Child Care and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, businesses that are public accommodations or commercial facilities, and in transportation.

Privately-run child care centers - like other public accommodations such as private schools, recreation centers, restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, and banks must comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Child care services provided by State and local government agencies, such as Head Start, summer programs, and extended school day programs, must comply with Title II of the ADA. Both titles apply to a child care center's interactions with the children, parents, guardians, and potential customers that it serves.

The U.S. Department of Justice answers questions about the ADA and provides free publications by mail and fax through its ADA Information Line and on its ADA Home Page External site disclaimer on the Internet.

ADA Information Line:
1-800-514-0301 (Voice) 1-800-514-0383 (TDD)

ADA Home Page: External site disclaimer

Examples of ADA Information Available
Commonly Asked Questions about Child Care Centers and the ADA External site disclaimer

  • A 13-page publication that provides answers to commonly asked questions about how the ADA applies to Child Care Centers.

ADA Questions and Answers

  • A 32-page booklet in easy-to-use question and answer format giving an overview of the ADA's requirements.

Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal

  • This document helps identify accessibility problems in small to medium-sized existing facilities and provides sample solutions for some common architectural barriers.

Tax Credits and Deductions

  • To assist businesses with complying with the ADA, Section 44 of the IRS Code allows a tax credit for small businesses and Section 190 of the IRS Code allows a tax deduction for all businesses. These credits and deductions for businesses can be used to cover selected costs of providing access to people with disabilities.