Opening & Running a Child Care Center

Are you interested in opening a child care center? Are you already running a center and looking for additional resources? The pages below will help you learn about the steps you’ll need to take to be successful and will provide resources to ensure your program is providing a high-quality learning experience for the children in your care.

Before you begin your new career path, find out if child care is the right choice for you. It will help you think through some important considerations before you open your child care center.  If you’d like more information on child care centers and other types of care, visit our Types of Child Care page.

There are different resources for you to complete to help you build your business plan throughout these sections. These resources are meant to help you think through important questions. Your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency and your local licensing agency can help you understand the specific rules and regulations you need to follow to operate a quality program. They will be important resources for you as you begin your child care business.

Also consider and plan for ways to strengthen and enrich your program. Your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency can also help enhance the quality of your program through training, coaching, and connecting you to additional resources and supports that can assist your center.

In this section you will find:

Do Your Research: This page will guide you through the topics you’ll need to learn about before you open your child care center. Learn about conducting a needs assessment, licensing and background check requirements, and legal, tax, and insurance considerations.

Action Steps: This page will help you begin to take concrete steps towards opening your business. Find information on preparing a budget, finding a location, developing policies and procedures, hiring staff, and marketing your program.

Program Structure: This information will provide the foundation for your family child care home to be successful. Learn about programs and practices that can strengthen the overall structure of your child care program, such as QRIS and national accreditation, health and nutrition practices, child care policies and procedures, and more.

Program Practices: This page will address topics that can help you to strengthen your program practices, including the curriculum, materials, resources, and daily interactions you and your staff have with the children and families in your care.

About our resources:

The resources in this section can be used individually to help you on the path to opening your child care center. Click on the blue buttons on each page to access the resource listed. If you prefer to access all resources in one place, download the complete Child Care Center resource booklet below.
Download Booklet

Download "Starting Your Child Care Business"

Need help printing? Download the Brochure Printing Guide.

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