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Starting a Child Care Program - A guide to information you need about Family Day Care Homes, Child Care Learning Centers, and Group Day Care Homes.

Summary: Learn the tasks and steps involved in starting a child care program: a Child Care Learning Center, Family Day Care Home or Group Day Care Home. Find the answers to common questions and concerns applicants have when opening a child care business, including employees and background checks.

Applies to: Child Care Centers, Group Day Care Homes, Family Day Care Homes, Training, Rules and Regulations, Criminal Records Check, Livescan

Contents:

Obtaining an Application and Training Requirements
A Family Day Care Home is a program that operates in a private residential home for less than 24 hours per day. It provides care for three children, but no more than six, under the age of 18 for pay.

A Group Day Care Home is a program operated by a person, society, agency, corporation, institution, or group that receives pay for group care. It provides care for seven to 18 children under the age of 18 for less than 24 hours per day.

A Child Care Learning Center is a program operated by a person, society, agency, corporation, institution, or group that receives pay for group care. It provides care for 19 or more children under the age of 18 for less than 24 hours per day.

All applicants must obtain the applicable licensing packet for the type of child care program they are planning by downloading the applicable packet in the paragraphs below.

To apply to become a Family Day Care Home
When applying for a Family Day Care Home Registration Certificate, the applicant should refer to the Family Day Care Home Applicant Guide and follow the Steps for Successful Family Day Care Home Application; all forms are located at:

Child Care Services > Starting A Child Care Program > Family Day Care

To apply to become a Child Care Learning Center/Group Day Care Home
When opening or building a new child care learning center or group day care home, not currently licensed and operating, use the Applicant's Guide to Licensing packet located along with additional forms and other useful documents at:

Child Care Services > Starting A Child Care Program > Child Care Center / Group Day Care

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To apply for a Family Day Care Home Change of Location
If you are a registered family day care home and you are planning to move to a different address, you must complete and submit the forms in the Family Day Care Home Change of Location Packet. Please read and follow the instructions carefully. Any additional forms you may need can be found under Criminal Records Checks.

Child Care Services > Provider Resources > Family Day Care Home Forms

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Taking over the operation of a currently licensed child care program
When buying a program that is currently licensed and operating, you must complete and submit a Change of Ownership Application located at:

Child Care Services > Provider Resources > Child Care Learning Center Forms

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Training Requirements
As of February 1, 2009, new Family Day Care Home Providers must obtain 20 hours of pre-service training before receiving a certificate of registration. To maintain their registration, new family day care home providers and existing family day care home providers must obtain 10 hours of training relating to the care of children on an annual basis.

Before obtaining an initial license, the director of a Child Care Learning Center and Group Day Care Homes must complete a Bright from the Start approved 40-hour director training course. To maintain their license, Child Care Learning Center and Group Day Care Home staff must obtain 10 hours of training relating to the care of children on an annual basis. For information about training opportunities throughout Georgia, click on the link for the Georgia Early Care and Education Professional Development System.

If you are interested in opening a Family Day Care Home (FDCH), you must attend a Registration Orientation Meeting (ROM) class prior to submitting an application for registration. ROM is required for all FDCH applicants that are not currently registered. The Registration Orientation Schedule Information and additional forms are located at:

Child Care Services > Starting A Child Care Program > Family Day Care

If you are interested in opening a Child Care Learning Center (CCLC) or Group Day Care Home (GDCH) you must attend a Licensure Orientation Meeting (LOM) class prior to submitting an application for license.

For additional information and other useful documents please visit:
Child Care Services > Starting A Child Care Program > Child Care Center / Group Day Care

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Rules and Regulations
The rules and regulations for each type of child care programs can be found at:

Child Care Services > Rules and Regulations

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Criminal Records Checks
Before hiring your employees, read the Before You Hire a New Employee document and the additional information found on the Criminal Records Check page. This information including the criminal records check application, Livescan instructions, and notices on changes to the application are located at:

Child Care Services > Starting A Child Care Program > Criminal Records Check

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