There are three categories of Child Development Homes (CDH) recognized under Iowa law, based on the number of children in care, the space available for child care and the provider’s education and experience:

  • Child Development Home A
  • Child Development Home B
  • Child Development Home C, C1

Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) has a Child Development Home Orientation Guidebook to help providers navigate through the registration process. The handbook is a helpful guide for home providers that gives information on CCR&R, staff to child ratios, training, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), parent referrals, Child Care Assistance, Iowa 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 the effort to achieve and maintain performance at higher quality levels in Iowa’s Quality Rating System (QRS). Please contact your CCR&R Child Care Consultant with any questions you may have. Additionally, Child Care Aware of America has a Family Child Care Resource guide that may offer additional suggestions about the type of child care business for you!

A Child Development Home (CDH) provider:

  • Is registered with Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
  • May or may not have a signed Child Care Assistance (CCA) Provider Agreement with Department of Human Services (DHS)
  • Is sometimes referred to as a registered home provider
  • Must implement Comm 143
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) will complete annual inspections

Child Development Home (CDH) regulation guidelines from Department of Human Services (DHS) explain the minimum requirements for each category.

  • Comm 143 - Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Development Home (CDH) Registration Guidelines
  • Chapter 110 - Department of Human Services (DHS) Registration Rules
  • Chapter 170 - Department of Human Services (DHS) Requirements for Child Care Assistance (CCA)
    • For Child Care Assistance (CCA) forms and information, click here
  • To access the Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Care Provider Portal, click here

To help prepare providers for Department of Human Services (DHS) annual home inspections, please use the Self-Assessment CDH (Spanish, Burmese, Bosnian) form or the Self-Assessment CDH with visuals form.

CDH ABC Blocks

How to Become a Registered Child Development Home

CCR&R strives to help providers create unique environments that allow children to develop and grow in their own way while focusing on the provider’s strengths, education and skills. Explore your registration options here. New provider registration packets are available through CCR&R here.

Required Forms - DHS

Pre-Inspection Checklist for CDH Registration

ID# 470-5384


Spanish »

English »

Checklist for CDH Registration

ID# 470-0625


Spanish »

English »

Application and Instructions for CDH Registration 

ID# 470-3384

View »

Lead Assessment and Control

ID# 470-4755

View »

Authorization for Release of Child and Dependent Adult Abuse Information

ID# 470-3301

Spanish »

English »

Provider Physical Examination Report 

ID# 470-5152 (required for all residents of the home age 13 and up)

Spanish »

English »

Pet Health Exam

ID# 470-5153

View »

Child Abuse 

DHS Report of Suspected Child Abuse - ID# 470-0665

View »

Child Care Expense Statement for Foster Children

This document must be accurately completed and signed by the foster parent and child care provider for reimbursement to occur to the foster parent after services have occurred and payment has been received.

Child Care Expense Statement » How-To Guide »

Providers will be responsible for having their fingerprints "rolled" before submitting their registration materials. The provider is responsible for the completion of all required criminal record check forms. To obtain these forms please contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) at 866-448-4605.

Suggested Forms - CCR&R



Iowa Professional Workforce Registry (i-PoWeR) is an online tool where child care professionals can locate and enroll for DHS-approved professional development. To access and enroll for DHS-approved professional development opportunities, please see their website.

Prior to the issuance of a registration certificate and every five years thereafter, the primary and substitute provider shall complete minimum health and safety trainings approved by Department of Human Services (DHS).

  • Two hours of approved child abuse and neglect mandatory reporter training - MCART
  • Certification in infant and child first aid that includes management of a blocked airway and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (check with your Child Care Consultant for training options in your area or see this the approved training sites here)
  • Twelve hours of approved health and safety training (Essentials Preservice Series or ECE-133)
    • Essentials training will always count towards ongoing professional development hours the initial time it is taken.

For the complete DHS registration guidelines on training requirements, please see Comm 143 above.

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.

Training Registry

Suggested Training

Department of Human Services (DHS) requires 24 additional training hours during each 2-year registration period for Child Development Home (CDH) providers and substitutes. 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.

Training Pages

Update Your File

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.

Benefits of Registration

Benefits of registration as a Child Development Home (CDH) provider include:

  • Satisfaction of knowing you meet the minimum requirements for child care in accordance with the Iowa Administrative Code.
  • Prestige of a Certificate of Registration that shows the parents and the public that you meet the minimum requirements for child care in the state of Iowa.
  • Eligibility for consultation from the Department of Human Services (DHS) in all aspects of child care.
  • Registration identifies your Child Development Home (CDH) for the referral system maintained by the local office of Human Services and the Child Care Resource & Referral agency.
  • Registration identifies your home to child care organizations and other community resources, such as extension services, Community Action programs, Head Start and Child Care Resource & Referral agencies. These agencies can provide services such as training, consultation, collaboration and resource development.
  • Registration can open communications with a variety of child care resources, which tends to lessen the isolation of the home provider.
  • Registered homes may qualify for participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for reimbursement for meals and snacks.
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Quality Rating System

Iowa's Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary child care rating system for Child Development Homes (CDH). 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.

Child Care Assistance

For more information about accepting Child Care Assistance (CCA), click here.

Communities of Practice

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!

Other Program Referrals

  • Child Care Nurse Consultant - CCNC
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program - CACFP
  • Area Education Agency - AEA
  • Teacher Education and Compensation Helps - TEACH
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - FAQ for child care programs

Helpful Links

For a list of resources that you might find helpful, click here.