Starting a Licensed Child Care

Does this sound like you?

Consistent, Flexible, Responsive, Imaginative, Creative, Patient, Have a Genuine Concern and Love for Children, Demonstrate Professionalism, Believe In and Encourage Open Communication, Have an “Open Door” Policy, Can Actively Participate with Children, Have Age-Appropriate Expectations and Materials, Can Speak to Children at Children’s Eye Level, Believe in Treating Children as Individuals, Have a Willingness to Learn, Maintain a Clean, Safe and Healthy Environment.

If so, providing child care might be the job for you!


Planning Stage

Before You Begin the Child Care Licensing Application Process, PLAN! There are many things to consider before beginning. The following Steps to Opening a Licensed Center or Child Care Home will help walk you through assessing the child care need, selecting your site, doing necessary renovations, hiring staff, obtaining a business license (which is different from your child care license), and determining the amount of financing you will need along the way.

Additionally, Child Care Aware [a program of the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA)] has a comprehensive webpage that can assist providers with getting started, preparing a business plan, preparing a management plan, training, planning a program planning, and finding other resources. Visit the Child Care Aware provider webpage for more information.


Begin the Licensing Application Process

Washoe County

Washoe County Child Care Services is responsible for regulating and monitoring child care within Washoe County, except for Nevada System of Higher Education facilities, which are licensed by the State of Nevada Bureau of Services for Child Care (see below). In Washoe County, individuals caring for more than one unrelated child must be licensed. Individuals interested in providing licensed child care in their home or opening a licensed child care center in Washoe County should contact the Child Care Licensing Unit at 775-337-4470, or by e-mail at

Licensing applications and requirements are available on the Washoe County Child Care Services website.


State of Nevada Child Care Licensing

Outside of Washoe County, the State of Nevada has the responsibility for initial licensing and monitoring of those caring for five or more unrelated children. Facilities include child care centers, on-site centers, care for ill children, special needs centers, pre-schools, nurseries for infants and toddlers, accommodation facilities, family care homes, group care homes, institutions, and outdoor youth programs. These functions are statewide and jurisdiction includes all rural counties, the incorporated areas of Clark County, and designated federal-, state- and county-operated programs for children. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background checks are required for all child care providers and facility residents 18 years of age and older. Licenses are renewed on an annual basis with a minimum of two unannounced surveys conducted during the annual licensing period. Licensing applications and requirements are available on the State of Nevada Child Care Licensing website.



Our Impact This Year

  • 1,277

    Parents helped with classes and training
  • 334

    Families helped with no-cost counseling services
  • 16,577

    Youth assisted through School and Street Outreach
  • 12,000

    Families helped through The Children's Cabinet Programs