In 1996, the Florida Legislature established the Gold Seal Quality Care program to acknowledge child care facilities and family day care homes that are accredited by nationally recognized agencies and whose standards reflect quality in the level of care and supervision provided to children. In addition, the Legislature established provisions for Gold Seal providers participating in the subsidized child care program, a.k.a. school readiness and early learning, to receive a higher reimbursement rate per child than providers not receiving a Gold Seal designation.

Licensing standards established using Florida Statute (F.S.) and the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) are the “minimum” standards that a child care facility, family child home or large family child care home must meet in order to be licensed or registered. Child care programs accredited by an accrediting agency approved to participate in the Gold Seal Quality Care Program meet additional standards promoting quality in their programs. These programs are eligible to receive a Gold Seal Quality Care Designation.


The Gold Seal Quality Care Program is a voluntary program with potential benefits of participation including, but not limited to: a positive marketing tool for parents, sales tax exemption, and an increased reimbursement rate for children participating in school readiness programs.


To be approved, accrediting agencies must substantially meet or exceed the Gold Seal Quality Care standards adopted by the department which are based on the applicable accrediting standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA), or the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC). These standards require a level of care that exceeds the minimum licensing standards. The Office of Child Care Regulation is tasked with ensuring that the accrediting agencies approved for participation are of sufficient variety to meet the needs of all child care providers (i.e., faith- based, school-age, Montessori, school-based, private, etc.).