Religious Exempt Information

New Online Religious Exemption from Licensure Annual Statement does not apply to those counties with local licensing authority: Broward, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Sarasota.

This page contains information pertaining to child care facilities operating under the religious exemption rules as described in Section 402.316, Florida Statutes.

Section 402.316, Florida Statutes:

  • The provisions of ss. 402.301-402.319, except for the requirements regarding screening of child care personnel, shall not apply to a child care facility which is an integral part of church or parochial schools conducting regularly scheduled classes, courses of study, or educational programs accredited by, or by a member of, an organization which publishes and requires compliance with its standards for health, safety, and sanitation. However, such facilities shall meet minimum requirements of the applicable local governing body as to health, sanitation, and safety and shall meet the screening requirements pursuant to ss. 402.305 and 402.3055. Failure by a facility to comply with such screening requirements shall result in the loss of the facility's exemption from licensure.
  • Any county or city with state or local child care licensing programs in existence on July 1, 1974, will continue to license the child care facilities as covered by such programs, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), until and unless the licensing agency makes a determination to exempt them.
  • Any child care facility covered by the exemption provisions of subsection (1), but desiring to be included in this act, is authorized to do so by submitting notification to the Department of Children and Families. Once licensed, such facility cannot withdraw from the act and continue to operate.

Please contact the Child Care Program Office at (850) 488-4900 or email Child Care Licensing for further information on religious exemption.

Online Religious Exemption from Licensure Annual Statement Form