Frequently Asked Questions

Families must meet the following requirements to stay at our House:

  • Have a child (aged 21 or younger) who is receiving medical treatment (inpatient or outpatient) at Cincinnati Children’s or other area hospitals may request a room at Ronald McDonald House. *If the patient has a documented developmental disability and they are fully dependent on another adult for care, please reach out to our team to ask about exceptions.
  • The child is being seen as an outpatient at least twice weekly at Cincinnati Children’s or, with pre-approval, another area hospital. Exceptions to this may be approved on a case-by-case basis. It is important to note the family may be required to show proof of treatment frequency to a Guest Services Manager.
  • Families live more than 40 miles away from Cincinnati Children’s. Families who live within a 40-mile radius of RMHC may stay at the House if they have a child in the Cardiac Care Unit, Intensive Care Unit (“ICU”) or Regional Center for Newborn Intensive Care (“RCNIC”). Once the patient is transferred to a step-down unit, the family will be asked to check out. In the case of ICU or RCNIC, a family’s continued stay will be handled on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of the Guest Services Manager after consultation with the family’s social worker.
  • Families are NOT required to be vaccinated to stay in Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House.

Parents or legal guardians of any child may reside at Ronald McDonald House. Parents are welcome to bring siblings, but note that child care is not provided, and an adult must supervise children at all times. Please note: guest families are not required to be vaccinated to stay.

All overnight guests under 18 must be accompanied by their legal guardian. In the case of an underage parent, that parent’s legal guardian (patient’s grandparent) or spouse over 18 must also stay to take responsibility for care of the minor.

Anyone outside the immediate family, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent, must be helping to serve as support for the family and must be approved by RMHC management. RMHC conducts a formal criminal background check on all individuals applying for temporary residence. A background check authorization must be received from each individual applying to stay at least 2 business days prior to their arrival. RMHC reserves the right to refuse admittance to any potential resident or guest with a criminal conviction. RMHC does not admit anyone with a felony or misdemeanor conviction that may threaten the health, safety, welfare, and ability of other individuals to peacefully enjoy the House (e.g., violent crimes, domestic violence, child abuse, sex offenses, illegal drug activity and/or burglary).

We can provide only one room per family. In compliance with Fire Code Regulations, we do have a maximum capacity for each room. The maximum number of people per room is dependent on the size of the room. Rooms range in occupancy size from 2 – 6 people.

Guests should speak to a manager on duty if they would like to add a guest to their room. We require any additional guest to submit a background check prior to arrival.

Each family may have only one room. We are always full to capacity and always have a waiting list. In order to help as many families as possible, it is necessary to make this limit of one room per family.

If a family is unable to use their room at least once each day (24 hours), RMHC will request that they check out so that another family may be served.

While guests are welcome to make a donation to support their stay at our House, there is no requirement to do so. Please discuss any questions with the Guest Services Manager.

We also work with families to see whether a third party, such as medical insurance, will pay. If you have insurance or Medicaid, please contact them before coming to Ronald McDonald House to establish what is required for them to pay for your stay.

There are convenient parking options nearby for guest families staying at Ronald McDonald House. Upon arrival, families can pull into our lot and park in our temporary parking while checking in. After checking in and unloading your vehicle, our staff will direct you where to park your vehicle.

  • Through our Taste of Hope program, one of our chefs will lead meal volunteers (community civic groups, churches, businesses, etc.) in preparing nutritious and delicious meals for our guest families every day of the week, twice a day. We serve lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on weekends.
  • Ronald McDonald House has a kitchen for our families to use. Each family has its own small kitchen cabinet for dry food, as well as a common refrigerator/freezer space with a marked basket. The kitchen is fully stocked with cooking appliances and utensils.
  • We have Kosher & Gluten-Free options available in our Guest Family Kitchen for families to utilize.
  • Our culinary team is available to discuss your dietary needs.
  • Free coffee is available 24/7 and our vending machines offer Coke products for just 75¢.
  • We do have a communal pantry stocked with basic non-perishable food, as well as communal refrigerators with staple items like milk, orange juice, eggs, yogurt and more, depending upon donations.
  • In addition to our common spaces, our calendar is usually booked with many groups volunteering to provide fun activities for your children.

To gain access to our calendar which provides daily menus and a schedule of activities, download our free RMH Cincy app!

Yes. We accept deliveries during normal business hours and will be happy to forward them to the family. However, because families sometimes check out unexpectedly, it is best to call ahead and confirm with the family that they are still staying with us before you send anything.

Our staff and volunteers are unable to accept any delivery of medical supplies or medications. A family representative must be present to receive such deliveries.

Ronald McDonald House is directly across the street from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in easy walking distance.

See Map

There is no smoking anywhere inside Ronald McDonald House.

There is, however, one designated outdoor area for smoking. This designated smoking area is THE ONLY place smoking (including e-cigarettes) is permitted. The rest of our House and grounds are smoke-free.

Contact Cincinnati Children’s Guest Services for the current list of shopping trips. You must sign up 24 hours in advance. Call by Friday to sign up for the Monday shuttle. (513) 636-5009 or toll-free (888) 894-1374.

You can also contact for any other questions. You may also contact Cincinnati Children’s security at (513) 636-4204 for an escort.

Note: Fetal care moms being treated at Good Samaritan or UC Hospitals should contact their social worker to arrange transportation to appointments.

No. Parents are required to be responsible for their own children and provide supervision at all times. Children under the age of 18 and any patient irrespective of age – may not be left alone in the House. Neither House volunteers nor other guest families are permitted to babysit your child.

The House allows service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. No other pets are allowed in the House. Please contact us should you have a service animal.

Guest families staying in our South Wing are required to wear a mask outside of their room in this area. At this time, the remainder of our House is mask optional. We follow the guidance of Cincinnati Children’s and local health officials in helping to determine our masking policy.