Start Your Daycare or Preschool in ARIZONA

This page is INFORMATIONAL ONLY and we strongly recommend that you contact the Licensing Agency directly. Please visit the Arizona Childcare Licensing Website today!

Small Group Home
Center Based
Max Children
4 or less kids
5-10 kids
Based on location
Providers Kids Included?
yes, if under 13

Where should you start?

The hardest part of starting a daycare is figuring out how to begin the process. Right?

Maybe you have searched around already and are puzzled by the state requirements. Don’t worry. We have been there and can simplify this process for you.

Below you will find 5 easy steps to get your in-home daycare going.

Step 1: Contact the Child Care Resource and Referral Center for your county
Use the form provided in our “How to Start Your Daycare” program to get all the important questions answered

Step 2: Decide if you can start small and be an exempt provider (see the details below for Exempt Family Child Care details)
You can always apply to be a licensed provider when you have enough students to necessitate it. Remember, the process for getting students won’t happen overnight. Why increase your costs right away?

Step 3: Begin the setup process for your daycare
See our setup suggestions in the How to Start Your Daycare WITH NO MONEY program

Step 4: Open your small daycare
Everyday management is explained and outlined for you in our program – accounting suggestions and fully customizable forms, contracts, and templates are included with our program.

Step 5: When you are ready, move to the licensed status
Let us know that you want to get registered or licensed and we can help you to do it quickly and affordably.

Arizona Exempt Childcare

This is the easiest level to go with.

If you receive compensation for 4 or less children, you are considered EXEMPT.

If you fall into this exempt status, you do not have to register with the state, have home inspections, take the orientation classes, etc.

There are a few others as well. Visit the AZ Group Home Regulations Document for a complete list of exempt categories.

There are benefits to registering with the state though… we will go into those in the next section. However, its great to stay small and grow as you go so there isn’t so much of a financial burden.

AZ Small Group Home

This is the next step up as far as licensing goes.

There are some benefits to being registered. Families do feel that there is more reliability there. The homes are inspected regularly and rules and regulations must be adhered to.

To review rules and reglations, visit the Arizona Department of Health Website.

Maximum number of children:

If you provide care in your home, you can have 5-10 (up to 15 if 5 are related to provider, residents, or children for whom no compensation is received) depending on your county regulations for the type of home you live in.

The exact number of children you can have is based on their ages. By default the number of allowed children will go down the younger the children in your group are.

General Requirements

Max # of Children: 5-10 (up to 15 if 5 are related to provider, residents, or children for whom no compensation is received)
Background Check: Require a background card which can be obtained with department of public safety. (on all people over 18 years old living in the home or regularly in the facility) Approx. cost is $65 per person
License Application: Every 3 years (costs: $500 if you participate in empower program or $1000 if you don’t)
TB Test: Yes
Current Immunizations: Yes
General Liability Insurance: Required to carry $100K of coverage

Training Required

Orientation Class: Yes (4 hours of free training – provided by DHS)
Training: Must be at least 21 and have HS diploma (or the equivalent) and Childcare Experience (either 60 hours of childcare experience or 12 months) OR CDA OR equivalent or AA or BA in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or a closely-related field.
Abuse and Neglect Class: N/A – not required to start your daycare, but training in this area can be applied toward yearly training requirements.
Adult / Infant First Aid and CPR: Yes

Inspections Required

State Inspections: Every year (or sooner if a complaint is filed)
Sanitation Inspection Required for License: No
Fire Inspection Required for License: No
Annual gas inspection: Yes, through gas company