How to obtain a child care license

A child care business can be rewarding if you enjoy working with children. To operate such a business legally, you will need to apply for the child care license in your state. The exact requirements for it may vary in different states. In some places, all child care services require a license, while in others it is only necessary to care for a number of children. Securing a license for it is the first step in running a successful child care business.

  1. Decide if you will provide care in your home or in a specialized center. The requirements for the license may differ depending on where you develop your business and how many children you admit.
  2. Research the laws for child care licenses in your particular jurisdiction. You can obtain your license from a local public welfare department, from the health and human services department or from a similar agency.
  3. Obtain a license package from the appropriate agency in your jurisdiction. In some places, you can request license application packages over the phone, while in others you must order them in person. Some jurisdictions may even provide the material for online applications.
  4. Check the licensing package in your jurisdiction for the minimum requirements you will have to have to access a secure license. For example, your jurisdiction may request a minimum age and education. Often, the director of a child care center must have a college degree or some type of certification. However, nursery owners may have only a high school or General Educational Development (DEG) degree.
  5. Go to an orientation if necessary within your jurisdiction. This can provide an introduction to child care laws and licensing procedures in your jurisdiction.
  6. Deliver a background investigation. In many states, people must present a clean record of criminal records and child abuse before accessing the license. It is also necessary to take fingerprints.
  7. Inspect your home or the space where you will conduct the business to make sure it meets state standards. For example, you may have to install a medicine cabinet with keys to meet the requirements of some states. You may find the requirements for the license in your state in the application package or on the website for licenses and permits. Sometimes this information also provides guidance.
  8. Complete any additional training that is necessary in your state. For example, you may have to complete cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid training before receiving your license.
  9. Plan a medical exam and a tuberculosis test. You may be asked to submit a medical form to show that you are in good health.
  10. Present the complete application and the payment fee required for the address in your application package. The fees depend on the jurisdiction in which you want to conduct your child care business and the type of service you want to start.
  11. Allow inspectors to visit your daycare or child care center if necessary. Some states require that this type of business be inspected before applying for licenses, or at some point after such process.