Regulated Child Care in NC
Who is regulated by the Division of Child Development and Early Education?
If you are caring for more than two children who aren't related to you for more than four hours a day, you might need to be licensed. If you do not meet any of the exemption scenarios provided below, then you need to apply for a license. The exemptions are:
Determine the kind of child care program you want to offer. This is important because the application/forms vary based on size and type of program.
1. Review the Basic Information for Potential Providers booklet. This booklet describes the state requirements for operating a Child Care Center in North Carolina. Check with your county or city governments to find out if there are additional local standards. If you have questions or concerns related to the application process, contact the Division of Child Development and Early Education by calling our toll-free number 800.859.0829 (in-state calls only) or 919.662.4499.
2. Register to attend a Prelicensing Workshop. Attendance at a Prelicensing Workshop is required for anyone interested in opening a Child Care Center. The workshop leader will discuss topics such as:
3. After attending the Prelicensing Workshop, you will receive the name and phone number of the Licensing supervisor in your area. The licensing supervisor will assign a child care consultant to work with you. Your consultant will schedule several prelicensing visits with you to talk about the specific licensing requirements for your center and to assist you in completing the application forms.
4. Once it is determined that all applicable requirements have been met, the license will be issued.
1. Contact the Division of Child Development and Early Education to request a Family Child Care Home Application Packet. You can call our toll-free number 800.859.0829 (in-state calls only) or 919.662.4499. The packet contains information related to age and education requirements, criminal record check requirements, and application forms. Check with your county or city governments to find out if there are additional local standards.
2. If you have questions regarding the information in the application packet, contact the child care consultant that is listed on the cover of your packet.
3. Complete the application form and mail it to your consultant. Your consultant will usually contact you within two weeks of receiving your application to arrange a time to visit your home and complete the application process.
4. The application packet also explains the steps to complete the required Criminal Records Background Check. The operator of the Family Child Care Home, as well as any employees, must complete the Criminal Record Background Check. New Family Child Care Home providers must ensure that all household members over the age of 15 who are present while children are in care also complete a Criminal Record Background Check.
5. Once it is determined that all applicable requirements have been met, the license will be issued.
6. Many local resource and referral agencies offer family child care home pre-licensing workshops. These workshops provide an overview of the North Carolina Family Child Care Home regulations, and can be helpful if you are planning to open and operate a family child care home. Contact your local resource and referral agency to find out their schedule of upcoming workshops.
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