Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) is a FREE service to help you start and grow your child care business! CCR&R can assist with all aspects of opening your child care business.

Things to Consider Before Opening a Child Care Business

  1. Are you ready to start a child care business?
    • Are You Ready to Start a Child Care Business? from First Children’s Finance
    • Assess the need for child care in your community
      • For information on population and current available child care in your county, go to our data page here
      • Contact your Child Care Consultant to review your county needs, find our staff list here
  2. What are the beginning business practices that need to be considered?
    • Business Plan Checklist
    • For an interactive budgeting tool in Excel from Readleaf Press, click here and scroll to the free forms at the bottom of the page "blank budget form"
  3. What else should you consider before you begin?
  4. Do you understand the basic operations of a home child care business?
    • For information about operating a child care business, view Operations of a Child Development Home Overview
    • Learn about:
      • Defining a child care business
      • Outlining the types of family child care
      • Describing the characteristics of a child care business owner
      • Discussing how to prepare to provide child care
      • Identifying the resources needed to support the child care business

There are three types of home providers:

View the Department of Human Services (DHS) comparison chart for types of child care in Iowa here.

  1. Registered Child Development Home (CDH)
  2. Nonregistered Child Care Home accepting Child Care Assistance (CCHA)
  3. Nonregistered Child Care Home (CCH)

Child Care Ready

Do you enjoy working with children and want to be your own boss?

Enroll in Child Care Ready by CCR&R, a professional development series near you!

Visit our Child Care Ready webpage for more information here.

Benefits of Being a Registered Child Development Home

  • Receive a higher Child Care Assistance (CCA) reimbursement rate
  • Can legally care for more children
  • Can participate in Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) & be reimbursed for meals and snacks served
  • Can participate in Iowa’s Quality Rating System (QRS) and ChildNet certification
  • Shows parents you are committed to providing quality child care!

Department of Human Services (DHS) Application Process Overview

  1. Contact the CCR&R Recruitment & Retention Specialist in your area.
    • CCR&R will guide you through the Department of Human Services (DHS) application process
  2. Contact CCR&R to request a provider registration packet here.
  3. In order to accept Child Care Assistance (CCA) payments, nonregistered Child Care Homes (CCHA) and registered Child Development Homes (CDH) providers must complete the Department of Human Services (DHS) application process.
  4. Create your account in Iowa's Early Childhood and School Age Professional Workforce Registry (i-PoWeR). i-PoWeR is an online tool where child care professionals can locate and enroll for approved Department of Human Services (DHS) professional development.
  5. Complete required training.
  6. Complete Background Checks and Fingerprinting (forms included in your registration packet).
  7. Complete the registration packet with a CCR&R Child Care Consultant.
  8. Connect with a CCR&R Child Care consultant to help you prepare your home for a Department of Human Services (DHS) pre-inspection
  9. Pre-Inspection of your home by the Department of Human Services (DHS).
  10. Correct any pre-inspection issues.
  11. Continue to work with a CCR&R Child Care Consultant.

For a printable version of the steps of the DHS Application Process, click here.

More CCR&R Services

  • Assist with completing the Provider Self-assessment (Spanish, Burmese, Bosnian) for Child Development Homes (CDH) to help ensure home is ready for the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) inspection visit
  • Provide business and financial resources
  • Assist with development of child care business policies and procedures, see Guide to Developing Business Policies for Child Development Homes (Spanish) for assistance
  • Assist with the quality improvement steps, i.e. room arrangement, behavior guidance, etc.
  • Provide on-site consultation and technical assistance via phone/email/text
  • Connect providers with available resources
  • And much more!

Helpful Links

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.

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