Licensing info by state

State Daycare, Preschool or Childcare Licensing information can be tricky to understand. So we have put together Quick Start Pages that give you most of the information you will need in a quick view format – including some grant and funding resources for each state.
We have more that haven’t been added to the website!

Want to know what the licensing process is like? Scroll down!

The Licensing Process

I am going to give you a whole lot of info about starting a daycare here. So grab a cup of coffee and soak up the info.

There are a couple ways you can run your day care business.


You can stay within the state required number of children so that you do not have to have a license. This is called an EXEMPT childcare. This is typically 3 student’s but each state is different, so click on your state to find out more info about your state. The process if you stay under the state requirement is super easy! Because there is no process! You can care for children right away.


If you want to have more than the exempt limit, you will have to license or register your daycare. The process state to state is basically the same. So I will talk about what my licensing process was like.

Step 1. Call the Childcare Division
When I started my daycare, I contacted the childcare division. (The number is listed on this page)

NOTE! We provide a free form to help you make the call. Chat live with us or email us at and we will send it to you. Print it out and you will feel much more organized gathering info.

Step 2. Attend an Orientation
For most states you must attend an Orientation Meeting in order to get an application for child care licensing. (Applications are not mailed out.) Each state varies – some are online, some you attend in person. I obtained a copy of the licensing rules at the meeting too. It’s about 35 pages long. They go into great detail regarding every aspect of caring for children. I was also given an application packet, and additional information about insurance, food program sponsors, and vendors.

Step 3. Purchase the Start Your Daycare Program
This is where purchasing our Start Your Daycare Program really comes in handy. We break down the main areas where you will have to meet state requirements. Childproofing, Paperwork (yes, we provide you with all the contracts, forms, and templates you will need), teaching, setting up your classroom.

We also include topics that help you as a business owner. How to manage payments, marketing your business for next to nothing, what type of insurance to get, and much more!

Step 4. Home Visit
After reviewing the rules and regulations and gathering all your information required for the application, you send it in with a check. The application fee varied from state to state. It typically is around $25 – 45. They will schedule a home visit to go over everything with you. My licensing worker walked through my entire home, made notes of the areas that needed to be improved, changed or rearranged. Every room in which the children would be had to be childproofed and have a fire alarm in it if there would be nappers in it. If children were not allowed into the room it had to be locked. Plants had to be moved if they were toxic. Cleaners had to be moved as well. Gates were installed on stairways. Everything was inspected. The fire department also did a walk through.

Step 5. Final Home Inspection
You then will have an opportunity to fix the items they noted. When you are ready, you schedule a final inspection and they will go through one last time. If you meet all the requirements, you get your license. If you did not, or they found something new, you will sometimes be issued a temporary license which means you can start watching kids, but there is a deadline and any outstanding items MUST be done and inspected once more. Nothing too painful. The license is good for two years in most states, and then it’s up for renewal. Some states do yearly license renewals as well.