Gold Seal Quality Care Program
The Gold Seal Quality Care (Gold Seal) program was established in 1996 to acknowledge child care facilities and family day care homes that have gone above the required minimum licensing standards to become accredited by recognized agencies whose standards reflect quality in the level of care and supervision provided to children. Effective July 1, 2021, the Gold Seal program was transferred to the Department of Education from the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Participation in this program is voluntary and is available to all provider types that meet the definition of child care except for certain license-exempt school-age programs identified in Chapter 65C-22.008(3), F.A.C. The Gold Seal Quality Care Program is not an accreditation, but a designation with potential benefits to those child care providers that participate including, but not limited to:
- A positive marketing tool for prospective parents.
- Tax exemptions - The Florida Department of Revenue issues the exemption certificates for sales tax. This exemption is for certain educational materials. The application for a sales tax exemption for Gold Seal Quality Care Child Care Facilities can be obtained by contacting the email address below. To obtain an application for property tax exemption, facilities will need to contact the local property appraiser’s office. The property appraisers process these applications and issue the property tax exemption.
- Higher reimbursement for School Readiness providers. Please go to School Readiness for more information on the School Readiness Program.
- Eligibility to participate in Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) (Proof of the Gold Seal Quality Care Accreditation may be required). Please go to VPK for information on the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program.
Gold Seal Quality Care Frequently Asked Questions
Does a child care provider have to be licensed to qualify for the Gold Seal Quality Care Program?
Any legally operating child care facility, family day care home, or large family child care home is eligible to achieve Gold Seal Quality Care Program designation status if it is accredited by one of the Division of Early Learning’s (Division) approved Gold Seal Quality Care Program Accrediting Associations and meets all other requirements. Although the Division doesn’t require that a provider be licensed in order to participate, some accrediting associations may require licensure as part of their accrediting process. For example, the National Association for Family Child Care requires a family child care home to be licensed in order to become accredited. Providers that are not licensed must agree, by submission of the Gold Seal Provider application, to periodic inspections conducted by Department of Children and Families (DCF) or the local licensing authority.
What is the cost associated with becoming a Gold Seal Quality Care Program provider?
The Division does not charge a fee for the Gold Seal Quality Care Program designation; however, the accrediting association does charge an application fee and a validation fee as part of their accreditation process. For more information on accreditation fees and other costs, please contact the accrediting association directly.
What are the steps to become accredited?
For Gold Seal purposes, a provider must select an accrediting association recognized to participate in the Gold Seal Quality Care Program. The list of recognized accrediting associations is available at Gold Seal accrediting associations (PDF). It is recommended for a provider to do research on the Accrediting Associations to determine which one would be the best fit for their program.
Can a child care provider be accredited by more than one of the approved Gold Seal Quality Care Program accrediting associations?
Yes. However, the Gold Seal designation information in the Department of Children and Families’ Provider Search webpage only reports one accreditation per child care provider. Accreditation by more than one of the approved Gold Seal Quality Care Program Accrediting Associations does not affect the Gold Seal Quality Care Program reimbursement rate or the tax benefit.
How long does it take to receive a Gold Seal Quality Care certificate once the Gold Seal Quality Care Provider application has been submitted?
It usually takes about three weeks to process a Gold Quality Care Program application request. However, license exempt providers with no inspection history in the last two years will be required to have an inspection prior to application approval which may delay the process. The Children’s Forum will then send an electronic certificate once the application is approved.
Who issues the tax exemptions for Gold Seal designated providers?
The Florida Department of Revenue issues the exemption certificates for sales tax. This exemption is for certain educational materials, primarily items such as books, crayons, educational toys, glue, paint, paper, unique craft items and scissors. The application for a Tax Exemption for Gold Seal Quality Care Child Care Facilities can be found on the Gold Seal Quality Care Program page on the Children’s Forum website.
For the property tax exemption, please contact your local property appraiser office or visit: http://floridarevenue.com/Pages/forms_index.aspx#adval.
For additional information about the Gold Seal Quality Care Program: