How to open a child care center
So, you are considering providing child care?
Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) is here to work together with programs to help children develop and grow!
- Assist with meeting regulations,
- Assist with the quality improvement steps, i.e. room arrangement
- Provide business, financial resources
- Consult with child care providers/programs on site
- Connect community partners and resource agencies
In Iowa, child care is regulated by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS).
There are three basic child care settings
- Licensed Child Care Center (CCC)
- Nonregistered Child Care Home (CCH)
- Registered Child Development Home (CDH)
In order to help you decide which setting is right for you, please consider the following questions:
- What is the need for child care in the community?
- What location is being considered to deliver child care services?
- What research has been completed into operating/owning a child care business? (i.e. location in regards to local elementary school, liability insurance, taxes, as a for profit or non-profit business?)
- What is an expected start date?
- What age children will be served?
- Who will manage the child care program?
- What is the level of education of the proposed manager?
- What is the experience in child care of the proposed manager?
- What is the avialability of employees in the community?
- Has a budget been developed in regards to the proposed income?
Resources to review when selecting a Setting option
- To learn more about the regulations of a nonregistered Child Care Home (CCH), click here.
- To learn more about the regulations of a registered Child Development Home (CDH), click here.
- To learn more about the licensing of a Child Care Center (CCC), review Comm 204 and Chapter 109 or to talk with a Child Care Consultant about specific questions for licensing contact CCR&R. Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) has an informational packet that can be downloaded from the Child Care Provider Portal on their website. Additional information Child Care Center (CCC) licensing is listed below.
Additional Resources that may be helpful for a Child Care Center
- Board Member Roles & Responsibilities
- Center Business Plan Outline - First Children's Finance
- Center Director Requirements
- Center Packet Letter
- Director Compentencies
- Comprehensive overview of experienced, full-time director
- Tool for selecting key-functions to include in job description
- Fire Marshal Requirements for Centers - Iowa State Fire Marshal's Office
- Iowa Principles and Practices for Charitable Nonprofit Excellence
- NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment
- Things to Consider before Opening a Center
Child Care Assistance (CCA)
For more information about accepting Child Care Assistance, click here.
For a list of resources that you might find helpful, click here.