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About Child Care Licensure

The child-care licensing program is a component of the services provided by Department of Children and Families. The program is accountable for the statewide licensure of Florida's child-care facilities, specialized child-care facilities for the care of mildly ill children, large family child-care homes and licensure or registration of family day care homes. The purpose of the program is to ensure a healthy and safe environment for the children in child-care settings and to improve the quality of their care through regulation and consultation. The department ensures that licensing requirements are met through on-going inspections of child-care facilities and homes, thus preventing the continued operation of substandard child-care programs.

Florida's child-care law [§402.301-319, Florida Statutes], provides for any county whose licensing standards meet or exceed the state minimum standards [Chapters 65C-20, 65C-22 and 65C-25, Florida Administrative Code], to designate by ordinance, a local licensing agency in their county. Counties not choosing to administer their own child-care licensing programs, are licensed by the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Currently, DCF child-care licensing staff are responsible for the inspection and licensure of child-care facilities and homes in 63 out of 67 counties in the State of Florida as well as registration of family day care homes in those counties which do not require licensure. Four counties have elected to regulate licensing of child- care facilities and homes as provided in §402.306, Florida Statutes. Those counties are Broward, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and Sarasota.

Are You Subject to Licensure?

How to Become a Provider

New Providers Can Now Apply Online!

Apply online for a license using our CARES application. Use the guides listed below to help you through the application process. If you have questions regarding licensure requirements or the application process, please contact your Child Care Licensing Office.

Licensing Contact Information

Use the following link to find out whom to contact for more information on child-care licensing around the State. Licensing Contacts