As an aspiring childcare provider in California, it is important to understand the different types of licensing fees that you will be required to pay. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) licenses all early childhood programs in the state, and the fees charged help to support the cost of licensing and monitoring these programs.
There are two main types of licensing fees for early childhood programs in California: application fees and annual fees.
Application fees are paid when you first apply for a license from the CDSS. The application fee amount varies depending on the type of license you are applying for. For example, the application fee for a family childcare home license is $73, while the application fee for a childcare center license is $500.
Annual fees are paid each year to maintain your license. The annual fee amount is based on the capacity of your program, which is the maximum number of children that you are licensed to care for at one time. For example, the annual fee for a family childcare home with a capacity of 6-12 children is $140, while the annual fee for a childcare center with a capacity of 101-150 children is $1,220.
In addition to the application and annual fees, there are a few other fees that you may be required to pay, such as:
- Orientation fee: This fee is paid when you first attend a licensing orientation. The orientation fee is $25 for family childcare home providers and $50 for all other providers.
- Probation fee: This fee is paid if your license is placed on probation. The probation fee is equal to the annual fee for your program.
- Change of location fee: This fee is paid if you change the location of your program. The change of location fee is $73 for family childcare homes and $140 for all other programs.
There are a few exemptions to the licensing fee requirements. For example, family childcare homes that are part of the California Alternative Payment Program (CAPP) are not required to pay annual fees. Additionally, family childcare homes that are located in low-income areas may be eligible for a fee reduction.
Licensing fees can be paid by mail, online, or in person at a CDSS office. You can pay by credit card, debit card, or check.
Understanding the different types of licensing fees for early childhood programs in California is an important part of starting and operating a successful childcare business. By budgeting for these fees and paying them on time, you can avoid any disruptions to your business.
Tips for Paying Licensing Fees
- Budget for licensing fees in advance. This will help you to avoid any financial surprises.
- Set up a recurring payment plan with the CDSS. This will help you to avoid missing any payments.
- If you are struggling to pay your licensing fees, contact the CDSS to see if you are eligible for a fee reduction or payment plan.