document issued by the Department to a legal entity permitting the entity to operate a specific type of facility at a specific location for a specific period of time according to applicable Department regulations. A certificate of compliance approves the operation of a facility subject to Article IX of the act (62 P.S. § §  901—922) or licenses the operation of a facility subject to Article X of the act (62 P.S. § §  1001—1088).

   Child—A person 15 years of age or younger.

   Child abuse—Serious physical or mental injury which is not explained by the available medical history as being accidental; sexual abuse or sexual exploitations; or serious physical neglect of a child if the injury, abuse or neglect of a child has been caused by the acts or omissions of the child’s parent, by a person responsible for the child’s welfare, by an individual residing in the same home as the child or by a paramour of the child’s parent. A child will not be deemed to be physically or mentally abused for the sole reason that the child is in good faith being furnished treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by an accredited practitioner thereof or is not provided specified medical treatment in the practice of religious beliefs or solely on the grounds of environmental factors which are beyond the control of the person responsible for the child’s welfare, such as inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing and medical care.

   Child care experience—Care for a child in lieu of care by the parent or guardian for part of a 24-hour day. The term includes care of foster children in a court-supervised arrangement. The term does not include care of related children who reside with an individual. The term does not include supervised onsite training in the case of a student who is fulfilling the requirements of a secondary or postsecondary child care training or educational curriculum.

   Child with special needs—A child who has one or more of the following:

     (i)   A disability or developmental delay identified on an IEP, an IFSP or a service agreement.

     (ii)   A written behavioral plan that has been determined by a licensed physician, licensed psychologist or certified behavior analyst.

     (iii)   A chronic health condition diagnosed by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant or CRNP that requires health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.

   Communicable disease—An illness due to an infectious agent or its toxic products which is transmitted directly or indirectly by the infected agent to a susceptible host. Communicable diseases are specified in 28 Pa. Code Chapter 27 (relating to communicable and noncommunicable diseases).

   Department—The Department of Human Services of the Commonwealth.

   Facility—A group child care home.

   Facility person—A primary staff person, a secondary staff person, a substitute staff person, a volunteer or another adult who serves in or is employed by a facility.

   Group—Children assigned to the care of one, two or three staff persons. A group occupies a space or a defined part of a space.

   Group child care home—The premises in which care is provided at one time for more than 6 but fewer than 16 older school-age level children or more than 6 but fewer than 13 children of another age level who are unrelated to the operator. The term includes a facility located in a residence or other premises.

   IEP—Individualized education program as defined in 22 Pa. Code § §  14.101 and § §  14.131—14.133 (relating to defintions; and IEP).

   IFSP—Individualized family service plan as defined in § §  4226.5 and 4226.71—4226.77 (relating to definitions; and IFSPs).

   Inspection summary—A document prepared by an agent of the Department describing each regulatory noncompliance item confirmed as a result of a facility inspection.

   Legal entity—A person, society, corporation, governing authority or partnership that is legally responsible for the administration of one facility or several facilities, or one type of facility or several types of facilities.

   Night care—Care for a child between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

   Operator—The legal entity or a person designated by the legal entity to serve as the primary staff person.

   Parent—The biological or adoptive mother or father, legal guardian or foster mother or father of the child.

   Potentially hazardous food—A food that consists in whole or in part of milk or milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish or other ingredients capable of supporting rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms.

   Relative—A parent, child, stepparent, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew. As applied to facilities subject to approval under Article IX of the act, the term also includes a stepbrother, stepsister or first cousin.

   School-age care—Supervised child care in a Departmentally certified facility during the hours when a child is not required to attend school.

   Service agreement—A service agreement as defined in 22 Pa. Code § §  15.2 and 15.7 (relating to definitions; and service agreement).

   Space—An indoor or outdoor area designed for child care that is large enough to accommodate the maximum number of children allowed under this chapter. A space may be used by more than one group of children.

   Staff person—A person included in the staff:child ratio who is responsible for child care activities.

   Supervise—To be physically present with a group of children or with the facility person under supervision. Critical oversight in which the supervisor can see, hear, direct and assess the activity of the supervisee.

   Volunteer—A person 16 years of age or older who is not included in the staff:child ratio and who assists in implementing daily program activities under the supervision of a staff person.

   Waiver—The Department’s written exemption from the requirement of meeting a standard set forth in this chapter.

   Year—For purposes of calculating, 1 year of child care experience is a minimum of 1,250 clock hours.


   The provisions of this §  3280.4 amended under Articles IX and X of the Human Services Code (62 P.S. § §  901—922 and 1001—1088).


   The provisions of this §  3280.4 amended May 23, 2008, effective September 22, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 2437; amended December 18, 2020, effective December 19, 2020, 50 Pa.B. 7133. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (375655) to (375656) and (335065) to (335066).

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3280.122 (relating to admission interview); and 55 Pa. Code §  3280.221 (relating to requirements specific to school-age programs).

No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.