How to Open a Daycare in Wyoming
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The Wyoming Department of Family Services Early Childhood division licenses and regulates all childcare facilities in the state. The DFS ensures that children are receiving safe and developmentally appropriate care and providers are properly trained for handling the demands of caring for children. If you wish to open a daycare in Wyoming, the DFS has established a specific set of steps that you must complete before being licensed.
Confirm that the location for your daycare center complies with local zoning requirements. Check with the zoning board in the area where you plan to open to determine the requirements and restrictions. Obtain approval for your business if necessary.
Visit your doctor. The application to license a daycare in Wyoming requires you to submit proof that you have been tested for tuberculosis and a statement from your physician certifying that you do not have any medical or emotional conditions that would prevent you from caring for children. The forms for these statements can be found on the state's Department of Family Resources website.
Obtain three references. Your references should be people who have known you for at least six months and can attest to your ability to care for children.
Arrange for a background check. The application is available on the DFS website. The application authorizes the DFS to check your criminal and child abuse/neglect background.
Complete the online pre-licensing orientation. This is a six-hour training course available on the DFS website. The course provides background in licensing, fire and sanitation rules to help you prepare to operate your daycare. If you plan to administer medication to children in your daycare, you must also complete medication administration training.
Complete and submit the application to license your daycare. You can be licensed either as a family child care home, to care for three to 10 children in your home; a family child care center, to care for up to 15 children at home or another location with additional staff; or as a child care center, to provide care for more than 16 children with additional staff. The license application can be found either on the state's Department of Family Resources website or obtained from the child care licensing agency for your county.
Complete CPR and First Aid Training. Your daycare will not be licensed until you and your staff are trained in basic emergency procedures.
Schedule inspections. Your daycare facility will be inspected by the DFS and the local fire, health and sanitation departments. You can find the rules for setting up your daycare on the DFS website or in the licensing book you will receive when you submit your application. If your facility passes inspection, and all of your other documents are in order, you will be licensed to open your daycare.
Wyoming has specific training and experience requirements for childcare providers. These requirements vary based on the type of business you wish to open, but at minimum you must be 18 years old and have at least six months of work experience or six hours of training in addition to the orientation. Daycare licenses must be renewed every year, and the facility will be inspected at least twice a year.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer on topics including lifestyle, education, and business. She is the author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), and her work has appeared in Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Young Money, USA Today and a variety of online outlets. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.