All posts by Liza Jarvis

Alabama Child Care Licensing and Regulations

There are different laws and regulations regarding child-care in all states, even some states may have different regulations for different countries or cities in it. Throughout Alabama, lawfully functioning child-care centers are either licensed or work without licensure. The authority responsible for licensing is DHR (Alabama Department of Human Resources). Before issuing the license, child-care center is inspected by Department of Human Resources, fire department and health department. The validity of these licenses is 2 years and they must be displayed in the child-care centers.

The purpose of licensure is just to stipulate regulation yardsticks for child-care institutes; however, it does not provide any promise of good quality child-care. It is the responsibility of parents to visits these care centers during their working hours and confirm whether their children are being provided with the level of care as it should be.

Types of Child-care that Need Licensure:

Child-care licensure is a form of administrative activity by which a group or an individual is granted permission by governmentto start and run a child-care service.In Alabama, the county or state offices of ‘Department of Human Resources’arein charge of issuing/revoking license, providing claim/appeal systems, and monitoring the conformity of child-care centers with established standards.

Following types of child-care in Alabama need to be licensed:

Child-care Centers: Any Full-time or part-time child-care facility in non-residential venue managing thirteen children or more. This category of child-care includes preschools, nursery schools, and prekindergarten working more than four hours per day.
Group child-care Homes: Full-time or part-time child-care in a home for about seven to twelve children – The children who are not yet of official school-age are also included in it.
Family Child-care Homes: Full-time or part-time child-care in a home for about six children or less than that. The children who are not yet of official school-age are also included in it.

Types of Child-care that Don’t Need Licensure:

Alabama State exempts some child-care facilities from the requirement of proper licensure. As this type child-care centers are not checked or monitored by any regulatory body, so it is parents’ responsibility to conduct proper investigation about care provider’s experience and background before entrusting their child to them.

Following types of child-care in Alabama need not to be licensed:

  • Child-care given at child’s own home or if provider is child’s relatives
  • Play school or Kindergarten that don’t operate more than 4 hours
  • Activity courses aimed at school-age children run by government, charitable groups or civic society
  • Religiously associated child-care facilities that have been given a formal exemption
  • Projects run by universities or colleges

When child-care projects are operated by government elementary schools, its regulation is responsibility of the ‘Department of Education’.Other state agencies also play their regulatory role.

How to become a licensed child-care provider in Alabama?
If you’re going to start a child-care or day-care center in Alabama, you’ll first have to acquaint yourself with all the regulations and policies set up by Alabama’s Department of Human Resources. There are certain licensure requirements in Alabama that must be first fulfilled in order to evolve as an authorized and certified child-care provider, otherwise regulatory bodies will not issue you a working license in this state. Below is given an overview of the information and links that you will have to follow for beginning child-care licensing procedure in Alabama.
Before applying for an Alabama child-care licensure, you’ll have to go through the least criterions for starting a child-care center – Review all the procedures and regulations specified by Alabama’s State Department of Human Resources. This instruction manual can be availed in paper format from any Department of Human Resources (DHR) office or via online portal of DHR.
This instruction manual is to inform the aspirants of establishing a child-care about licensing and its application procedure. The content also includes facility prerequisites, child-care programs, staff obligations, administration, transportation, and snack/meal patterns etc.
Application Process:
Once you’ve thoroughly studied these least standards for child-care centers in the state of Alabama you’ll then have to start the license application procedure. All forthcoming Alabama child-care applicants need to fill in Application Form provided by DHR and then include its required attachments.
This license application needs a photocopy of the child-care operating procedures, photocopy of rules for regulatory and service charges, phone number/address/name of the Head or Key Operator of child-care facility- On top of all other requirements, applicant should enclose with its application a formal report of the inspection conducted by fire and health departments verifying his center safe for the children. You’ll also have to obtain a food permit from state health department if need be. Last of all, the application needs a written declaration from a local zoning department stating that your center is compliant with present zoning requisites.
After you’ve completed your license application, you’ll also have to fill-in the attachment file of application. This attachment needs to contain the signatures of every proprietor, center executive or board participant; nevertheless, it might not be required if there’s just one prospective owner.
Child Neglect/Abuse Clearance:
Along with your child-care license application, you also need to submit a child abuse clearance request to DHR. This clearance request application is also to be filled and signed by all prospective owners.
Background Inspection:
All prospective board participants or owners of Alabama child-care centers are required to submit their criminal background inspection report before they are issued a child-care license.

Medical Assessment:
The owner or director of child-care center is needed to undertake a complete medical checkup in order to ensure that she/he has good health condition. The medical checkup report should also contain a tuberculosis test.
Educational Prerequisites:
There are also certain educational prerequisites specified for prospective child-care directors or owners; thus, applicants must also have required educational profile so as to get licensed as a owner of child-care center in Alabama. In minimum requirement, owner is needed to have GED or high school degree/diploma, no less than one year working experience in any child-care center, and 120-hour child-care training.
On the other hand, the applicant might have a degree in ‘Child Development Associate’ (CDA) from the ‘National Child Care Association’ in addition to 12-month working experience or a degree in ‘Child Development Associate’ along with 9-month working experience. A child-care owner might also have a bachelor degree in ‘Child Development’ with a minimum of 6-month working experience in any child-care facility.

How to ensure if child-care provider is licensed in Alabama?
For parents, it is a big concern to find the best child-care center for their children on their budget. For some it is really stressful to decide on a quality child-care facility available in their locality. To this end, some community organizations provide referrals to help parents select the best possible child-care option. However, the most authentic resource is ‘Child Care Services Division’ of ‘Alabama Department of Human Resources’ – these authorities offer information about child-care licensing and also guide about selecting a reliable facility. The detailed information can be found at DHR official website (find the link below).
If you want to find out the licensing state of a child-care center in Alabama, you can help yourself by following a ‘Self-Assessment Guide’. This guide will let you know the list of licensure requirements that must be met by all child-care centers in the state.You can avail these guides in various languages for your understanding.Moreover, you can take help from county office or child-care regional office in your locality and request them to review the file of licensee’s facility. This file contains the records of all investigations and evaluations of specified child-care facility conducted by licensing authorities and all the complaints against that facility corroborated by state department.

Documents that you must see displayed in a Licensed Child-Care Center:

Most current license and approval/permit from DHR
Forms for Public notices
Most current licensing valuation form
Most current deficiency information (if applicable)
Adverse or corrective action plan notices (if applicable)
Most current fire assessment report
Most current inspection written reports and food license from state health unit
Snacks/meal menu
Emergency numbers for medical aid, fire unit, law enforcement, poison control center and substitute help
Emergency measures

Questions that you must inquire from a Child-Care Center

Are you a licensed child-care or exempted from this requirement?
How many children will be accommodated in our child’s group?
How experienced your teachers are?
What is the training and educational criteria for the teachers at your center?
How do you familiarize the new children with your ambience?
How can parents inquire about their children’s day at center?
How weather, fire, and medical emergencies are handled in your facility?
Are parents allowed to visit the center any time?
What is your action plan when teacher of my child is either on vacation or sick?
What children safety precautions are adopted by you when you take children on a trip or transport them by van or bus?
What is your service fees and when it is due?

Official website of Department of Human Resources, Alabama State…/Licensing_Overview.aspx
DHR Standards for child-care centers – Procedures and Regulations
DHR: Licensing Information
DHR Information for child-care licensing application

Oklahoma Childcare Licensing and Regulations

Whether you are a parent looking for a child care facility for your children, or an individual planning on setting up a child care facility in Oklahoma, there are a number of licensing requirements and regulations that are setup for your guidance as regards your specific concerns.

To begin with, there are a number of childcare centers in Oklahoma for your consideration. There are the Child Care Centers; which are the facilities providing child care and supervision for children in a drop-in basis, Part-Day Children’s Programs which provides pre-school education on along with supervision, and the School Age Programs and Summer Day Camps, which provides summer camps, summer parks, and before and after school programs.

There are also child care facilities that offer their services in the family home such as the Family Child Care Homes and Large Child Care Homes. Finally, there is the Child Placing Agency which aids in the placement of children in foster family homes; and the Residential Child Care Facility and Children’s Center which provides for homes for children who are in need of temporary emergency care. These various child care facilities are subject to accreditation by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, and are constantly required to comply with the continuing requirements as set by the same department as well.

Child care services provider intending to become a licensed provide will have to obtain the application forms from Upon successful download of the document and completion of the same, the application form will then be submitted for consideration to the department. Depending on the child care facility you intend to put up, other requirements may be required of you. To name some, there is proof of ownership or sponsorship, child care staff summary, documentation that the director has met all the necessary credentials, criminal background check, and many others.

On top of the qualifications required of your employees, your physical facility will be submitted for determination of its fitness for the purpose. For instance, you will have to possess a documentation of fire approval within 12 months, and a documentation of health approval for the same period of time. Since the setting up of your own child care center is not a right but a mere privilege regulated by the Department, you will have to comply with a number of continuing requirements even after your application for the same has been approved.

Parents who are looking for licensed child care facility in Oklahoma may also take heed in the listing found on On the same link will you find some other useful information in your search for qualified child care facility. It is immensely important to check on the list of accredited child care service providers before you commit your child to the same. It is likewise important to visit the child care facility beforehand, and personally ascertaining the fitness of the organization to take care of your child. Among many others, your child’s welfare should be your topmost priority, and trusting only the licensed child care facility is the first step.

Child Care Options for Your Kids

Child care is an absolute thing. No matter how technologically advanced and virtual the world may be, caring for children always goes back to basics- warm bodies that protects them and personally attend to their needs. Since there are times that parents who cannot physically attend to their children, they need to find a place where their kids can be well taken cared of. Fortunately, parents need not worry where/who to entrust their children in times when they leave the house. However, to achieve quality child care, you need to carefully evaluate and study what specific child care will meet your family’s needs, lifestyle, affordability.

Choosing a child care option that fits your need is truly a challenging thing. Let me walk you through all of these child care options as your guide in making the right decision. But before introducing you to various types of care option, you need to narrow down your priorities by answering the following questions:

  • What type of child care provider do you need – part-time or full-time? Does family members work the regular 8:00am to 5:00pm work time or on a flexible time schedule? If on a flexible time, does the family need caregivers on a consistent time of are they only needed on an irregular time basis?
  • What is the family’s affordability status? Before anything else, available budget for hiring a specific child care should first be determined. To illustrate this, if your budget is limited, you can already narrow your choice from choosing a daycare center instead of hiring a nanny.
  • What is your child’s special needs or conditions? If your child happens to have special needs or conditions, you should consider what specific child care fits your child’s needs. Parents are the first caregiver of their children hence, they know what specific child care they need. Other kids may need smaller child care environment while others enjoy with being in a bigger crowd.
  • What is your preference level in selecting a child care provider based on your kids’ age? Different type of child care provider has also their different rules in accepting kids based on age. Hence, this aspect should be carefully be taken into consideration. There are child care providers who specifically identifies the age range they are accepting. You can already narrow down your choice if they specify age limits.

After answering the questions, we will now discuss the different child care options.

  • First, we will focus on Daycare Centers. Of all types of care option, Daycare is probably the most preferred by parents because of its affordability and convenience. Aside from that, Daycare has longer operating hours which give the parents ample time to finish their job without necessarily being bothered by their kids’ pick-up time.
  • Next stop is the Family Home Providers. The greatest advantage of this type of care option is its attractiveness to the kids. Children are accorded with a feel-at-home type of care. Hence, children feel comfortable and relaxed. However, since these type of care only caters to small number of kids, they cannot improve their socialization skills. It is therefore incumbent for parents to assess if their kids can be left in this type of option as many times as they deemed it. Further, the number of hours are limited. Hence, parents need to have their work done before closing hours of the Family Home. Otherwise, you may encounter problems with the Family Home Administrators.
  • Third on the list is by hiring a Professional Care Provider (Nannies) in your own home. This type of care option is by far a dream come true for parents. It offers the convenience or comfort of having the kids taken cared of in their own homes. However, this type of care option is usually the most expensive. Further, these are people who are trained to provide the care your kids need. The amount you pay for the professional caregiver should commensurate the number of hours she has worked. Hence, the longer she has worked, the higher is your expense. o hire one, then it would be a win-win choice for both the kids and their parents.
  • Next is on Babysitters and other Occasional Care Options. For this type of option, parents can either hire teenage babysitters or even count on family members or friends on occasion while allowing the child to enjoy the comforts of their own home. However, family members and friends cannot be counted on all the time. Their availability depends on their vacant schedules. Further, there are some family members or friends who may have practices/beliefs contradictory to yours that may influence your kids. Unlike other type of child care, this option is more on a personal level. You may not be aware of it but kids are like sponge in absorbing what others taught them. It is therefore advisable that parents carefully consider who to entrust in this type of child care.
  • Another option is the Camps and Advancement Child Care. This is the type of option that needs the kids’ evaluation prior to their acceptance in the camp. They need to undergo medical evaluation to check if they are physically fit to join the camp. When accepted, the kids in this type of care option is being entrusted to highly skilled people to help develop their potential. Parents who are concerned to enrich their kids’ talents/skills prefer this type of care. However, one gray area in this option is on the facilitators’ capability to truly watch after and care for your kids. Their being highly skilled does not automatically mean they are good care providers. Parents should therefore meticulously scrutinize what type of camp their kids are joining and evaluate the facilitators’ track record in successfully handling this activity thereby allowing their kids to enjoy, learn something and most of all, be safe.

All being said, all these child care options mentioned has its own advantages and disadvantages. What really matters is that the decision you make is the choice that best fits your family’s needs. Good luck parents!