Utah Child Care Licensing 101
If you’re looking to open up your own child care operation, Utah is a great place to start your business! The state’s large population of parents with young children provides ample opportunities for people interested in getting into the industry. But before you open your doors and start taking care of children, you need to be properly licensed. Getting a child care license ensures your operation isn’t just legally authorized, it keeps all the kids in your care safe.
In order to legally operate a child care business in Utah, you need to obtain a child care license through Utah’s Child Care Licensing (CCL) program. CCL operates within Utah’s Bureau of Licensing and Certification under the authority of the Utah Department of Health.
You need to be licensed as a licensed family child care provider in Utah if you provide care:
- In the home where you reside
- In the absence of the child’s parent
- For five to 16 unrelated children
- For four or more hours a day,
- For each individual child for less than 24 hours per day
- On a regularly scheduled, ongoing basis
- For direct and indirect compensation.
Utah Child Care Operation Types
Depending on whether you decide to operate your child care center in your own home or in a separate facility, you’ll apply for a different type of child care license. There are five types of child care licenses in Utah you’ll choose from:
- Licensed Center. This type of program provides child care in a commercial setting and the children have regular schedules of care. Learn more.
- Licensed Hourly Center. This type of program provides child care in a commercial setting and the children do NOT have regular schedules of care (drop-in care). Learn more.
- Licensed Out of School Time Program. This type of program provides child care in a commercial setting and is only for school-age (ages 5-12) children. Learn more.
- Licensed Family Providers. This type of program provides child care in the provider’s home. Learn more.
- Residential Certified Providers. This type of program also provides child care in the provider’s home. There are small differences between the two home-based provider options that can be found in this comparison chart. Learn more.
Utah’s Child Care Licensing Process
Step 1: Read the Licensing Rules or Interpretation Manual. This manual will help you figure out what type of child care license you will need to apply for as well as the operational rules you’ll be required to follow.
Step 2: Take the online New Provider Training. Once you’re familiar with Utah’s licensing rules, you need to take an online training course. The online course takes approximately 90 minutes and must be completed all at once. After you’ve completed the course, a copy of the training will be emailed to you, certifying you’ve completed the required training and can begin submitting your application.
Step 3: Submit an online license application. Depending on the type of license you’re applying for, you’ll need to submit different forms. Your application may include a copy of your current city business license, fire inspection, kitchen inspection, your director’s educational credentials, and child care facility floor plans. You will also need to submit your application fee at this time.
Step 4: Submit an online background check form. After you’ve successfully submitted your online application and have received an email notification that your application is in process, all covered individuals need to complete an online background check form. Covered individuals include owners, directors, members of the governing body, employees, caregivers, volunteers, anyone over the age of 12 who lives at the facility, and anyone with unsupervised access to the children in your care.
Step 5: Submit a W-9 through the CCL portal. You can access the child care licensing portal here.
Step 6: Complete an Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plan. In the event of an emergency, providers need to make sure the children’s basic needs—food, water, and shelter—are met. You can use this form (or another template of your choosing) to guide you through the planning, response, and recovery phases of any emergency your operation may experience.
Step 7: Have an onsite inspection with a licensor. Once all the required documents are submitted and application fees are paid, a licensor will schedule an onsite inspection. At the inspection, the licensor will use a checklist to see if your home or off-site facility is compliant with Utah’s licensing rules. You will need to be in compliance with all the rules before they issue your license.
Step 7 (optional): Attend a Child Care Licensing Rules Training. This step isn’t mandatory to obtain your license, but if the free training courses are completed within 60 days of you receiving your license, the hours will count towards your required annual training for your first licensed/certified year.
If you have questions about the application process, you can contact Utah’s CCL office.
Once you’ve passed your onsite inspection, you will receive your license and are legally allowed to open your child care center! Before you start buying toys and Clorox wipes in bulk, you need to choose a child care management software for your center.
With automated billing, lead management, teacher scheduling, and tons of other helpful features, Smartcare and its child care administration software make your role as a child care provider easier than ever. Contact Smartcare’s team today to schedule your free live demo.