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Family and Social Services Administration

Bureau of Child Care Home > Become a Child Care Provider Become a Child Care Provider

If you are interested in becoming a child care provider but don't know what type of provider you are, please read the Indiana Child Care Definitions and refer to the grid below for additional information about the process for becoming a licensed child care home, licensed child care center, or unlicensed registered child care ministry. To contact a Bureau of Child Care licensing consultant, click here.

 

Licensed Child Care Center Licensed Child Care Home Unlicensed Registered Child Care Ministry

Definition:
IC 12-7-2-28.4
Child care center
Sec. 28.4. "Child care center", for purposes of IC 12-17.2, means a nonresidential building where at least one (1) child receives child care from a provider:

(1) while unattended by a parent, legal guardian, or custodian;

(2) for regular compensation; and

(3) for more than four (4) hours but less than twenty-four (24) hours in each of ten (10) consecutive days per year, excluding intervening Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

Definition:
IC 12-7-2-28.6
Child care home
Sec. 28.6. (a) "Child care home", for purposes of IC 12-17.2, means a residential structure in which at least six (6) children (not including the children for whom the provider is a parent, stepparent, guardian, custodian, or other relative or any child who is at least fourteen (14) years of age and does not require child care) at any time receive child care from a provider:

(1) while unattended by a parent, legal guardian, or custodian;

(2) for regular compensation; and

(3) for more than four (4) hours but less than twenty-four (24) hours in each of ten (10) consecutive days per year, excluding intervening Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

(b) The term includes:

(1) a class I child care home; and

(2) a class II child care home.

Definition:
IC 12-7-2-28.8
Child care ministry
Sec. 28.8. "Child care ministry", for purposes of IC 12-17.2, means child care operated by a church or religious ministry that is a religious organization exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code.

To become a licensed child care center provider:

(1) Attend orientation training session #1 (start-up process and information) either in person or online. Contact your local child care resource and referral agency to sign up for this training or visit http://www.iaccrr.org/ to register for the online session. To find out how to contact the agency in your county call 1-800-299-1627, (click here for child care resource and referral map) or email ot@iaccrr.org

(2) Attend orientation training session #2 (preparation for licensure). Click here to register online for this training or call the licensed child care center program at 317-232-4469. For an overview of what this training covers, click here.

(3) Check for local zoning and building code requirements.

(4) Structure must meet E-3 occupancy. If required, submit building plans for approval to:

  • Plan Review Division of Department of Fire & Building Services
  • Indiana State Department of Health/Sanitary Engineering

(5) Send completed application packet to Division of Family Resources

  • Include a written plan for food service
  • Include a written health program

(6) Pass on-site inspections from Division of Family Resources and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Fire and Building Safety Division.

(7) Provisional license is issued.

Licensed child care centers can accept children on the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) voucher program.

To become a licensed child care home provider:

(1) Attend orientation training session #1 (start-up process and information) and then training session #2 (preparation for licensure). Attend a Safe Sleep training session. Contact your local child care resource and referral agency to sign up for these orientation trainings. To find out how to contact the agency in your county call 1-800-299-1627, (click here for child care resource and referral map) or email ot@iaccrr.org. Orientation #1 can be completed online. Visit http://www.iaccrr.org/ to register.

(2) Prepare home for inspection.

(3) Send completed application packet to licensing consultant.

  • If private well, must obtain well water test; and if 25 or more people involved, contact Indiana Department of Environmental Management drinking water branch.
  • Check with local zoning to comply with zoning ordinances.

(4) Licensing consultant makes appointment with you for initial inspection.

(5) Pass on-site inspection.

(6) Recommendation for license is sent to central office for review and approval.

(7) License is issued.

Licensed child care homes can accept children on the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) voucher program.

To become an unlicensed registered child care ministry provider:

(1) Attendance at orientation training session #1 (start-up process and information) is strongly encouraged. The training can be completed either in person or online. Contact your local child care resource and referral agency to sign up for this training or visit http://www.iaccrr.org/ to register for the online session. To find out how to contact the agency in your county call 1-800-299-1627, (click here for child care resource and referral map) or email ot@iaccrr.org

(2) Attendance at orientation training session #2 (preparation for registration) is strongly encouraged. Click here to register online for this training or call the registered child care ministry program at 317-233-5413. For an overview of what this training covers, click here.

(3) Send completed application packet to Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Fire and Building Safety Division.

(4) Send completed application packet to Division of Family Resources (DFR)

  • If private septic, must obtain State Department of Health approval.
  • If private well, must obtain well water test and contact Indiana Department of Environmental Management drinking water branch.
  • Organization must submit copy of their 501(c)(3) IRS ruling as a church or religious organization and other documents as required to be eligible for exemption from child care center license requirements.

(5) Pass on-site inspections from DHS and DFR

(6) Pass on-site inspection for Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) voucher program eligibility, if applicable.

(7) Certificate of registration is issued.

For information on the
Voluntary Certification
Program (VCP) for
unlicensed registered child care ministries
click here.


If you believe you might be exempt from licensure, please read the Indiana Code regarding child care licensure exemptions.

To become a CCDF certified unlicensed provider, click here.