Data Definitions

Licensed Child Care Center: A facility licensed by the Office of Early Childhood that offers full or part-time care for more than twelve related or unrelated children. Child Care Centers also include Group Child Care Homes that provide care for 7 to 12 children. Child Care Centers are operated in commercial rather than residential facilities, distinct from Family Child Care Homes (see below). Does not include Nursery School (part-day enrichment programs) and other part-day programs.

Exempt Child Care Center:  Child care program administered by a public school system, municipality and/or private school. These programs are legally authorized (see below) but exempt from licensing requirements in the state of Connecticut. Does not include Nursery School (part-day enrichment programs) and other partial day programs.

Group Day Care Home: Child Care program in a residential setting licensed as a child care center that provides care for 7 to 12 children. The data from these programs is included in licensed child care center reporting.

Family Child Care Home: Child Care program in residential settings that are licensed to care for up to 9 children in the program owner’s home.

Legally Authorized Capacity:  Number of child care slots that a center, group day care, or family child care home is licensed by the Office of Early Childhood to provide. Also includes slots offered by license-exempt center-based programs (see above, “Exempt Child Care Centers”).

Actual Capacity: The sum of reported openings and reported enrollment, or total slots for child care actually offered by a given child care program reported at the time of the survey. Actual capacity is less than or equal to Legally Authorized Capacity. 

% Actual vs Authorized Capacity: The percentage of legally authorized child care slots actually offered by a given program as a percentage of the legally authorized capacity.

Enrollment: The number of child care slots actually offered by a program into which a child is enrolled  and attending or registered to attend

Openings: Child Care slot(s) available for enrollment for a child/ren of the corresponding age(s).

Openings %: Open child care slots as a percentage of actual capacity (# open slots/total # of child care slots actually offered).

Age Groups:

  • Infant/Toddler: 0 to 35 months in Center-based programs, 0-17 months in Family Child Care programs
  • Preschool: 3 years to 5 years in Center-based programs, 18 months to 5 years in Family Child Care programs
  • School Age: 5 years to 12 years in Center-based programs and in Family Child Care programs
  • Nursery School: Part Day Enrichment program for 3 years to 5 years

Data Collection

Data for the 2024 Child Care snapshot is based largely on data collected through 211 Child Care’s annual survey of Connecticut child care providers. 63% of the state’s programs provided enrollment and openings information in response to the 2023-2024 survey, administered from September 1, 2023, to January 2024 via telephone and electronic survey and data providers reported directly into the 211 Child Care Data System. Survey data was used together with reported enrollments gathered through Office of Early Childhood licensing inspection visits to a subset of providers. Actual reported capacity assignment enrollment and openings information was used to develop projections of capacity distribution, enrollment and openings for programs that did not respond to the survey.


Data Capacity Calculations

We used actual age-specific capacity when programs reported this data in response to the 2024 survey. For programs that did not respond to the survey, we used the assumptions below to generate age-specific and facility-specific capacity estimates.


The detailed Data Definition document can be downloaded here.

Translate »