In California, childcare providers are required to obtain a license from the Department of Social Services (DSS) in order to operate legally. The specific licensing requirements vary based on the type of childcare provided and the number of children cared for.
All childcare providers must meet certain basic requirements, including:
- Completing a criminal background check for all employees and volunteers
- Providing proof of liability insurance
- Completing a DSS-approved health and safety training
- Having a plan in place for emergencies
- Maintaining clean and safe facilities
- Providing adequate supervision and care for children
Additionally, childcare providers must meet specific requirements based on the type of childcare they provide. For example, in-home providers who care for up to 14 children must complete a home study and provide documentation of their educational qualifications, while licensed childcare centers must have a certain number of staff members with specific education and experience requirements.
DSS also sets specific requirements for the number and ratio of adults to children, as well as the maximum number of children that can be cared for at one time. These requirements vary based on the age of the children and the type of childcare provided.
Licensed childcare providers must also adhere to ongoing monitoring and inspection by DSS, and may be subject to fines or penalties for noncompliance.