How to Open a Daycare Center in Mississippi

by Kimberly Caines; Updated September 26, 2017
Know your state's daycare requirements

If you desire to open a daycare center in Mississippi, make yourself aware of the state's requirements and regulations. Opening a daycare takes careful planning and preparation. Applying for a license can take up to 90 days. As a daycare provider, you will be responsible for creating a safe environment and organizing activities that stimulate the development and growth of the kids. Before you can start your daycare business, there are various aspects to consider. Some of these include the Mississippi childcare laws, licensing, and necessary training.

Step 1

Request a licensing package from the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). With your request, include a $10 money order or check made payable to them. Mail your request to: Mississippi State Department of Health Child Care Facilities Licensure Department P.O. Box 1700 Jackson, MS 39215

The Mississippi State Department of Health will assist you during the licensing process. In Mississippi, a daycare license is required for anyone caring for six or more children under the age of thirteen (this does NOT include children related to the caregiver).

Step 2

Meet the licensing qualifications for the state of Mississippi. Qualified individuals have to be at least 21 years of age. Fingerprinting and a criminal background check will have to be executed successfully. License applicants must have at least two years of paid experience in a licensed care setting. Applicants are also required to have a two-year childcare or child development college degree or a valid Child Development Associate (CDA) credential from the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition (CECPR). The Mississippi State Department of Health website provides additional acceptable education scenarios.

Step 3

Submit a non-refundable $100 application fee together with your completed application to your local licensing office. Upon receipt of the application, the approval process will begin. The Mississippi State Health Department website provides a list of all forms the applicant needs to supply during the approval process. Forms and items range from a letter of suitability for employment to the MSDH fire inspection forms.

Step 4

Upgrade to a regular license during the time in which you operate under the issued temporary license. The temporary license is only valid for a period of six months. Upon issuance of your temporary license, you will receive instructions of how to go about getting your regular license.

Step 5
The daycare's playground has to meet certain criteria.

Choose a facility that can accommodate a well-draining, fenced-in playground of at least 75 square feet per child. Establishments constructed before 1965 will have to be lead tested and should also be free of (potentially) hazardous conditions. All lavatories should have cold and hot water. Diaper changing areas should be designated where necessary. Space for infant and toddler areas should be according to the Mississippi State Department of Health guidelines.

Step 6

Constructing your own facility or renovating an already established facility requires approval of blueprints and plans by a licensing official. Expect inspections by the local health, building and fire department.

Step 7

Submit to regulatory inspections. While running your daycare, regular safety and health inspections will be done to make sure your daycare service meets all state demands and requirements.

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