Child Care Facilities Licensing Guidelines

Who is required to be licensed?

A license is required for any child care arrangement other than an occupied residence that provides care for more than five children unrelated to the operator and that receives a payment, fee, grant, or other form of compensation for any of the children whether or not operated for a profit.  This applies to arrangements for children under kindergarten age and for any after/before school arrangements for elementary school aged children in grades five and below adding to the typical school day and/or occurring during spring break, winter break or any other school holiday or day off from school.  

Certain religious affiliated and non-public schools may be exempt from licensure but must register with Broward County and receive approval prior to operating.

Programs for children grades six and above and summer day camps for elementary school aged children are exempt from licensure.  

How many children can be cared for?

The number of children that can be cared for is based on calculating the square footage of available indoor play space, outdoor play space, and the number of toilets, sinks and drinking fountains available for the children’s use.

Background Screening Requirements

Complete Level II background screening in the DCF Clearinghouse for the Director and the Corporation or Limited Liability Company Board Officers or Owners if the ownership is individual or a partnership.​

What are the Steps to become licensed?

  • Attend the three hour Child Care Facility Orientation.  The class is offered monthly and is free of charge. Contact CCLE at 954/357-4800 to register.
  • Contact the local municipality to ensure that the location is zoned for child care.
  • Read Chapter 7 of the Broward County Code of Ordinances​ and Chapter 65C-22 of the Florida Administrative Code regarding the rules and regulations required for child care facilities in Broward County.
  • Schedule a Change of Ownership meeting if there is a currently operating child care facility at this location.
  • Ensure that there is a Director on staff with a current DCF issued Director Credential.
  • Ensure that there are at least two staff persons with current Pediatric CPR/ First Aid certification. (On-line classes will not satisfy this requirement)
  • Contact the Quality Assurance Specialist at 954/357-4800 to request an OCA number which is needed to register in the background screening clearinghouse.
  • Contact the local municipality for a Business Tax receipt and to request a Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Contact the local fire department to schedule a fire inspection.
  • Set up the child care facility to comply with standards for the specific age groups including sufficient furnishings, equipment, supplies, toys, materials, etc.  All rooms must comply with applicable standards in order to be approved.
  • Submit the Preliminary Application and Application Fee.
  • Contact CCLE Quality Assurance Specialist to arrange for an on-site inspection of the facility.  This inspection should not be scheduled until the above items have been completed.   The inspection will include determination of the licensed capacity, inspection of the physical facility and outdoor play space, determination of specific service areas and age groups, review of required policies, and inspection of required files.
  • A written inspection report will be provided based on the on-site inspection detailing any applicable standards that are not in compliance.
  • If warranted, a re-visit inspection will be conducted to verify compliance with all applicable standards.
  • Complete the Child Care Facility application and submit it with the Licensing Fee.
  • Once the application and inspection reports are received and reviewed the license will be prepared and signed and provided to the child care facility.
UNLESS THIS IS A CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP, CHILD CARE CANNOT BE PROVIDED AT THE LOCATION UNTIL THE LICENSE HAS BEEN ISSUED. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS WILL LEAD TO ADMINISTRATIVE FINES AND WILL DELAY THE ISSUANCE OF THE LICENSE.

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