The Benefits of Gold Seal

What are the benefits of becoming a Gold Seal Quality Care Program provider?

There are several benefits associated with the Gold Seal Quality Care Program:

  • A positive marketing tool for parents
  • Sales tax exemption
  • An increased reimbursement rate for children participating in school readiness programs.*
  • Designation as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program satisfies the program eligibility requirement for participation in the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program.**

* For more information on the Gold Seal Quality Care Program reimbursement rate, contact your local Office of Early Learning coalition by calling toll free 1-866-357-3239 or visit them at:

From the Department of Revenue:

Florida law provides an exemption from sales and use tax on the purchases of certain items for qualifying Gold Seal Quality Child Care Facilities. This exemption is administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). For more information, visit DCF’s Gold Seal Quality Care Program website.

DCF provides information to the Florida Department of Revenue on those childcare facilities that meet the criteria to be recognized as a Gold Seal Quality Child Care Facility. Based on this information, the Department issues to the facility a Certificate of Exemption for Certain Gold Seal Quality Child Care Facilities (Form DR-20) for a one-year period. When a child care facility meets the annual Gold Seal accreditation requirements, DCF notifies the Department that a new one-year certificate should be issued to the facility.

A Certificate of Exemption for Certain Gold Seal Quality Child Care Facilities is only valid during the facility’s Gold Seal accreditation period. During this period, a facility can provide a copy of the exemption certificate to a retail seller to purchase educational materials, such as glue, paper, paints, crayons, unique craft items, scissors, books, and educational toys, tax exempt. This exemption is not valid to purchase any other items or services tax exempt.

To be recognized as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program provider, please follow the steps below:

  • Review the list of approved Accrediting Agencies located above and contact the agency that best meets the needs of your program.
  • Review the agency’s accreditation requirements and follow their procedures for accreditation. Many child care providers are surprised to learn that they already meet some or many of the accrediting standards.
  • Once a provider has achieved accreditation from an approved accrediting agency, the provider must forward the following information to the DCF Office of Child Care Regulation:
  • Gold Seal Quality Care Provider Application, CF-FSP 5386
  • Upon receipt and verification of the information above, the Department will award a Gold Seal Certificate to the child care provider recognizing their achievement. The certificate will be mailed directly to the child care provider.
  • Proof of the Gold Seal Quality Care designation may be required for participation in Voluntary Prekindergarten Program and tied to increased payments for child care providers participating in the School Readiness program. It is also required as proof for tax incentives outlined in s. 212.08, F.S.

To learn more about Gold Seal, please contact DCF at 1-888-352-4453.

About Gold Seal

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 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 programs, School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK), to receive a higher reimbursement per child, than providers not receiving a Gold Seal designation. Since then, the Legislature has revised the maximum amount of the reimbursement. Currently, the rate differential cannot exceed 20% above the reimbursement rate established by the local early learning coalition.

In 1999, the Legislature revised the program to provide tax incentives through the Department of Revenue or county tax appraiser for participating in the Gold Seal Quality Care Program.

In 2004, VPK legislation was passed and signed into law. This bill requires participating child care facilities and homes to maintain quality care accreditation and higher education standards for staff.

In 2010, the Legislature revised the program requirements in an effort to establish consistency and transparency for both the accreditation agencies and all providers seeking recognition. The new law required the Department to adopt rules that establish Gold Seal Quality Care accreditation standards for child care programs, enforcement action for providers with violations, as well as rules for approving accrediting associations for participation in Gold Seal Quality Care program.

A Gold Seal Quality Care program designation is accepted for a private prekindergarten provider to be eligible to participate in VPK. For other VPK eligibility options, please click here for information on the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program.