A day care licence is obtained from the Department of Social Services of the state in which the license holder wishes to practice child care. While many of the requirements are the same for each state, there are some variations. Before applying for a license, it is wise to check local requirements to ensure there are no significant variations.
The California Department of Social Services lists the completion of an application packet as the first step toward getting a day care license. Next is a general orientation class at which applicants familiarize themselves with licensing requirements and receive important information about necessary record keeping and safety. These orientations occur regularly all over the region, and a full calendar can be found on the website or by calling the Department of Social Services. The applicant must bring a completed application packet to the orientation. The final step is a home inspection, in which a state employee ensures that the child care facility is safe.
In most states, a day care license authorizes its holder to provide care for children of all ages. However, some areas may have special requirements in order to care for children with unique medical needs or for a certain number of children at one time.