~ Our Mission: To ensure safeguards and enhance quality for children in out-of-home care. ~
Start a Child Care Business
The Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL) should be your first stop when considering opening a child care business. The OCCL does not charge fees for: applications, information and orientation sessions, fingerprinting and criminal history reviews, licenses, or technical assistance. All of these services and resources are available free of charge to those operating or wishing to operate a child care business. All persons/organizations interested in opening a child care business must participate in initial training that provides information on the licensing process, requirements, and resources available. OCCL staff will answer your questions over the phone, by mail, or email.
There are five types of licensed child care facilities in Delaware. Click the link of the type you are interested in to learn more about starting a business.
- Family Child Care Homes – child care in a private home for one to six children preschool–age or younger and one to three school-age children
- Large Family Child Care Homes – child care in a private home or commercial (non-residential) setting depending on zoning codes for seven to twelve children preschool-age or younger and one or two school-age children
- Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers (includes day care centers, nursery schools, preschools, and before/after school care) – child care in a commercial (non-residential) setting for thirteen or more children
- Residential Child Care Facilities and Day Treatment Programs – services for children with behavioral dysfunctions; developmental, emotional, mental or physical impairments; and/or chemical dependencies
- Child Placing Agencies – adoption and foster care services