How to Open a Day Care Business in Arizona

children in garden image by Marzanna Syncerz from

Opening a day-care business can be a profitable endeavor. In order to be successful, you will need to obtain a license from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). ADHS licenses and oversees all day-care businesses operating in the Arizona. The licensing process can be tedious and time consuming, but if you begin the process early and have good organizational skills, you will be well on your way to getting your business up and running.

Reserve a building or another location to open your day-care business. You may choose to have a home-based child-care business or to operate a business outside of your home. The location you choose will need to be inspected by the Arizona Department of Health Services prior to occupancy.

Obtain a licensing application packet from ADHS. You can visit the Phoenix office or request to have a packet sent to you by mail. Once you have received your packet, look it over thoroughly to ensure that you will be able to meet all of the requirements that are necessary to obtain your license. Fill out all of the paperwork as completely and accurately as possible.

Initiate your background check and fingerprinting. You can visit your local police or sheriff's office where you will be able to get fingerprinted for a small fee. The background check process can take several weeks. You will need to submit a notarized affidavit to ADHS that specifies any convictions that you have on your record until the background check process is complete.

Mail in your application packet, proof of citizenship, licensing fees and affidavit to ADHS. You should send this packet by certified mail in order to get a record that it was delivered.

Prepare for your site inspection. ADHS will check your facility to ensure that no safety or health hazards are present. You will need to be able to show food storage and temperature logs and safety plans. ADHS will call you to schedule the site-inspection visit after your initial application packet has been processed.

Post your day-care license in a conspicuous location. Advertise in your local newspaper and on the Internet to help bring in new business. Schedule guided tours for prospective parents to visit and experience your day-care center when it is operational. Your reputation and good word of mouth will help your business continue to grow.


  • Always keep your logs neat, updated and in the same location at all times. Ensure that you are always prepared for an unannounced inspection.


  • Do not operate a child-care business until you have obtained approval from the Arizona authorities.


About the Author

Ginger Kelly has been an accomplished professional writer since 1997. She began her career writing for school newsletters and newspapers, then moved on to community newspapers. Kelly has written various articles on a variety of topics ranging from parenting to health care. She is a paralegal graduate of Blackstone College.

Photo Credits

  • children in garden image by Marzanna Syncerz from