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HOW TO GET STARTED AS CHILD CARE PROVIDER IN WASHINGTON STATE

If you're interested in working with children, a child care provider / teacher is a great opportunity to shape young minds!  

To get started, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) has licensing requirements for those working with children in child care facilities, family care or afterschool programs.

The licensing process begins with an orientation, where you will receive information about:

  • Resources to help you through the licensing process.
  • Providing child care.
  • Training and other support.

At orientation, you will be encouraged to think about why you want to do child care. You'll want to assess your:

  • Business skills.
  • Abilities to work with children.
  • Determination, personality, experience and finances.
  • Child care space.

You will receive a license application, instructions about how to fill out the application and other related information. The licensor(s) who conduct the orientation will explain how to complete the application and what other information you must provide. 

Once you send in your application, DCYF has 90 days to act on your application. If you are applying to offer child care in your home, a DCYF licensor will contact you to schedule an inspection. If you are applying for a child care center license, a licensor will come to the center for an inspection. For both family home and center providers, DCYF staff will talk with you about how you plan to offer child care, and work closely with you throughout the licensing process. 

Prior to being granted a license and working unsupervised with children, you'll need to complete a STARS-approved Child Care Basics course or a STARS-approved School Age Basics course in addition to required training in CPR, First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens and HIV/AIDS.   SG Classes Online has several discounted packages for child care and for school age to help you get started. 

After completing your initial training, you'll need to complete at least 10 hours of STARS-approved child care classes each year.  SG Classes Online has nearly 200 online courses approved for STARS hours to help you meet your training requirements.

For more information, here are some links to additional resources for child care providers:

DCYF Child Care Licensing Rules

A Guide for Child Care Providers

And for school age providers:

School Age WAC's