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Starting a Child Care Program - A guide to information you need about Family Child Care Learning Homes or Child Care Learning Centers.

Summary: Learn the tasks and steps involved in starting a child care program for a Child Care Learning Center or Family Child Care Learning 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 Learning Centers, Family Child Care Learning Homes, Training, Rules and Regulations, Criminal Records Check and Livescan.

Contents:

Obtaining an Application and Training Requirements
A Family Child Care Learning 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 Child Care Learning Center is a program operated by a person, society, agency, corporation, institution, that receives pay for child care. It provides care for 7 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 Child Care Learning Home
When applying for a Family Child Care Learning Home license, the applicant should refer to the Family Child Care Learning Home Applicant Guide and follow the Steps for Successful Family Child Care Learning Home Application; all forms are located at:

Child Care Services > Starting A Child Care Program > Family Child Care Learning Home

To apply to become a Child Care Learning Center
When opening or building a new child care learning center, 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 Learning Center

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To apply for a Family Child Care Learning Home Change of Location
If you are a registered Family Child Care Learning Home and you are planning to move to a different address, you must complete and submit the forms in the Family Child Care Learning 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 Child 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 Child Care Learning Home Providers must obtain 20 hours of pre-service training before receiving a license. To maintain their license, new or existing family child care learning 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 must complete a Bright from the Start approved 40-hour director training course. To maintain their license, Child Care Learning Center 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 Child Care Learning Home (FCCLH) or a Child Care Learning Center (CCLC), you must first attend a Licensure Orientation Meeting (LOM) specific to the type of program you are interested in operating. Attendance at one of these meetings is mandatory 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 Learning Center

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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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