Requirements to Start an Adult Day Care Business

According to the Administration on Aging, one out of every eight Americans is over the age of 65. This increase of the senior population in America offers entrepreneurs excellent opportunities in the adult day-care industry. Though starting an adult day-care facility does have some unique start-up considerations, the chances of success far outweigh the barriers in starting.

Federal Requirements

Entrepreneurs who are considering starting an adult day-care facility should consider applying for a nonprofit tax status. Though the federal government does not actively regulate the adult day-care industry, many of the senior programs and grants available are offered only to non-for-profit organizations. Since most seniors are on some type of an assistance program, getting an IRS tax status as a nonprofit may be beneficial. As a non-for-profit, owners would take a salary from the business instead of profits. By not getting a nonprofit tax status, adult day-care facilities would not receive the majority of government funding or grants offered for many senior programs.

Many states require that adult day-care facilities provide meals. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is an example of a nonprofit federal grant program. It provides monetary reimbursement for meals to eligible nonprofit adult day-care centers.

State Requirements

Required licensing and certifications for providers of Activities of Daily Living (ADL) vary for each state. Most states require adult day-care providers to furnish ADL and health monitoring for adult day-care facilities. Certain states require additional certifications for adult day health-care facilities that provided physical, occupational and speech therapies as well as nursing services. Two state requirements that most states require are CPR and first aid certifications. For the complete requirements of establishing an adult day care program, contact the licensing state.


An adult day care is different from an adult day health-care or medical facility. Adult day cares give adults ADL assistance, monitor their health, dispense medications, and provide social services. Adult day health-care providers furnish nursing services, therapy, and medication administration. It is important to define which medical services the day care will provide, because state certifications and licensing requirements vary.


Most states require business and extensive liability insurance for licensing. Day-care facilities also need fire insurance and should consider theft insurance. Day-care providers should also consider getting malpractice insurance if they offer any type of medical assistance or therapy. Other insurance riders maybe needed depending on state and local regulatory laws.

Zoning Laws

Some states have facility standards and requirements for adult day cares and this must be addressed prior to choosing a location. In addition, if starting an adult day care in the home, check to see of zoning laws will allow such a business in your area.


About the Author

Anastasia Zoldak is an experienced freelance writer and researcher based in Chicago. She has been a professional writer since 2007. Zoldak has an undergraduate degree in business, which she has used in a variety of industries, including retail, sales and recruiting. Prior to becoming a writer, she ran a successful business.