How to Open a Daycare in Louisiana

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Since many families nowadays cannot afford to have a parent stay home and care for their children, day care facilities are a necessity in many communities. Like each U.S. state, Louisiana has its own unique guidelines concerning the licensing of childcare facilities. Before opening a daycare in Louisiana, you will need to become familiar with these regulations.

  • Determine whether you want to open a Class A or Class B day care. Class A day care requires more licensing, can receive state and federal funding, is more closely watched and cannot hire felons. Class B day care is not as closely regulated, cannot receive state or referral funds and can hire felons that meet specific guidelines. Refer to the link titled "Differences between Class A and Class Child Day Care Regulation" in Resources, below.

  • Read Louisiana Administrative Code Title 67, Part III, Chapter 73, Sections 7301-7339 if you plan to open a Class A day care, or Title 67, Part III, Chapter 73, Sections 7355-7385 if you plan to open a Class B day care. Reading these codes will help you understand the guidelines you'll be expected to meet before opening a Louisiana day care.

  • Lease, if necessary, and prepare the space you plan to use for your day care center, according to your classification's guidelines. You will need to prepare the space before submitting an application so that it will be ready for inspection.

  • Submit an initial application (see link titled "Application for License to Operate a Child Day Care Center" in Resources, below), along with a money order or certified check in the amount of $25 (as of 2010), payable to the Department of Social Services, to the following address:

    Department of Social Services
    Bureau of Licensing
    P.O. Box 3078
    Baton Rouge, LA 70821

  • Respond to the requests from the Office of Public Health, Sanitarian Services, Office of the State Fire Marshal and other zoning agencies to inspect your day care facility. The agencies will mail out their requests, but you can call to schedule the inspections. Each agency will ensure that your facility meets the requirements for your facility's classification.

  • Pay the initial fee, according to your day care's classification--see the link titled "Annual Care Facility Licensing Fees " in Resources, below. You will then be contacted by a licensing specialist, who will asses your facility and approve you to be licensed and open your day care.

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