Opening a daycare requires careful planning. The Florida Department of Children and Families regulates licensing and registration for Orlando. As you decide what type of daycare to open and get ready to open your doors, stay in touch with local licensing officials who can answer your questions and guide you through the process.
Write a business plan for your daycare that includes hours of operation, operational and start-up budget, marketing plan and fee schedule and policies.
Draft policies and procedures for your daycare. Some to include are a meal plan, a contract with parents, educational program information, staffing and discipline policies and an emergency preparedness plan.
Read Florida’s licensing requirements for the type of daycare you plan to open. Licensing standards are different for daycare centers and in-home daycares. This will help you prepare your center or home for inspections from licensing authorities and learn the standards your daycare business will have to meet.
Obtain the forms and applications necessary to apply for the type of child care facility you want to open. These forms are available from the licensing section of the Department of Children and Families’ website. Submit them to the Orange County Licensing Supervisors:
Tracy Collins 1507 N. John Young Parkway Kissimmee, Florida 34741 407-846-5494 Fax: 407-846-5438
Carolyn Showalter 400 W. Robinson St., Suite N-201 Orlando, FL 32801 407-317-7189 Fax: 407-846-5438
Complete the Department of Children and Families’ required training for operators of the type of daycare you are opening. The Department requires you to take an exam at the end of your training and to take 10 hours of training in child care annually to maintain your license. Contact the Child Care Training Information Center at 888-352-2842, or visit the training section of the Department of Children and Families’ website.
Work with a commercial real estate agent to locate a facility for your daycare center. Consider the flow of traffic, the side of the street it is on, if it has a circular drive for easy pickup and drop-off, its condition and its suitability to serve as a daycare facility. If you are operating the facility out of your home, ensure your home meets licensure requirements. Review the minimum standards for Florida’s daycares carefully in either situation to make any necessary alterations or repairs. Ensure the facility meets with zoning, environmental, health and fire regulations in Orlando and Orange County. Visit the City of Orlando’s Economic Development website for information about zoning and planning contacts and the Orlando Fire Department Fire Safety Management office for information about fire inspections and permits.
Fire Department Fire Safety Management office 407-246-2386
Economic Development Department 407-246-2821
Buy any toys, supplies, food, furnishings and other necessary materials to stock your daycare. Purchase linens, first-aid kits, fire extinguishers and art and educational materials.