Child Care Providers FAQs


Prospective and current child care providers frequently asked questions.

Am I required to license if I care for children other than my own?

You are required to license if you care for more than 5 children or more than three children under the age of 24 months, including your own.

If you are not required to license, you may choose to license or to apply for a voluntary self-declaration, which will allow you to participate in the USDA Food program and the Child Care Assistance program.

How much does licensing cost?

Licensing fees range from $20 to $50 per year, depending on the type of license.

Where do I find more information on licensing?

Your first point of contact will be your local human service zone office (formerly called county social service office) in the county where your program will be located in.

An early childhood licensing specialist will send you a packet of information, invite you to an orientation, and will answer any questions you have about regulations.

Child Care Aware of North Dakota is a great resource for planning, training, and start-up assistance.

Licensing Information and Regulations information.

How do I know if child care is a good fit for me?

Being a quality child care provider takes more than a love for children. Being prepared to attend to the needs of children for long days also requires:

  • Physical and emotional health
  • Good communication skills
  • Patience with children and their families
  • Ability to understand good business practices
  • Organizational skills
What is the potential income?

Child care can be a very viable career, but planning a preliminary budget is important. The budget will vary based on whether your program is in your home or an outside facility, the number of children you are able to care for, whether or not you will hire staff, and start-up and ongoing costs of maintaining the business.

Child Care Aware of North Dakota has a number of business planning resources and has published data on average child care costs in your area.

What are the challenges involved with becoming a child care provider?

Child care providers work long hours, and it can be difficult to find time off. Each child has unique needs and abilities, and child care providers must find a way to address them all. With home child care, it might feel that your home is less available for your own family’s uses.

What are the benefits of becoming a child care provider?
  • Child care providers offer a valuable service to children and families in North Dakota.
  • Child care providers have the potential to profoundly impact the health and development of children during their most formative years of life.
  • For parents of young children, becoming a child care provider offers the security of knowing that your own children are in good hands while providing extra income and playmates for your children.
  • Child care can be a rewarding profession and a viable career.
  • The business and communication skills involved with operating child care can help you prepare for different jobs later in your life.

Additional Questions? Contact Us

To request more information about becoming a licensed child care provider, please contact Child Care Aware of North Dakota or contact your early childhood licensing specialist at your local human service zone office.