Skip Navigation

Child Care Facility Licensing

Increase the quality and amount of child care in your community.

By opening your own licensed facility, you can provide families with more high-quality options for care and help support the economic health of your community.

To get licensed, owners must: 

  • Complete orientation and training
  • Submit an application
  • Complete background checks
  • Pay an application fee (if applicable)

Depending on the facility, there may be more requirements, like Fire Safety approval. Explore the details of opening each type of facility or download a handy application checklist below.

Child Care Center, Preschool, and Head Start
Forms | Checklist

Licensed and Group Day Care Homes
Toolkit (Spanish) | Forms

School Age Program
Forms | Checklist

School Age Drop-In Program
Forms | Checklist

Required Orientation

Before submitting an application, you must complete orientation. These are required as part of the process of opening a licensed facility. DO NOT submit an application until you have scheduled and attended a required Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) orientation.

Schedule your orientation by contacting the child care licensing program in your county. View County Contact List. 

  • Your county contact can also help you if you have additional questions.
  • Note: You may also need to verify that you can open a licensed facility with HOA, city, or county building codes office.
KDHE orientation overview

During orientation, you will learn about the policies and practices of opening and running your chosen type of facility, including duties and responsibilities for the care and supervision of children.

Some of the topics you may cover include:

  • Licensing regulations
  • Emergency procedures
  • Behavior management and discipline practices
  • Importance of daily activities
  • Importance of outdoor play
  • Health and safety practices, i.e. safe sleep, storage of hazardous materials, etc.
  • Confidentiality, i.e. child records
  • Required Health and Safety training topics
  • Required Pediatric CPR & First Aid

Orientation will set you, your facility, and your families up for success.

Employee Orientation Requirements

Orientation is a critical part of opening a facility. Anyone in child care centers, preschools, Head Start programs, licensed day care homes and group day care homes is required to undergo orientation and training programs before caring for children. 

KDHE requires that all those caring for children undergo orientation. In addition, you can also supplement with your own orientation. Consider covering more facility-specific topics like activities, employment requirements, and more. 

Required Training

Health and Safety Training, including medication administration, is required in addition to orientation. Requirements are to be completed no later than 30 days following application or before given sole responsibility for the care and supervision of children. 

These training requirements apply to each applicant, each applicant with a temporary permit, each licensee and each provider. 

Child Care Center, Preschool, and Head Start

Directors, assistant teachers, and at least one person per unit must complete these trainings.

Licensed and Group Day Care Homes

Providers must complete initial and annual trainings that comply with state standards.

School Age Program

All program staff must complete orientation trainings required by KDHE and the program itself.

Program directors, teaching staff, and licensed daycare/group daycare providers must obtain annual clock hours of approved KDHE training each year. In-service training must relate to the work of the participants. 

The Kansas Professional Development Initiative has published the Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Professionals in Kansas and Missouri for professionals working with young children that identify what is approved content for licensure or re-licensure in-service training. 

Licensing Forms & Applications

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is the licensing authority in the state. KDHE requires licensing to keep children in care safe, healthy, and growing. Licensure is required regardless of the motivation for providing care or payment. 

Child Care Center, Preschool, and Head Start

Licensed and Group Day Care Homes

School Age Program

School Age Drop-In Program

You can also create an account through the Child Care Provider Portal and submit the application and supporting forms online. 

Licensing in home-based care is not required when:

  • Child care is provided for not more than two children unrelated to the provider for 20 hours a week or less, and the home has not been closed as a result of enforcement action.
    • Total time is determined by adding the hours each child is cared for weekly.
  • Irregular child care is arranged between friends and neighbors on an exchange basis.
  • Child care is provided in the child’s own home.
  • Child care is provided in the home of the child’s relative.

Licensing Fees

Each program has a licensing fee that must be paid. State fees are currently waived through September 2024. Some counties may require their own licensing fee, though. 

How to Open a Licensed Child Care Facility

The main purpose of child care regulation is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of children receiving care. Regulated child care includes family child care, homes, and centers, and most care providers are required to obtain a license to operate.