How to Start a Daycare in Oregon

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Operating a certified home daycare in Oregon can be a rewarding career for adults 18 and over who are passionate about educating and nurturing children. It is also an economical choice for mothers who wish to remain home with their kids while bringing in a monthly income. A certified family child care home provides child care for up to 12 children. To begin this career, it is extremely important to follow the guidelines set forth by the State of Oregon’s Child Care Division.

Complete 20 semester credits or 30 quarter credits in early childhood education or child development at a college or university. Two hours of training must be in Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse. Adults with one-year of qualifying teaching experience in group childcare, such as kindergarten, preschool, licensed child care or a Headstart program are waived of school credits requirement.

Acquire an infant and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification (CPR) and first aid training. This certification must be renewed each year.

Receive food handler certification. This program teaches food safety in dealing with the public and reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses. Certification is good for three years. Your county government can provide additional information on this program.

Complete 30 hours of infant- and toddler-specific training if daycare is to include children 24 months and under.

Submit the “Application for Certified Family Child Care Home” no later than 45 days prior to daycare opening to the Oregon Employment Department, Child Care Division.

Read and comply with the Oregon Administrative Rules for Division 350, Certified Family Child Care Homes located at the Employment Department, Child Care Division.

Submit the following documentation with daycare applications: - Local and/or state sanitation and zoning approvals for your daycare facility. - House plan indicating room dimensions, room usage plans and locations of required exits, plumbing fixtures and kitchen and bathrooms.

Enroll in the Oregon Child Care Division’s Criminal History Registry at the Oregon Employment Department with a Child Care Division Criminal History Registry Online Application. This is required of all staff and anyone over 18 living in your daycare location. There is a small fee for enrollment. If an FBI background check is required, an additional fee is requested.

Meet with Oregon Child Care Division staff at your home day care location for evaluation of your home and prospective day care to determine if licensing requirements are being met. The Child Care Division will set up this meeting.

Provide proof of certifications for required courses for each prospective daycare staff member at the time of your pre-certification visit with Oregon Child Care Division staff.


Training classes’ dates/times can be found by contacting the local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency at the Oregon Child Care Resource and Referral Network or call (800) 342-6712.

A registration fee is required to apply for a home daycare license in Oregon. This fee is nonrefundable. Licenses are good for two years before renewal is required.