If you are thinking of starting a daycare business or child care center in Arizona, here are the answers to the common questions on how to get a license for your daycare business. Learn the requirements you need to legally start and operate your daycare business in Arizona:
Do I need a license to operate a daycare or child care business in Arizona?
You are required to get a license and pass the child care group home certification requirements if you will provide child care with compensation for 5 or more children in your home. You do NOT need a license if you will only care for 4 or fewer children for compensation with all of your own children.
Source: Child Care Inquiry Packet
Where do I get information about licensing a daycare or child care business in my state?
Arizona Department of Health Services
Bureau of Child Care Licensing
150 N 18th Avenue, Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Website: Bureau of Child Care Licensing Provider Information
What are the requirements to get a license for my daycare business?
To apply for a license, you must be 21 years of age, a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien, and a resident of Arizona. You must also have a high school diploma or its equivalent and 3 credit hours or 60 workshop hours in early education or closely related field (or 12 months child care experience). You will need the to do the following with your license application:
- Sign the Arizona Statement of Citizenship and Alien Status for State Licensing or Certification http://www.azdhs.gov/als/childcare/documents/providers/forms/az_statement_citizenship_alien_status.pdf
- Attend a Department-provided New Owner Training and submit a copy of the Certificate of Completion
- Get a permit from the local zoning office especially if the business will be operated in a home
- Contact the Department of Public Safety to request fingerprint information for all signatories in the license application by either calling (602) 223-2279 or faxing your request to (602) 223-2947. You will need to submit the Fingerprint Clearance Card and Criminal History Affidavit with the initial application for licensure
- If applicable, contact the County Health Department for kitchen plan review.
- Enclose with your application form a copy of your U.S. passport, birth certificate, naturalization documents or documentation of legal resident alien status
What is the licensing process?
After submission of the application document and supporting documents, you will be required to:
- Attend a Child Care Group Home Orientation Session
- Have your home and outdoor play area inspected
Where can I get the application form to get a license?
You can download the initial license application packet from the Bureau of Child Care Licensing (PDF)
How much do I need to pay to get a license for my daycare business?
The non-refundable application fee is $1,000. You may qualify for a 50% discount off the application fee if you participate in the Empower Pack Program http://azdhs.gov/empower-program/
The cost of the renewal of a child care license depends on the licensed capacity of the business:
- $1,000 = 5-10 licensed capacity
- $4,000 = 11-59 licensed capacity
- $7,800 = 60+ licensed capacity
Can I get a grant from my state for my daycare business?
Contact the Bureau of Child Care Licensing if there are grant monies available for child care providers.
What are the insurance requirements for getting a daycare license in Arizona?
According to the Arizona-based insurance company Mohave Insurance Center, Inc., the General Liability requirements for a daycare in Arizona are $1,000,000 per occurrence liability limit with a $2,000,000 aggregate limit. The State also wants a minimum of $50,000 of Damage to Rented Premises Rented to You.
Another important note is Abuse and Molestation coverage. Arizona recently increased the required limit for Abuse and Molestation coverage to $500,000. Also, any Certificate of Liability issued to Arizona must say, “Sexual Abuse/Molestation is included” in the comments section.
Finally, the State of Arizona wants to be listed as an additional insured. Make sure to ask for this, because it is often a separate endorsement and will usually cost more.
Seek your local insurance agent for advice if you have any questions.
What other things do I need to know about operating a daycare business in my state?
Below are other things you need to know and do to get a license to operate a daycare or child care business in Arizona:
- There is a staffing requirement of 1 staff member to 1 to 5 children or 2 staff members to 6 to 10 children, excluding your own children, at all times and not have more than 15 total children including your own children at any time.
- Your home must meet the square footage requirements for indoor space – e.g. 30 square feet per child, not including areas such as kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, workshop, hallway, and garage, etc.
- You must meet the square footage requirements for outdoor space – e.g. minimum 500 square feet total
- Your home must have a direct exit to the outside on each floor/level. Infants and children under the age of 5 years cannot be cared for above or below the ground level of the home unless there is a direct exit to the outside on that level.
- You must provide an outdoor play area that is partially shaded and enclosed by a fence that is at least 4 feet high with a gate that has a latch.
- If you have a swimming pool, it must be separately fenced with at least a 5-foot high fence that has a self-closing, self-latching gate with a lock.
- You must be willing to secure and maintain general commercial liability insurance.
- All personnel and household members who are 18 years of age and older must submit fingerprints for a criminal history check.
Recommended Articles on Starting a Daycare Business:
- How to Start Your Own Daycare Business
- Starting a Day Care Business on a Shoestring Budget
- Operating a Daycare Center
- Caring for the Children
- Income Potential of a Daycare Business
- Managing Your Daycare Business
- Complementary Businesses for Additional Income
- Marketing Your Day Care or Childcare Business
- Licensing Requirements of Starting a Daycare: Alabama to Louisiana
- Licensing Requirements of Starting a Daycare: Maine to Wyoming
Recommended Books on Operating a Daycare Business and Caring for the Children:
- How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Child Care Service: With Companion CD-ROM
- How to Start a Home-Based Day-Care Business, 6th (Home-Based Business Series)
- The Business of Child Care: Management and Financial Strategies
- Dollars & Sense: Planning for Profit in Your Child Care Business
- Child Care Marketing Online
NOTE: To ensure compliance with the requirements imposed by the state, please contact the licensing agency directly for the most recent and accurate rules governing daycare or child care business licensing in your state.