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How to Obtain a Director's License for Child Care

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Child care, also known as early childhood education, is the term for caring for children up to the age of 16. It is a very complex field that requires extensive knowledge in child development and program development. Child care directors can run a care center from their home or from an outside location. You can operate them as for-profit or non-profit companies.

Applying for a Director's License

Review the types of child care available and decide what works best for you. Before applying for a license, you need to decide what type of child care facility that you will be operating.

There are two major decisions that must be made before applying for a director's license. First, you must decide if you want to operate the child care operation from your home or from a separate location.

Secondly, you must declare if you are running the child care as a for-profit business or as a non-profit organization.

Prepare the necessary documents for the director's license application. Though it varies from state to state, almost all states will require a child care director to provide proof of medical record, completed inspections signed by the health inspector and fire marshal of the child care location, a signed criminal release form to allow a criminal background check and documentation of educational background.

Though it is possible to start the application without these documents, it will lengthen the application process. Also, if these documents cannot be secured, the application will be denied.

Contact your state's family services department for a child care director's license application. Child care director's license are administered by states, not by a federal agency. The requirements vary from state to state, but each state has its own application that must be filled out to acquire a license.

Contact your local town or county government to inquire about ordinances regarding child care. While the state application will take care of your licensing, there are local laws regarding child care that must be adhered to before you can open up your child care operation. As with state laws, these local ordinances vary greatly and it is advised that you contact the town or city hall directly to make sure you are not unknowingly in violation, which could cause your child care operation to be fined or temporarily shut down.

Learn about your state's minimum requirements for child care facilities. Once you are approved for a director's license, you will still be monitored by your state's department of family and/or child services to make sure your child care is up to the state's requirements. This is necessary to maintain your director's license.


This is a general outline of how to obtain a director's license for child care. You need to contact your state's family and/or child services division for specific information on receiving a license in your state. There could be steps or requirements not listed here that are necessary to obtain a license in your state.