Child Care Licensing System (CCL)

Access CCL to submit applications, renewals, and conduct other business-related activities.

 CCL Overview          Learn More

Child Care Assistance SSP

Access the Self-Service Portal (SSP) to certify enrollment, check payment status and more.

 SSP Overview          Login


Bright & Early ND is North Dakota’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). A QRIS is a systematic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early childhood programs. Bright & Early ND was developed to help child care programs offer high-quality care that supports each child's learning and development.

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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.

Do I need a food establishment license?

You do not need a food establishment license if your child care program is located in an occupied private residence.

You may need a food establishment license if your child care program is located in a facility which is not occupied as a private residence.

  • To determine food licensing requirements, it is important to contact the food licensing authority for your location as soon as possible and prior to any construction, remodel, conversion, or renovation.

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Every child in your care deserves to be respected, valued, and included but we all need a little help sometimes. USpireND is contracted by HHS to provide inclusion support and coaching to child care providers.  

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As a mandated reporter, child care providers are required to report immediately suspected child abuse or neglect as required by North Dakota Century Code section 50-25.1-03.

To report suspected child abuse and neglect, call the statewide toll-free Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Line 1-833-958-3500, between 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday (7 a.m.– 4 p.m. Mountain Time).

  • A dedicated team of specialized child protection intake professionals will answer and gather all needed facts so local CPS workers in the human service zones can act more quickly to protect children.
  • Please know that calls to local human service zone offices to report suspected child abuse and neglect are rerouted to the centralized Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Line.

IMPORTANT: If it's an EMERGENCY and a child is in immediate DANGER, CALL 9-1-1 NOW.

Monitoring Visits

To ensure health and safety standards are being met by child care providers, Licensing Specialists will conduct, at a minimum, one announced and one unannounced monitoring visit annually.

Child Care and Development Fund regulations require 3 years of monitoring visit results be made available to the public. The public can view the monitoring results within the child care licensing report in each program’s profile using North Dakota’s online search tool.

Correction Orders

Correction Orders may be issued to licensed or self-declared providers for violations of law or rules. Corrections must be made within the time frame listed on the Correction Order. The child care program owner or director may submit a refutation request regarding a Correction Order via the online Child Care Licensing system.

Child Care and Development Fund regulations require information about substantiated parental complaints be made available to the public. ​​​​​​The public can view Correction Orders for the past 3 years, including those issued as a result of a monitoring visit due to a substantiated complaint, within the child care licensing report in each program’s profile using North Dakota’s online search tool.

Compliance Plans

North Dakota child care rules and regulations authorize Licensing Specialists to require non-compliant licensed and self-declared child care programs to correct identified issues. The goal of this process is to help programs access consultation and support services to make improvements.

Compliance plans are based on program corrective actions issued by child care licensing.

The services required fall on a continuum of strategies, some necessitating minimal communication and others requiring a more coordinated approach to correct the non-compliances.

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Stay Connected

Contact a Licensing Specialist to:

  • Learn how to become a provider
  • Ask questions about your current license or self-declaration
  • Report a concern regarding a child care provider. You may also report concerns by calling 1-800-997-8516 or emailing

Subscribe to Electronic Newsletter and Email Updates

We are excited to share the latest updates you need to know as a child care provider in North Dakota. This electronic newsletter will keep you informed and empower you to find resources that will help you as you serve North Dakota children, families and communities.


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