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. Prior to attending the Prelicensing Workshop, review the Quality Costs Resource Guide. This guide outlines the early care and education system in North Carolina and identifies key resources to assist you with preparing to provide quality child care. On Day 2 of the Prelicensing Workshop, the workshop leader will go over pieces of this information. You are encouraged to bring a copy of this guide to the workshop.
4. At the Prelicensing Workshop, you will receive the name and phone number of the Lead Child Care Consultant in your area. Your Lead Child Care 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. Refer to the Prelicensing Guide to assist you with next steps.
5. Once it is determined that all applicable requirements have been met, the license will be issued.
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