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How to Start a Home Daycare in Oklahoma

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According to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, with more parents returning to work, there is currently a shortage of quality child care options in the state. For those who enjoy working with children and wish to run a home business, opening a home daycare facility can be a lucrative and satisfying career choice. Oklahoma requires all childcare facilities to have a license prior to caring for children, and the child care licensing department has developed licensing requirements with the health, safety, and educational needs of children in mind.

Meet the age and education requirements. Oklahoma requires all home daycare providers to be at least 21 years old and have earned a minimum of a GED.

Complete training. You must be certified in first aid and CPR, and receive training in health and safety issues and procedures. This training is offered through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and associated organizations. In addition, you must complete at least 12 hours of training in child care and/or child development each year to maintain your license.

Visit your doctor. Applicants for an Oklahoma home daycare license must have a physician’s statement certifying that they are physically and mentally capable of caring for children. Proof of a negative tuberculosis test and up-to-date immunization records for you and all children living in your home are also required with the application.

Obtain references. You need at least three non-family-member references that can attest to your ability to care for children.

Pass a background check. Your child care licensing specialist will provide the details of how to apply for a criminal history background check and a child abuse registry check. Any employees and adult over age 18 living in the home must also submit to background checks.

Prepare your home for the licensing inspection, according to the rules and regulations detailed in the Licensing Requirements for Family Child Care Homes handbook. A representative from the child care licensing office will inspect your home prior to licensing.

Tip

After your initial application for a home daycare has been approved, you can apply for a higher STAR rating, which makes you eligible to accept child care subsidy payments from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. You’ll need to complete additional training and education, and prepare documentation outlining the structure and policies of your home daycare, including daily schedules to qualify for a higher STAR rating.

About the Author

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.

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