If you wish to start a day care you need to find out about day care licensing and day care certification. There is a procedure involved in getting your day care licensed and the more prepared you are the more seamless it will be. Learning about the requirements for a day care license is a great way to discover exactly what is required and whether or not you are fully ready and able to embark on a business in child care.
Licensing requirements, regulations and applications vary from state to state and internationally. Details for your particular area can be found here: USA http://nrc.uchsc.edu and Canadian licensing and regulations information can be found here: http://canada.gc.ca/othergov/prov_e.html. UK information is handled by Ofsted: www.ofsted.gov.uk/childcare and in Ireland contact your local HSE Pre-school Officer plus the Childcare Authority can provide relevant contacts.
Generally speaking, the day care licensing process is designed to protect the children and ensure that the day care environment is safe, children’s overall welfare is being served from the point of view of safety, hygiene, nutrition, activities and all aspects of their development. Granting a day care license occurs upon completion of a detailed evaluation of the proposed service which takes into account all of the above.
The first step in applying for a day care license is the application form. Information required on this application form shall include, but not be limited to:
- Personal and contact details
- Plans for the premises showing layout, playground and facilities
- Hours of opening and number of children catered for
- Details of staff
- Details of the program you intend implanting
- Menu information and schedules
- Details of the financial resources available
Once submitted you will undergo an initial consultation with the licensing representatives to discuss the feasibility of starting a program in your area, review the regulations and examine your financial resources. A preliminary, announced visit shall be made by a day care licensing evaluator to assess the premises and determine whether or not compliance with the regulations can be met. During this visit the following will be examined:
- Telephone in working order
- Fire detection facilities
- Fire fighting equipment
- That all hazardous substances are stored appropriately
- That there is adequate ventilation and heating
- That the overall facility is safe
- That the facility is clean and hygienic
- That all toys and educational equipment is safe and appropriate
Following completion of the application process you will be issued or denied a day care licence. Generally, licenses are valid for a year and must be displayed in a conspicuous place at all times. Some resources that will help you get up to speed are Building Blocks – a tool designed to help day care professionals in every setting keep up to date with the latest guidelines for quality child care. Also, Stepping Stones – good source of key health and safety practices that reduce disease disability and death in child care facilities. Remember, preparation is key when going for day care licensing and day care certification and the more knowledge you have the better your chances of starting your day care.
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