A Child Care Center (CCC) or a Preschool is a commercial facility providing child care for many children.
Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) has a Child Care Center Handbook to help centers navigate through the licensing process. The handbook is a helpful document for centers that gives information on CCR&R, staff to child ratios, training, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), parent referrals, child care assistance, Quality Rating System (QRS) and more. CCR&R provides training and consultation services that support the child care provider’s ability to achieve and maintain regulatory status in good standing and work to achieve and maintain performance at higher quality levels in Iowa’s Quality Rating System (QRS). Please contact your Child Care Consultant with any questions you may have.
A Child Care Center is:
Child Care Center (CCC) regulation guidelines from Department of Human Services (DHS), which explains the minimum requirements for each category.
If you are looking at opening a center, click here. Need help with recruitment & retention, click here.
This is a preliminary list of items that must be submitted and reviewed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) for the initial license of a preschool or Child Care Center (CCC) found in Comm 204.
DHS reviews use of forms DCI-77, 470-3301 and 470-2310
DCI-77 State of Iowa form
ID# 470-5152 (Acceptable physical examinations shall be documented on form 470-5152 per checklist 109.9(1)d.)
Written policies required by 441 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 109.
Documentation to support that the center director and on-site supervisor meet the qualifications outlined in 441 IAC 106.6(1) and (2).
Department of Human Services (DHS) Report of Suspected Child Abuse - ID# 470-0665
This is a universal tool for the provider and consultant which is applicable to continuous quality improvement actions: i.e. Department of Human Services (DHS) Referrals, Quality Rating System (QRS) Strategies, ChildNet Certifications or training key concepts.
Required information from DHS checklist, 109.9(2)a
Packet of required information to be kept in the children’s file for each child enrolled.
Required information for DHS Checklist, 109.10(10)
Child care staff use to document an injury or accident. One copy is to be kept in the child’s file and one copy given to the parent or guardian.
Required information from Department of Human Services (DHS) checklist, 109.9(2).
Checklist of required information to be included in each child's file.
Required information from Department of Human Services (DHS) checklist, 109.9(2)d and f.
Parent consent and release form addressing child pick up, trips, transportation, swimming, photos and other.
Required information for DHS Checklist, 109.15(3)a/Infant, 109.10(1)a/Preschool, 109.10(1)b/School-age.
If a participant needs to avoid specific foods for a medical reason, a prescribing licensed medial professional must document the diet modifications and sign this form.
Required information for DHS checklist, 109.9(2)b. This suggested form is being utilized from Comm 143.
Information should be readily accessible.
Required information for DHS checklist, 109.10(15)b.
Required information for DHS Checklist, 109.10(15)b.
Fire and tornado drills are practiced monthly and documentation kept on file for the current year and previous year.
Required information from Department of Human Services (DHS) checklist, 109.6(7) and 109.9(1)a.
Signed statements regarding convictions, abuse, communicable diseases & controlled substences.
Information should be readily accessible for equipment checks of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguisher and evacuation equipment.
Examples of forms and other available information on this site include:
Breastfeeding support, child illness guide, diapering procedures, electrical outlet safety, exposure plan, first aid checklist, handwashing instructions, infant daily report, injury report, mandatory reporting site poster, sleep safe policy, etc.
When a Certificate of Immunization or Immunization Exempt Form are not available, a Provisional Certificate of Immunization can be used. Expiration date is usually 60 days. If the immunizations are further behind than can be caught up in 60 days, another provisional can be issued for an additional 60 days. As you can see on the record, a child must have received at least one dose of each of the required immunizations for this to be a valid option.
Medical or Religious
Required information from Department of Human Services (DHS) checklist, 109.10(1)c.
Form parents complete if they refuse to immunize their children because of religion or doctor recommendation.
Required information from Department of Human Services (DHS) checklist, 109.7(2).
Required information from Department of Human Services (DHS) checklist, 109.12(5)e.
Safe Sleep procedures for providers and parents.
Required information from Department of Human Services (DHS) checklist, 109.10(11).
A direct link to the Iowa Department of Health Smoke Free Air Act information including a link to print signs.
(PDF & Word formats)
Required information from Department of Human Services (DHS) checklist, 109.7(1).
Tracking form from Department of Human Services (DHS).
Iowa Professional Workforce Registry (i-PoWeR) is an online tool where child care professionals can locate and enroll for Department of Human Services (DHS) approved professional development. To access and enroll for Department of Human Services (DHS) approved professional development opportunities, please see their website.
The center director, on-site supervisor and staff counted as part of the staff ratio, shall meet minimum staff training requirements as defined in Comm 204 beginning on page 60. To assist with tracking staff required records and mandatory training, please view recommended staff files form.
Following minimum training listed above, additional staff training requirements are defined in Comm 204 beginning on page 64.
To view a complete listing of core trainings offered by CCR&R, click here.
The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is a nationally recognized credential earned by those working in the early care and education field. To learn more about the steps to achieve your CDA, click here.
Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) requires additional training during each licensing period. Minimum health and safety training may be required prior to the five year period if content has significant changes that warrant the training be renewed. CCR&R offers low- or no-cost training designed to help early childhood professionals meet registration requirements and become more successful in developing skills for working with children and families. Additional trainings approved by DHS can be accessed on the DHS website here.
This professional development opportunity presents research to understand SIDS, recommendations for safe sleep, the provider's role in the safe sleep environment and guidance for the importance of tummy time when infants are awake.
This training is designed to help child care providers be prepared for handling emergency situations that may affect their program and community. It will also provide the necessary tools and information to create an emergency plan that will meet Iowa law requirements.
Resource page only - Iowa law requires child care providers to have a written emergency plan in place by October 1, 2016. Emergency plans must include procedures for 6 key areas. There are templates and tools available for child care providers to help meet your program's needs. You are not required to use any of the templates and tools offered, although the tools and templates will help you meet requirements in Iowa law.
This series offers providers important information on ten key health and safety topics and was developed to meet Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) professional development requirements.
This series is a nationally recognized tool used to assess and improve the quality of center, school age, infant/toddler and family child care programs. Workshops offer step-by-step guidance for making helpful changes that can make a real difference in the work that is done with young children.
This series addresses developmental areas of young children, which are based on research and theory in early care and education. It is a guide in understanding how children learn, as well as the importance of play, routine and relationships in regards to their development. View
Providers are required to attend this Iowa-specific training to learn how to identify the signs of child abuse and the steps needed to report incidents.
Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAPSACC) is available to providers as a tool to set goals and implement healthy activities in their programs. Training and on-site consultation is provided.
The Physical Activity Learning Session (PALS) training is for early childhood providers to learn the best practices of physical activity for children birth to five.
This training is an effective, evidence-based approach for supporting social competence and addressing challenging behavior in young children.
This training approach equates good care with training infant/toddler providers who are preparing themselves and the environment so that infants can learn.
Participants will increase their understanding of current Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) research models, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) risk reduction recommendations, the importance of tummy time, the necessary components of a safe sleep policy and unresponsive infant drill in the child care environment.
School-age children have a specific set of developmental needs that are different from younger children. Attendees will learn the skills needed to effectively adapt their programs to accommodate this age group.
In this training, providers will learn what can be done to protect the children in their care from the spread of germs and disease. Additionally, they will gain an understanding of the importance of post-exposure policies and procedures.
Having accurate information on your child care program in the CCR&R database allows us to assist in marketing your child care program to parents looking for child care. To match your program to the needs of families we need to know important information like hours of operation, ages served, changes in phone numbers or email address. Update your program file here.
Iowa's Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary child care rating system for Child Care Centers (CCC). The Quality Rating System (QRS) was developed to raise the quality of child care in Iowa, raise the number of children in high-quality child care settings and to educate parents about quality in child care. To learn more about becoming a QRS-rated provider, click here.
Join facilitated discussions driven by YOU! CCR&R is committed to improving communication with child care providers across Iowa. It is through the sharing of information and experiences that participants can learn from each other and have an opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally.
Communities of Practice, also known as “CoPs”, are groups of people who share a passion for something they do and want to learn how to do it better as they interact. CoPs allow attendees to learn and collaborate as content is driven by the participants.
View our statewide event calendar here!
For a list of resources that you might find helpful, click here.
CCR&R hopes all Child Development Homes will take advantage of this new training curriculum, ChildNet 3.0.
DHS shares Governor Reynold's press release for continued funding opportunities through August 2021.
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