The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services requires daycares and other child care providers to be licensed if the facility supervises four or more unrelated children. Three licenses are available for daycares and child care facilities: Family Child Care Home I, Family Child Care Home II and Child Care Center. The type of license you will need is dependent on the number of children in your care and the location of your facility. Although each license has specific regulations, all three require similar application procedures.
Obtain certification in first aid and CPR. The American Red Cross is a good source for information about these classes. You can find out about upcoming courses in Nebraska by contacting one of the health departments listed at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website (see Resources).
Attend pre-service orientation training. This one-hour program will focus on Nebraska child care license regulations and legal requirements. You can get dates and locations for upcoming orientation programs by visiting the Department of Human and Health Services Child Care Licensing site (see References). Most orientation training is held at local courthouses, community colleges, public libraries or health services offices. You will receive a certificate for completing this orientation.
Complete the Nebraska child care license application. Applications are available on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website (see References). You will be required to answer questions about your daycare's hours of operation, number of children in your care, the ages of the children and the number of staff members. If your daycare is in your home, you must also provide information about the individuals that live in your home, even if they are not involved in your child care business. The licensing specialists will use this information to perform background and criminal history checks on you, your staff and any adults living in your home.
Complete and gather the required forms that must be submitted with your application. These forms also are available on the same site as the application. You will need to complete a Health Information Report that requires a blood pressure check and urinalysis. A health care professional must sign this document and report if you are on any medications and detailing your health status involving mental illness, hypertension, communicable diseases or substance abuse problems. You and anyone involved in your business or adults living in your daycare home must also complete a Felony/Misdemeanor Statement. This form requires information about any past convictions or pending charges, particularly those involving children.
Mail your application, required forms and license fees to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Fees must be paid in check or money order form and are based on the number of children you plan to have in your care. Application packets should be mailed to the following address, with the exception of applicants in Douglas and Sarpy Counties:
Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Children's Services Licensing P.O. Box 94986 Lincoln, NE 68509
Potential child care providers in Douglas and Sarpy Counties should mail their applications to:
Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Children's Services Licensing 1801 North 73rd Street Omaha, NE 68114
Prepare for health and fire safety inspections. Once your application materials are received and approved, licensing specialists will send referrals to the Nebraska Fire Marshal's Office and your local county health department. These organizations will contact you to set up a time for the on-site sanitation and fire safety inspections of your facility. You are responsible for paying any fees associated with these inspections.
Schedule an on-site inspection of your daycare with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Once the department receives approval documentation from the health department and fire marshal's office, a licensing specialist will contact you to schedule a visit. This is to ensure that your child care facility meets all Nebraska regulations for child care licensing.
Be sure to check with your city government to see if they have any local regulations regarding the location or operation of child care facilities.
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