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Licensing and Monitoring for Child Care Centers and Family Child Care Homes

The Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (CCL) licenses and monitors child care centers and family child care homes.  If you want to run a child care center or family child care home you must get a license and then meet all the licensing rules while you are running your program.

 

There are two types of child care licenses:

  1. Child Care Center – A child care center is in a commercial building. Child care centers care for infants to school-age children for less than 24 hours a day. They do not provide medical care. A child care center will receive one or more licenses based on the ages of the children at the center.  
  2. Family Child Care Home – A family child care home cares for children in the caregiver’s home. A family child care home is licensed as either a small or large home. Small homes may have up to eight children at a time, and large homes may have up to fourteen children at a time, if there is a helper. 

Some programs do not need a license. If you want to care for children from only one family in addition to your own, you do not need a license. Some programs that serve groups of children, such as after-school programs, also do not need a license.  However, these programs must follow certain rules. 

 

How to get a child care center license

  1. Attend an online orientation or in person orientation and pay the orientation fee. 
  2. Understand all child care center laws and regulations. There are rules about:
    • Features of the building, including safety plans
    • The number and ages of children served
    • The required background of staff 
    • The programs and services offered
    • Finances and administration
  3. Complete and submit an application packet and pay an application fee.  You will learn how to complete the application during the orientation.
  4. Complete background checks, health screenings, and TB tests as part of the application.
  5. CCL will then decide if you can get a license. They will review your application and inspect your facility to make sure it meets all the rules.

 

How to get a family child care home license

  1. Attend an online orientation or in person orientation and pay the orientation fee. It is a good idea to know what you will need to do to become a family child care home provider before you pay your orientation fee. 
  2. Understand all family child care home licensing laws and regulations. There are rules about:
    • Features of your home
    • The number and ages of the children you can serve
    • The required background of you and any helpers or volunteers
    • Programs and services
    • Record keeping
  3. Complete and submit an application packet and pay an application fee.  You will learn how to complete the application during the orientation.
  4. Complete a background check and a TB test as part of the application.
  5. CCL will then decide if you can get a license. They will review your application and inspect your home to make sure it meets all the rules.

 

After licensing: How CCL will monitor your child care center or family child care home

  1. You must pay an annual fee.
  2. You must submit required reports to CCL.
  3. You must continue to follow all the rules.
  4. CCL will inspect your child care center or family child care home every year. You will NOT know when they are coming to inspect your program. They will check your record-keeping and make sure you are meeting all the rules, including all the health and safety rules. 
    • If you meet the rules, you will receive a report that states that you have been inspected and are in compliance. 
    • If you do not meet the rules, you will receive a citation and must come up with a plan to fix the problem. CCL will make sure the problem is fixed.  See Section V for more details. (Once on web, would be a link to citation section.)
  5. The public has the right to submit a complaint about your child care center or family child care home.  They can call the CCLD Complaint Hotline at 1-844-538-8766. CCL will investigate the complaint by making an unannounced visit to your facility.
  6. Anyone can view the inspection results and complaint history of your child care center or family child care home through the CCL facility search

 

What happens if you do not meet the licensing rules:

  1. If you do not meet the licensing rules during an inspection, you will receive a citation.  
    • Type A citations are the most serious and are issued because there is an immediate threat to the health, safety, or personal rights of the children. 
    • Type B citations are issued because the facility may pose a threat to the health, safety, or personal rights of the children.  
  2. CCL will then help you come up with a plan to fix the problem. This could include a compliance meeting and additional training and support. CCL will then conduct a follow-up visit or ask for a photo, to prove you fixed the problem. 
  3. If you do not fix the problem, three things could happen:
    • Probation: CCL closely monitors your facility and provides support to come into compliance.  
    • Temporary Suspension Order: Your facility must stop caring for children until all legal proceedings are complete. 
    • Revocation:  Your facility must stop caring for children immediately.
  4. You have the right to appeal a citation.

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