Becoming a daycare provider involves obtaining a license to operate a child care facility. Most states mandate all child care providers to maintain a license or face strict penalties. In addition to obtaining a child care license and other relevant business permits or licenses, all daycare providers must maintain safe facilities to ensure the safety of the children and other visitors of the daycare center.
Nearly all states require daycare centers to be licensed by the state government child care agency. Although this government agency may have different names associated with it in different states, it is generally the local government agency that regulates child care in the state of the child care provider’s daycare center. The actual requirements to obtain the license vary from state to state; however, the process typically consists of completing an application; participating in an orientation; and other compliance procedures, such as an inspection of the daycare facility. Also, each state requires certain prerequisites to be able to obtain a license for a childcare facility, including minimum education requirements and work experience. The website for the National Child Care Information Center, www.nccic.org provides information about daycare licensing and agencies that regulate child care in each state. Also, the Department of Social Services in the state of the daycare facility can provide additional information regarding child care licensing. In addition to obtaining a childcare license, many states require child care providers to obtain a business license or permit to operate the business.
All child care providers must ensure that the facility is safe for the children, employees, parents and other visitors. To ensure that the facility is safe, the arrangement of the doors, stairs, play areas, playgrounds, kitchens and bathrooms must conform to local building codes and any safety regulations required by the state. Also, the National Child Care Information Center provides an overall guide for safety in daycare centers. The website provides resources and links to the requirements in each state. In addition to the safety measures for the daycare center, many states mandate all child care providers to possess first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certifications or at least have knowledge about first aid and CPR.
Most daycare providers carry liability insurance to provide coverage for any possible accidents or injuries that may occur on the property. A large number of insurance companies offer insurance specifically formulated for daycare providers and most insurance companies maintain certain prerequisites to obtain child care insurance. There are a variety of different insurance packages available for businesses, and a licensed insurance agent can provide details about different types of insurance packages for child care businesses