Child Care Center Licensing Information

A Child Care Center (or Day Care Center) is usually located in a commercial building. Non-medical care and supervision is provided for infant to school-age children in a group setting for periods of less than 24 hours. This includes:

  • Child Care Centers
  • Infant Care Centers
  • Toddler Programs
  • School-age Centers
  • Child Care Centers for Mildly Ill Children (a child care facility for children that have short-term mild illnesses)

VIDEO: Is a Child Care Center the Right Business for Me?

 In order to get a Child Care Center License:

1. You must attend an orientation.

Orientations are offered online and in-person.  In-person orientations are scheduled on a regular basis throughout California.

There is an orientation fee and it is nonrefundable, so be sure that you meet the qualifications for a license before you sign up for an orientation.

You may sign up for an online orientation, or an in-person orientation by contacting your local Regional Office.  The Regional Office directory will show you what counties each Regional Office covers. To see an orientation schedule for your area, click here: Orientation Schedules.

2. You must be familiar with all Child Care Center licensing laws and regulations.

3. You must complete and submit all the information and forms required in the application packet.

We will not accept your application until after you have completed the orientation. There is an application fee that is nonrefundable.

4. If you are ready to sign up for an orientation, please view the orientation schedules and contact your local licensing office or register for an online orientation.

If you are interested in getting a Family Child Care Home license, please visit the Family Child Care Home Licensing page.