Rules & Laws

Proposed Rule Changes

A series of rule changes are being introduced by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Office of Childhood (OOC). The first series of proposed changes are available below for your review.

Rule Series #1

The following set of proposed rule changes are prompted by the transition of the DHSS, Section for Child Care Regulation to DESE’s Office of Childhood pursuant to Executive Order 21-02 and the need to update outdated terminology within the rule. These changes will not affect the day-to-day practices of child care providers or department staff.

For each set of rules, a chart is provided that gives an overview of the proposed rule changes. A full text of the individual rule sections with the proposed changes is also provided. As you review these rules, any language that the OOC is proposing to remove will be [italicized and in brackets] and any language OOC is proposing to add will be in bold.

To submit a comment on the proposed rules contained within Rule Series #1, click here.

Current Laws

Current Regulations

  • 5 CSR 25-300 License-Exempt Child Care Facilities
  • 5 CSR 25-400 Licensing Rules for Family Child Care Homes
  • 5 CSR 25-500 Licensing Rules for Group Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers
  • 5 CSR 25-600 Child Care Comprehensive Background Screening


Certain child care facilities are not required to obtain a child care license from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). To document the exemption, these programs may file a Program Evaluation Questionnaire with DESE in order to obtain an exemption assessment. The exemption process questionnaire is reviewed in our central office. Depending on the type of licensing exemption a program may qualify for, that program may still be required to comply with certain child care laws and regulations. 

Exemptions are set forth in Missouri Statute, sections 210.201 and 210.211, RSMo. Anyone who is caring for six or fewer children, including a maximum of three children under the age of two, at the same physical address is not required to be licensed and does not have to report he/she is providing child care. For the purposes of this exemption, children who live in the caregiver’s home and who are eligible for enrollment in public kindergarten, elementary, or high school shall not be considered in the total number of children under the provider's care.

Other programs such as nursery schools and programs operated under the exclusive control of a religious organization are license-exempt. Programs such as these, under the exemptions stated in section  210.211 RSMo, should file a Program Evaluation Questionnaire with the Office of Childhood so an exemption assessment can be made.