Early childhood care is a choice and investment that can influence your child's health, development and learning skills for a lifetime. Take time to learn about your options and ask plenty of questions. Use the resources below to help you make an informed decision.


Report a Concern

If you wish to report a concern regarding an early childhood program, contact the Licensing Specialist in your county, call 1-800-997-8516 or email

Contact a Licensing Specialist


Information and Resources

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Brain Building

The first five years of your child’s life set the foundation for all future learning. These resources provide tips to make sure you’re providing the support needed to help children as they learn and grow. Vroom provides science-based tips and tools to inspire families to turn shared, everyday moments into Brain Building Moments®.

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Child Care Law, Rule & Policy

Licensed and Self-Declaration child care providers must follow law, rule and policy and receive monitoring visits to ensure compliance.

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CDC’s Developmental Milestones

Milestones matter! How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about his or her development. Developmental milestones are things most children (75% or more) can do by a certain age.

Use the CDC's developmental checklists to track your child's milestones and talk with your child’s doctor at every well-child visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

(Source: CDC's Developmental Milestones)

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Early Childhood Screening

Right Track

A free developmental screening and follow-along program for you and your child, birth to three years of age.

Right Track Consultants can meet with you in the privacy of your own home and can provide: developmental screenings, ideas on supporting your child's development, and Information and referrals to local, state and national organizations.

Information Sheet: Right Track

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Early Childhood Special Education (Part B-619)

Early Childhood Special Education (Part B-619) serves children, ages three to kindergarten entrance, who meet criteria established by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction as needing specially designed instruction because of developmental delays in the general areas of cognitive/pre-academic, large and fine motor skills, social and emotional behavior, communication (articulation and language), and/or adaptive behavior, or who have vision or hearing losses.

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Early Intervention

Early intervention means early assistance. This program is designed to identify children at risk in the earliest stages, when the right help can make all the difference.

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Early Learning Standards: Birth to Kindergarten

North Dakota’s Early Learning Standards: Birth to Kindergarten present a continuum of learning and development in the following domains: Approaches to Play and Learning; Social and Emotional Development; Language, Communication, and Literacy; Mathematics and Logical Thinking; Scientific Reasoning; Social Studies; Creative Arts; and Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development.

The Standards promote the understanding of early learning and development; provide comprehensive and a coherent set of expectations for children’s development and learning; and guide the design and implementation of curriculum, assessment, and instructional practices with young children.

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Head Start and Early Head Start

Head Start and Early Head Start are child development programs, serving children from birth to age five, expectant mothers and families. The overall goal of Head Start is to increase the social ability of children in low-income families and children with disabilities and improve the chances of success in school.

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Immunization Requirements and Resources

Minimum Requirements

Minimum requirements for children attending early childhood facilities, head start programs, and preschool educational facilities shall be age-appropriate immunizations against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, haemophilus influenzae type B disease, varicella (chickenpox), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B. (NDAC 33-06-05)

Immunization Record

Parents or legal guardians may submit a record from their medical provider or have a medical professional complete and sign the Certificate of Immunization SFN 16038


If claiming an immunization exemption, families should complete the Statement of Exemption to Immunization Law section of Certificate of Immunization SFN 16038

Children may be exempt from immunization requirements for the following reasons:

  • Medical Exemption: Requires a certificate signed by a licensed physician stating that the physical condition of the child is such that immunization would endanger the life or health of the child
  • History of Disease: Requires a certificate signed by a physician stating that the child has a history of disease. History of disease exemptions may be claimed for measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis A, or hepatitis B
  • Personal Belief or Religious Belief Exemption: Requires a certificate signed by the parent or guardian whose sincerely held philosophical, moral or religious belief is opposed to such immunization

Grace Period
All children need to be up-to-date according to the child care immunization requirements or have claimed an exemption within 30 days of enrollment or be excluded from care. (NDAC 33-06-05)

Additional Child Care Immunization and Infectious Disease Resources

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North Dakota Mental Health Program Directory

If you are a parent seeking mental health services for yourself or your child, this tool is here to help.  The Mental Health Program Directory provides a single place for North Dakota citizens to search for mental health services that meet their needs.  This registry allows users to:

  • Search by location and other details
  • View program information, including program name, address, and phone number

Find a Mental Health Program Near You

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Waterford UPSTART

Waterford UPSTART is a proven, at-home learning program. Prepare your child to start kindergarten with confidence. Families receive everything they need, including access to fun and interactive software, expert coaching and support, and even a computer and internet in participating regions. All at no cost.

Information Sheet: Waterford UPSTART 


Questions? Contact Us

Early Childhood
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 325
Bismarck, ND 58505-0250

Phone: (701) 328-2115
Toll-Free: (800) 997-8516
Relay ND TTY: 711