How to Get a License for an After-School Program in New Jersey

After-school programs sometimes operate out of one's residence.
After-school programs sometimes operate out of one's residence. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

In New Jersey, you are required to register after-school daycare programs, even if the care is provided in your own home, if you care for six or more children. The Department of Children and Families handles the registration and licensure of child-care and after-school programs, and this department also ensures that programs and facilities meet state standards to protect the safety, health and well-being of children served. Licenses for child-care centers must be renewed every three years.

Obtain an application to register as an after-school child-care provider from your city or county Child Care Resource and Referral agency. For a listing of agencies by region, see Resources. The application will require you to provide basic contact information and job history, two character references, record of a negative tuberculosis screening and your authorization for a child-abuse and criminal background check to be completed with your Social Security number. Include the application fee ($25 as of May 2011) and submit the application at least 45 days prior to the anticipated date of opening the child-care center.

Complete the required pre-service training education. Training entails eight hours of instruction on topics, such as child development and discipline, child safety, first aid and nutrition. The training is free to applicants for licensure. When you submit your application to the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, you will be advised about class schedules for which to register.

Allow an on-site inspection of the center to show that it meets the state standards for safety and health. A Child Care Resource and Referral Agency representative will contact you to schedule the inspection. The inspector will examine for potential fire hazards, assess indoor space and outdoor space, examine toilet and plumbing facilities and confirm that there are no safety risks to children. If the representative determines that the home meets all the provisions of the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers, you will be granted a license that is valid for three years. Display the license in a prominent place at the facility.

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