What is a Licensed Child Care Provider?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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In many places it is illegal to operate a business caring for children without proper certification. A licensed child care provider is someone who has taken the required measures to receive that certification. The requirements and qualifications for licensing can vary from place to place.

In some states in the United States, a person does not need any secondary education to be licensed child care provider. She can qualify with only a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED). Parents who expect care providers to have child development education should check the regulation in their state. If secondary education is not required, those parents should inquire with individual care providers.

Even when specific secondary educational requirements are not set, experience normally is required. In many states the requirement is two years. This experience can often be gained through care of one’s own children.

There are certain things, however, that parents can assume when dealing with a licensed child care provider. First, parents can conclude that the care provider is an adult. Licenses are not normally issued to people under 18 years of age. Second, the facility in which the care provider renders services must have a kitchen and bathroom which both have functioning water. That facility must also be kept in a sanitary condition.


Licensing generally prohibits child care providers from being prejudiced. This means they cannot discriminate based on things such as race, national origin, or handicap. Licensing also generally bars them from having a record of abuse. When services are rendered in the home, no one living there can have a record of abuse either.

Licensed child care providers are not allowed to care for as many children as they like. There are normally restrictions in this regard. Caring for infants often lowers the number of children the care provider can oversee. These restrictions may be overcome, however, if the care provider hires one or more assistants. These people may not have to be licensed but they normally are required to have background checks.

There are some people who may have difficulty becoming a licensed child care provider. Foreigners, for example, may be restricted by the fact that a Social Security number is required. People who have communicable diseases in their household, but who plan to operate at home, may also be barred. This means that even if the person seeking to be a care provider is healthy and has a sick relative living with her, she can be disqualified.



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