Opening a Child Care Program (CCRC)

We’re excited you want to be a part of the child care community and fulfill this incredibly important need for families. We’re here to help you every step of the way. Below are resources to get you started, based on whether you will be opening a Family Child Care Home or a Child Care Center…

The following content is from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) website. When you are ready to get started, review the publication Understanding the Licensing Process: Rights & Responsibilities and request an application from OKDHS. For more information on obtaining a child care center permit or license, please contact your local licensing office. CCRC partners with DHS to host a training on Opening a Child Care Program. Click here for upcoming events.

FAMILY CHILD CARE HOME


It is important to realize that child care is a business. In Oklahoma, you must have a license to care for children in your home unless you are only caring for relative’s children or operating on an informal basis. You will have some start-up costs to meet licensing requirements, purchase equipment and supplies, etc. In most circumstances, the first year will be a period of low enrollment.

This means that for the first few months, you may be bringing in insufficient income to meet your expenses. You need to plan for this. There are many resources available online and Child Care Resource Center staff are here to assist you in the business side of opening a family child care home.

Your DHS Child Care Licensing Specialist will help you get a permit. A permit is usually recommended when you have provided and met the following:

  • Completed application
  • Proof of ownership/sponsorship
  • Copy of your Driver’s License
  • Copy of your Social Security Card
  • Criminal background checks from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) for you and all household members 18 or older. Out-of-state criminal background checks are also required if you have been a resident of Oklahoma for less than one year
  • The home has had a licensing monitoring visit that shows you meet all the requirements listed in the publication Licensing Requirements for Family Child Care Homes
  • No other problems have been identified such as Child Welfare history, criminal history, police contacts, etc…

When a permit is recommended, it is not “official” until it has been approved by both the licensing supervisor and the Division of Child Care State Office. Once approved, you automatically receive a one-star rating.

CHILD CARE CENTER


It is important to realize a child care center is a business. In Oklahoma, you must have a license to operate a child care center business. You will have start-up costs such as costs to meet licensing requirements, fire and safety codes, rent, equipment and supplies, insurance, personnel, marketing, etc.

You may be buying an existing center, but you are not buying their license, their OKDHS contract or the children enrolled. Children are not a commodity that can be sold or purchased. So, in most circumstances, whether you start a new center, or buy one, the first year will be a period of low enrollment.

This means for the first few months you may be bringing in insufficient income to meet your expenses. You need to plan for this. There are many resources available online and Child Care Resource Center staff are here to assist you in the business side of opening and operating a child care center.

Your DHS Child Care Licensing Specialist will assist you with getting a permit. A permit is usually recommended when you have provided and met the following:

  • Completed application
  • Proof of ownership/sponsorship
  • Child care staff summary
  • Child care staff information sheet for each employee
  • Documentation the director has a Bronze Credential or higher
  • Criminal background checks from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) for all employees. Out-of-state criminal background checks are also required for those staff who have been a resident of Oklahoma for less than one year
  • Documentation of adequate equipment for capacity
  • The center has had a licensing monitoring visit that shows you meet all the requirements listed in the publication Licensing Requirements for Child Care Centers
  • No other problems have been identified such as Child Welfare history, criminal history, police contacts, etc.
  • Documentation of fire approval within 12 months
  • Documentation of health approval within 12 months

When a permit is recommended, it is not “official” until it has been approved by both the licensing supervisor and the Oklahoma Child Care Services State Office. Once approved, you automatically receive a one-star rating. However, you must be a 1+ star or higher to be eligible to contract with DHS to be paid for child care services.