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Are you interested in becoming a
licensed family child care provider?

CCPC is here to guide you through the steps to get you started in becoming a family child care provider.


  • Be a high school graduate or the equivalent

  • Be 18 years of age or older

  • Complete orientation prior to submitting an application. Contact the child care surveyor in the county where the facility will be located to complete orientation.

Have a plan

  • What is the community need for child care?

  • What are your reasons for starting a child care?

  • Preparing your space for child care.

  • Insurance Needs

  • Creating a Budget

  • How are you going to market your program?

  • Planing your program

  • Professional Development

Apply for a License

Complete this online application packet to be on your way to a new career as a licensed child care provider in Kansas.


KBI/DCF Background Check and State License Application Fee is required as part of the application process (some counties may also require a fee).


KDHE Child Care

Licensing Inspection

You will need to schedule your intial inspection with your local child care office.  Every year after that you will receive annual inspections to maintain licensing.  These are typically unannounced.

Fire Marshal Inspections

You may need a Fire Marshal Inspection for your licensed facility. If you do, contact your local Fire Marshal to schedule inspections of your facility.


You will need to have 16 KDHE training hours yearly.  You will  need the following to obtain your license.

  • Health and Safety Training

  • Pediatric first aid and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certifications 

  • Medication administration training 

For more information go to

Intial Training Guidelines


You will also need to make sure to have other requirements in place. This includes background checks, health assessments, TB tests and training

What is the community need for child care? 

It's important to research the needs in your community.  You may be able to fill a need that is not being met. 

  • What type of care exists in the community?

  • What age groups are being served -- infants, toddlers, preschool, school-age or combinations of the above?

  • Are there age groups that need more care than others?

  • What hours do programs open and close?

  • What types of services do they offer - Day care - Night care - After-school care?

  • How many child care providers are in your area?

  • Is there a waiting list for child care services?

  • Are more providers needed in the same area?

  • What service can you provide that other programs aren't offering?


To find the answers to these quesitons look at local child care face book groups, ask you friends or reach out to the local child care referral agency.  

What is your reason for starting a famly child care? 

Planning and operating a famly child care program will consume much of your time and energy.  It is importan that you assess your motivations, personality, skills and experience and ability to manage time to determine if you are the right person for the job.  

What is motivating you to become a family child care provider?   Some reasons are better than others; however, none are wrong. Just remember, there are trade offs. For example, you can escape the 9-5 routine, but you may replace it with a 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM routine or a schedule with little, if any, free time.

There are certain personal characteristics you will need to go into business and a few things to ask yourself before starting. 

  • How is your health?

  • Are you a leader?

  • Are you a problem solver?

  • Do you get along well with others.

  • Do you take directions? 

  • Do you take the initiative?

  • Do you work better alone, under supervision or with a group.

  • How do you handle emergencies? 

  • Are you organizationed?

  • Do you enjoy working with children?

If you are in excellent physical health, are a good problem solver, usually take the initiative, are a risk taker and feel confident in making decisions, then you probably will be comfortable managing a child care business. 

Preparing for your family child care business

Preparing for opening your business is a critical step.  

Name and Legal Stucture 

Select a name that's catchy and easy to remember. Consider your family's and friends' ideas as well as your own. Think carefully before deciding on the legal structure for your center.


Most familly child care programs are operated by sole proprietors. However, you may find that incorporating or forming a partnership offers more advantages. Consider the following points when choosing the legal structure for your center:

Sole proprietorship -- The owner is the business. You must file business and personal tax returns at the same time.

  • Advantages -- Simple and inexpensive.

  • Disadvantages -- Personal legal liability.

Incorporation -- A likely choice for businesses with employees or bank financing. Attorney's and other fees range from $500 to $1,000.

  • Advantages -- Credibility and personal assets are protected if the business fails or is sued.

  • Disadvantages -- Taxes are potentially higher than for a sole proprietorship.

Partnership -- A legal mechanism that divides profits and losses between participants. Partnerships are governed by the law of the jurisdiction in which they are formed.

  • Advantages -- To protect each partner and ensure effective management of the business, partners should enter into an agreement that sets forth their respective rights and responsibilities. + Allows some businesses greater financial resources. + Allows individuals with complementary skills to participate in managing the business.

  • Disadvantages -- Each partner is personally liable for the partnership's debts.

License Requirements

Before starting your child care center, know the many regulatory systems that will affect your program. The state of Kansas requires that family child care programs are licensed. Some cities and counties may have additional licensing requirements, such as health regulations, safety codes, fire inspections and zoning laws. Violating these codes can result in a fine and/or suspension of your license.


Physical space

  • Number of square feet needed per child both indoors and outdoors, depending on the children's ages.

  • Lighting, heating/air-conditioning, ventilation and plumbing requirements.


Health requirements

  • Annual medical examinations for staff and for children.

  • Immunization records. 

Staff-child ratios

  • The minimum number of adults required for a given number of children, depending on their ages. 


Food preparation and nutrition


Emergency procedures

  • Fire Drills

  • Tornado Drills


Record keeping

Supervision Policy


Discipline Policy

Disaster Plan


Building safety

  • Type of construction, number of exits,

  • Fire regulations - Posted fire drill procedures.

  • Fencing requirements.


Zoning regulations

Check with the local government and with any property owners' or homeowners' associations to find out if the type of child care services you are planning to provide is permitted or if there are restrictions. 

If renovations are need to start your family child care business have a licensing specialist and building inspctor visit your home before and after you renovate.  Their suggestions and recommendations can save you money

Insurance Needs

Starting and operating a business involves a degree of risk. It is important to have adequate insurance protection for your business. If you aren't exactly sure what type of insurance is best, discuss coverage and rates with several insurance agents before making a final decision.


Licensed child care providers, like all business owners, are required to meet certain tax obligations, such as paying federal and state taxes.  As a sole proprietorship, you will use Schedule C of the basic Form 1040 Individual Tax Return for reporting your business income and expenses. Good record keeping is essential for filling out these forms. Reporting business taxes can be a very complicated nmatter.  Tom Copeland is an excellent resourse for any tax and general business questions you may have. 

Record Keeping Tips 

Income - Keep a record of all money you are paid for child care, whether in cash or by check.

Record each payment, youshould include the following: 

  • Clients' names

  • Date of each payment

  • Period covered by the payment

  • Amount paid

Expenses - All payments that you make for your program,  whether by cash or by check, are business expenses. To maintain adequate records of these expenses, always save your receipts. The better your records, the easier it will be to complete your tax forms at the end of the year. Here a few example of expeses that can qualify as a tax deduction:

  • Toys and activity supplies.

  • Food for the children in your care.

  • Playground equipment.

  • Wages for assistants or substitutes.

  • Advertising.

  • Legal and professional services for your business

  • Cleaning supplies  

  • Office and record-keeping supplies.

  • Insurance for your business.

  • Child care-related travel

  • Computer used for your child care program

  • Utilities


Creating a budget

Having a financial plan is the key to a successful business.  A plan that has realistic projections of actual expenses and income. Preparing both a start-up budget and an operating budget will help you what you will spend, now and in the future, and where the money will come from for starting and operating your program. Most important, these budgets will indicate whether your projected income will meet your expenses.

Start Up Budget 

This will usually include such one-time costs as major equipment, renovation, utility deposits and down payments. 

Here are some items that your Start Up Budget should include: 

  • Equipment

  • Re-modeling Cost

  • Cleaning Supplies 

  • Food and Meal Preperation Equipment

  • Advertising

  • Insurance

  • Licensing Fees

  • Intial Training

Operating Budget

This budget reflects your montlhlly expenses,

Here are some items that your Operating Budget should include: 

  • Salary

  • Utilities 

  • Classroom Supplies

  • Cleaning Supplies 

  • Food 

  • Advertising 

  • Continuing Education

  • Insurance

How are you going to market your program?

How you market your family child care program may make the difference between its success or failure. Your marketing plan can help you achieve this goal.

Knowing your customer is the key to successfully marketing your family child care program. The more you know about the parents' expectations, the easier it will be to develop a program that meets their needs, as well as the children.

Develop a list of questions to help you identify what the parents will likely need, want and expect of your program. 

  • What type of service will be provided?

  • What are the operating hours?

  • Do the operating hours match the parents' work schedule?

  • Is extended evening care available?

  • Where is the center located?

  • Is the location convenient and easily accessible?

  • How many staff members have degrees or training in early childhood education or a related field?

  • What is the teacher-to-child ratio (e.g., one adult to seven children)?

  • Will there be a curriculum? Will it be structured?  

  • Have medical/first aid policies been developed?

  • What will the sleeping arrangements be?


Once you have answered these questions, you will have a base from which to develop your marketing plan.  Develop a plan that uses advertising and networking to promote your program.  Listed below are a few suggestions: 

  • Local Child Care Referral Agencies 

  • Child Care Aware oF Kansas

  • Local Child Care Facebook Groups/Pages

  • Friends and Family 

Whatever advertising media you use, be sure to include the following information:

  • Name, address, telephone number and email of your program.

  • Ages of children who will be accepted.

  • Hours your progam will be open.

  • Fees charged.

  • A description of the program and the qualifications

  • Who to contact for more information.

  • Date you plan to open.


Start advertising your child care program at least three months before you open for business. Make sure your advertisements are consistent with the image you are trying to project.

Planning your space

Before you start caring for children,  take time to create a program that is safe, clean, comfortable and inviting to parents and children alike. 

Here are a few helpful tips: 



You must be confident that all areas the children will use -- indoors and outdoors -- are safe. To check, you might want to crawl around on your hands and knees, asking, What could a child possibly get into here? How might a child be hurt here? What other problems could be caused here?

  • All items children should not use are safely locked away or on high, inaccessible shelves.

  • Precious breakables are put away.

  • Poisonous plants are out of reach.

  • Stairs are well lighted, secure underfoot and a safety gate inplace. 

  • Chemicals, medicines and other dangerous items are behind safety locks.

  • Toys are stored on shelves 


All play materials, furniture, shelving, outdoor equipment -- everything with which children will come into contact -- should be checked every few days for loose parts or any safety hazard. Broken toys and missing pieces discourage play and should be fixed, put away or discarded. 

Equipment and Materials

The equipment and materials you will need depend on the ages of the children you care for.

Here is a list of ideal equipment and materials for a center serving a wide age range of children:

  • Child-size tables and chairs, booster seats, high chairs and infant seats. Tables can be used for eating and for a variety of children's activities.

  • Cribs, beds, cots, all with protective mattress pads covered with plastic that can be stored under the beds; blankets and sheets for each child.

  • Diapering area (preferably near a faucet) that can be easily sanitized after each use; nearby childproof, sanitary storage for used diapers; step stools for sink and toilet.

  • Space -- to crawl, toddle, run, climb and to be alone (but still in view).

  • Outdoor play space, examples, sand, hard surface for wheeled toys, swings, climber, garden.  A covered porch or carport is ideal for rainy days. Art materials, such as crayons, paint, markes, paper and a washable surfaces for messy activities.

  • Water and sand to scoop and pour into plastic dishpans or a larger trough or water table

  • Large and small, simple and complicated toys, including building materials such as wooden and plastic blocks.

  • Good children's books and a quiet, cuddly place to read them.

  • Games, puzzles, dolls, vehicles

  • Make-believe props, clothes and costumes for dressing up and pretending. 

  • Storage system for children to store their backback, coat or extra clothing.

Set Up

Your prgram should be arranged so children can play happily with each other and by themselves, participate in a structured activities and experience their growing independence by hanging up their own coats, putting dishes in the dishwasher or putting away art materials. While you will always closely supervise their activities, you can't be with all the children every minute. If there are interesting things for children of different ages to do, you will be able to feed a baby or prepare lunch knowing that the children are safe, busy and happy. Your job will be easier if you arrange your progam to simplify everyday routines. Some problems can be prevented by having selected things where the children can reach them, such as toys, water cups, or art supplies.  If children can take care of some of their own needs, it makes them feel independent and competent and frees you to do other things.


Adequate storage is especially important for child care providers with limited space. Well-designed storage reduces clutter and increases play space.  You will need office space. Efficient storage of administrative and financial records will save you time.  Find a secure place to keep your business records because these records will be used to file your federal and state taxes at the end of the year.

Planning your Program

Communicting Policies and Procedures

You will want to create a Policy or Parent Handbook that addresses the following: 

  • Enrollment Procedure 

  • Illness

  • Vacation

  • Holidays

  • Field trips 

  • Hours of Operation

  • Daily Schedule

  • Payment Policy

  • Drop Off and Pick Up  

  • Who is authorized to pick up the child or children.

  • What extra clothes or supplies that will be required

  • Meal Time

  • Napping 

  • Diaper Changing and Potty Training

It is also a good idea to develop a child care contract.  You should have parents enrolling their children sign it and provide them with a copy. That way, if any problems or emergencies arise, the parents know, up front, what your policies are.

Stucture and Activity 

How you structure the program for is another very important aspect to consider.  Some providers like to follow a daily schedule, doing the same activities at approximately the same time every day, others like to be more spontaneous, responding to everyone's moods and the opportunities that come along.  There are many trainings avaliable thru KCCTO to help you decide what works best for you!  


Inform parents of the times and kinds of meals and snacks you plan to provide for the children.  It is helpful post a weekly or daily menus and inform them of anything special in your nutrition program, such as the fact that you do not serve sweets. Sometimes parents will request special nutritional considerations for their children, such as no sugar or no milk products. If you cannot accommodate the request , the parents may need to supply special meals.  As a licensed child care provider you are eligible for the Child Care and Adult Food Program.  This will with the your daily food expense.  You can find a sponsor in your area on the National CACFP Sponsors Association website. 

Parent Involvement

Parent involvement is key to the sucess of a child care program.  Getting parents involved in their children's educational and recreational activities will also help prepare them to their school age years.  It can be as simple as a greeting every morning when they drop off their child or getting them involved in the classroom.  For example, invite parents to join you on a field trip to a local museum, suggest bringing a special snack for a holiday celebration or schedule conferences with parents to discuss the skills that you plan to cover and to give them brief reports of their children's progress.  Its also a good idea to set up a way to communiicate daily expereeinces in the classroom,, a daily board to post notes and pictures, a weekly or montly newsletter or even a private facebook group for your child care families.  Parents will be happy to know you are as concerned and committed to the total development of their children as they are.

Professional Development

Within 30 days of submitting your application, you must receive the following training in courses approved by the KDHE Secretary:


Training Requirements

  • Basic child development 

  • Recognizing, reporting, and preventing child abuse or neglect

  • Prevention of and response to emergencies due to food and allergic reactions

  • Handling of hazardous materials

  • Administration of medication to children

  • Building and physical premises safety

  • Reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and using safe sleep practices

  • Prevention and control of infectious diseases

  • Transportation of children

  • Emergency preparedness and response planning 

  • Pediatric first aid and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification (an in-person skill test is required, and a copy of the current certification card must be on file)

After your first year of business you will need to take 16 KDHE approved hours.  4 of those hours need to fall under the Health and Safety requirement. 

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