Child care is a necessity expense for most working parents, so that children can be properly cared for while they are away at work. Starting a daycare business in the State of Delaware takes concentration and diligence, but can be accomplished. All daycare facilities, foster homes and early education programs are licensed by Delaware's Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL). The OCCL can help you through the licensing process and help ensure that your daycare is in compliance with the applicable state laws.
Choose a clean and centrally located building where you plan to operate the daycare. This can be a section of your home, or it can be a commercial building. Make any necessary contractual and financial arrangements to ensure that the location you choose is adequate for the care of children.
Contact the office of child care licensing (see References) in your county and request an application packet. You will be required to attend an orientation that will help you understand what you need to do to ensure that your new daycare facility is in compliance with OCCL rules and regulations. Fill in your application as accurately and completely as possible, and send the application to the appropriate mailing address for the office of child care licensing for your county. You will need to allow a minimum of ninety days for initial licensure.
Hire a program director who meets the educational and experience criteria that is mandated by the State of Delaware. This includes educational credits with an emphasis on childhood education or child development and documented experience working with children. Specific requirements can be found in the program director section of the OCCL requirements (see References).
Make a filing system that will ensure that all records for both children and employees are safe and organized. Good record keeping is an essential skill that you will need to run a successful daycare. You will need to have information on the children in your care, such as emergency contact and health care information. You will also need to maintain adequate personnel records on file, including training and disciplinary records.
Obtain an insurance policy that will cover your business and the children for whom you will provide care. Your policy will need to include fire and liability coverage. You will also need insurance for any vehicles that are used to transport the children in your care.
Arrange for the necessary CPR and First Aid certifications. You can use the American Red Cross (see Resources) or the American Heart Association (see Resources). OCCL requires that there be a person certified in CPR and First Aid on premises at all times.
- children image by Renata Osinska from Fotolia.com