Adult Day Care Requirements


Adult day care centers are not prisons, nor are they nursing homes. Rather, they are places that can provide assistance and healthy activities to your loved one when you are not able to, such as when you are at work. Because the lives and health of individuals are entrusted to them, adult day care centers have regulations to follow concerning the level of care provided. These regulations vary from state to state.

Licensing and Certification

  • According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), all states have licensing and certification requirements for adult day care centers. Some of the criteria include the safety of the physical building (such as electrical being up to code), and adequate medical personnel on hand to dispense medications and to attend to medical needs. The criteria involved are in-depth, and all states maintain a database of qualifications for licensing.

Staff Training

  • Another area of regulation is staff training. Staff must be trained how to assist special needs individuals. All states require the staff to have CPR training. Another common theme is citizen rights training, and how to report abuse, neglect and exploitation. Staff must also be trained in food sanitation and pathogen control protocols.

Staff to Individual Ratio

  • According to the USDHHS, many states have established minimum ratios of staff to individuals served. For example, California requires one staff member for every four clients. In California, if an adult day care center has four clients and wants to take on two more, it must hire one more staff member to assist the two additional clients.

Regular Inspections

  • Most states inspect adult day care facilities regularly, to ensure compliance with the laws. These inspections may be announced or unannounced. Some of the areas investigated are record keeping, incident reporting, health and sanitation.


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