Start Child Care

Complete the Group Licensing Process

A Group  License authorizes a child care provider to care for up to 30 children in a home or public facility. The total number of children who can attend at any given time is based on the children's ages, local ordinances, staffing, square footage and available plumbing.

Learn more about child care ratios and group sizes ➜
Learn more about North Dakota child care licensing ➜ 

  • Step One: Contact Child Care Licensing Specialist
  • They will connect you to the Child Care Licensing Specialist, help you start the application process, and provide a list of specific state, country and local licensing requirements. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
    - Does my community have additional ordinances that regulate child care?
    - Where do I go to get fingerprinted? Is there a charge?
    - Do other people living in my home need to get fingerprinted as well?
    - Do I need a fire inspection?
    - Where can I get pediatric CPR/AED/First Aid training?

  • Step Three: Prepare for Inspection
  • Read and Understand Licensing Requirements

  • This checklist includes all requirements. Note the following:
    The child care provider must be
    - Present in home at least 60% during child care hours
    - Meet staffing requirements based on the number of children present
    - CPR/First Aid Certified
    PLUS meet at least ONE of the following
    - One year of experience working in a child care with two parent references
    - Certification from a Montessori teaching program
    - Child Development Associate credential
    - Director's Credential
    - Associate degree with at least 8 semester hours or 12 quarter hours in early childhood education or child development or 120 of approved early childhood training.

    Worker/volunteers must
    - Be at least 12 years of age if an immediate family member
    - Have written permission if between the ages of 14 and 16 years
    - Be supervised by the provider at all times if under age 18
    - Receive orientation within the first week of employment
    - Have completed authorized background checks
    - Staff with current CPR and first-aid certification on duty at all times. Substitute staff are exempt, but parents need to be notified if a substitute who is not CPR/first-aid certified is sole care provider on duty.

  • Prepare Required Paperwork
    Have the following documents available for the licensing inspection.

  • > A copy of Group Rules
  • > Documentation of Pet Immunizations (if applicable)
  • Including but not limited to
    - Guidance and discipline of children
    - Accident and illness response procedures
    - Reporting procedure if parents or staff wish to file a complaint, suspected licensing violation, or suspected child abuse or neglect
    - Hiring practices
    - Daily reports for their child upon request
    - Accountability procedure if a child fails to arrive
    - Transportation procedures, if applicable

  • Notifying them of fees and time of payment.

  • Prepare Individual Files
    If a child is enrolled prior to licensing, each child must have an individual file that includes the following:

  • > Official documentation verifying the identifcation of the child


  • Prepare Your Child Care Environment
    Verify that your child care environment has the following:

  • > Posted Meal Plans
  • > Set Up Child Care Environment

    Providing adequate supply of safe materials and toys for indoor/outdoor play

  • > Minimum of 35 sq. ft. per child of usable INDOOR play space
  • > Minimum 75 sq. ft. per child useable OUTDOOR play space
  • > Smoke Detectors

    One working detector in each sleeping area and one on each level

  • > Fire Extingishers

    One working fire extinguisher on each level

  • > Hand Soap and Towels

    Soap and towels (paper or individual) available at each sink

  • > Hot Water: 120 degrees fahrenheit or less
  • > Bathoom Facilities

    One flushable toilet per 15 children, excluding those not toilet trained.

  • > Drinking Water from an Approved Source
  • > Railings or Gates in Place Where Necessary to Prevent Falls
  • > Established Napping Areas
  • > Signage Posted to Assure a Smoke-Free Environment

CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW/DOWNLOAD ➜ Includes 7 pages of instruction and a 45-page appendix of required licensing forms.

Have Questions?
Contact a Child Care Aware® Start-Up Consultant | 800-997-8515

Learn More About It
Visit the Run Your Child Care ➜ section to learn more about operating a child care business.