Family Child Care Licensing

Child care is regulated

Child care is regulated to ensure the safety and well-being of young children and reduce risks of harm. While parents may check a number of conditions before placing their own children with an individual provider, the State has established specific standards for all child care providers to safeguard all children.

By law, anyone, who cares for more than two children, not related by blood, marriage, or adoption, with or without payment, must be licensed by the State Department of Human Services (DHS). An application must be made with the DHS and each applicant and home is “studied”. An application can be approved or denied, and a license can be revoked or suspended if conditions are considered dangerous to the children’s health, safety or welfare. Only when standards are met and a license is issued can a person provide child care. Persons who are required to be licensed but provide child care without a license are in violation of the law and subject to a fine.

We commend you for your interest in becoming a licensed family child care provider. After all, caring for someone else’s children,… all day… every day, is a tough job. Not everyone is suited for it. So, before you put the time and effort to get your license and open your home as a child care business, it’s a good idea to ask yourself some important questions. But, remember, negative answers don’t necessarily mean you should not become a child care provider.

want to open a daycare?

are you suited for child care?

  • Are you at least eighteen years old?
  • Do you make children feel welcome, secure and cared for?
  • Are you in good health, physically and emotionally?
  • Do you have the energy and stamina for the job?
  • Do you like children and know enough about them to take good care of them?
  • Are you flexible enough to accept children from different backgrounds?
  • Can you handle accidents calmly?
  • What if you become ill or have an emergency? Can you find a substitute?
  • Is your proposed child care home a legal dwelling (complies with local county codes)?
  • Does your community/condominium association or landlord allow child care?
  • Are there parking spaces for parents to safely drop off and pick up their children?
  • Is your home and yard safe for children?
  • Are you willing to have licensing workers and parents of the children in your care visit your home any time during your hours of operation?
  • Do you need a work Visa (non-U.S. citizen)? Is it current?
  • Are all adult household members willing to obtain medical clearances, and criminal and child abuse/neglect checks?
  • Does any household member have a criminal conviction or child abuse/neglect confirmation?
  • Do you want this much responsibility?

CONTACT your local Department of Human Services Child Care Licensing Units to get an application packet.