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Child Care Center Licensing Information

A Child Care Center (or Day Care Center) is usually located in a commercial building. Non-medical care and supervision is provided for infant to school-age children in a group setting for periods of less than 24 hours. This includes:

  • Child Care Centers
  • Infant Care Centers
  • Toddler Programs
  • School-age Centers
  • Child Care Centers for Mildly Ill Children

A Family Child Care Home must be in the licensee's own home. A Family Child Care Home reflects a home-like environment where non-medical care and supervision is provided for periods of less than 24 hours.
If you are interested in getting a Family Child Care Home license, please click here: Family Child Care Home Licensing

In order to get a Child Care Center License:

  1. You must attend an orientation.
    • Orientations are scheduled on a regular basis all over California.
    • There is an orientation fee and it is nonrefundable , so be sure that you meet the qualifications for a license before you sign up for an orientation.
    • You may sign up for an orientation by contacting the State Licensing Agency nearest you. To see a list of Child Care Licensing Agencies in California, click here: Regional Offices . The Regional Offices Directory will show you what counties each Child Care Licensing office covers. To see an orientation schedule for your area, click here: Orientation Schedules.
  2. You must be familiar with all Child Care Center licensing laws and regulations.
  3. You must pass a home inspection. A Licensing Program Analyst will contact you to schedule an inspection of your home.
  4. You must complete and submit all the information and forms required in the application packet. We will not accept your application until after you have completed the orientation . There is an application fee that is nonrefundable . Click on this blue link for licensing fee information . If you are ready to sign up for an orientation, please contact your local licensing office: Regional Offices . Click here to view the Orientation Schedules .