One of the biggest concerns of starting a daycare is the daycare license requirements. The myths and stories surrounding these requirements can be challenging for anyone. Just finding the rules is the first challenge, and then you find the rules written in some foreign lawyer speak. In the end it really doesn’t need to be that challenging. So here are 6 things you should know about daycare licensing requirements.

  1. You may not need to be licensed. Yep, let’s start with a big one. Depending on the number of kids you take care of and where you care for them you may not need to be licensed at all. Generally speaking small home based daycares are free to operate without a license.
  2. Each State sets it own rules. States are the regulating authorities for daycares, often thru their health departments. Because of this rules and requirements change state by state. However, the rules tend to be similar. The main point is to make sure kids are taken care of just like you would like yours to be cared for.
  3. Licensed providers can charge more. Licensed providers are in greater demand, and can be paid by many state programs for child care. This allows them to charge more, and still be full, what a great combination.
  4. Not expensive to get licensed. You would think it would cost a lot to get licensed and be allowed to charge more, but you would be wrong. The biggest cost is the cost of time to complete the paperwork. Other than that the cost may be no more than a small filing fee. Don’t let the cost of becoming licensed hold you back from going forward.
  5. Finding the rules is easy. Because this is one of the most common questions when starting a daycare I have done a lot of the hard work for you. You can find the complete state by state listing of daycare license requirements here. You will find a brief overview of the rules along with links to all the specific rules.
  6. You should not be afraid of becoming licensed. It can be scary to start the licensing process, and doubts will start to fly around in your head. Don’t let this stop you. Remember the rules are only set for the basic safety of the kids you will be taking care of, and are nothing more than what you would want for your own child. If you are taking good care of children already and showing concern for their safety you have done what every state would want.

In the end the choice is yours about whether to become licensed or not. But don’t let a lack of knowledge stop you from becoming a licensed daycare provider.