How to Become a Licensed Child Care Provider in California

If you’re ready to start a career as a licensed child care provider in California, it’s essential that you start by understanding the requirements for licensure, which are rigorous and controlled by the Department of Social Services.

Below you’ll learn about what the process entails so you know what to expect from the application process.

Basic Requirements

There are two kinds of child care licenses: those for homes and those for child care centers.  Many of the requirements for licensure are the same.  In order to get a child care license, you must be at least 18 years old. To begin the process, you must attend an online or in-person orientation.  These are scheduled frequently throughout the state of California.  You must also pay a non-refundable $25 fee prior to attending orientation.

Complete Forms

During orientation you will receive the forms you need to complete to get your license.  Depending on what kind of license you want to get, these may include a basic license application, a form describing the current children in your home, a criminal record statement, an emergency care and disaster plan, a statement agreeing to report any suspected child abuse, and a facility sketch.  Make sure to read and complete these forms carefully, answer all questions honestly, and always keep a copy.

Background Checks

In order to become licensed as a child care provider, you will need to have a background check clearance for yourself.  If you will provide child care from your home, anyone living in your home or adults who will have contact with the children you care for will also need to have a background check.  In addition, anyone working in a child care position, whether at home or at a center, will have to obtain a tuberculosis clearance.  All adults who will have contact with the children you care for must also do so.

Preventative Health Practices and Other Training

Another step in getting your child care license is to complete a Preventive Health Practices training.  This includes 15 hours of CPR, pediatric first aid, and preventive health classes. The classes you choose must be provided by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, or be Emergency Medical Services Authority approved. When you submit your application, you will submit copies of your certifications as well.  In addition to this training, you will need to be knowledgeable about all child care laws and regulations. You will learn more about this during orientation.

Large Family Child Care

If you will be providing child care to many children (up to 14) you must have at least a year of professional experience as a licensed and verified Small Family Child Care Home provider or have administered, directed, or taught at a licensed Child Care Center for one year.  You will need documentation and a letter from a former employer that describes what your role was during this position.

Additional Requirements

Depending on where you live, you may have additional requirements, so you will want to check with your local licensing center.  You will also need to pass a home or center inspection as part of the process.  Finally, if you rent or lease your home and will have your facility there, you need to notify your landlord that you will be running a child care facility in your home.

By following the steps above, getting your license should be a relatively straightforward process.

If you experience legal issues with getting your child care license, seeking the assistance of an attorney is crucial.  For help from a lawyer you can trust, contact California license defense attorney Scott Harris.  Click to schedule a free, 30-minute consultation or call us at 323-794-0701 or at 877-865-6218.

This blog is meant to be informational. It is not meant to be all-encompassing legal advice. If you are facing a situation involving your professional license, seek counsel from a licensed attorney.