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5 Steps To Getting Your Family Child Care License In South Dakota

First and foremost, congratulations on taking this important step forward in your child care career! We understand how difficult it can be to navigate state websites. Hopefully, our 5 step guide will help to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the requirements.

You can make use of our library of resources for additional support and join Wonderschool for all the tools and community you need to launch a successful program. 

Minimum Requirements

  • The provider must reside in the home that they are looking to be registered or licensed in 
  • The provider must be over the age of 18
  • The provider must have a GED or a high school diploma at the time of the application
  • The provider should be open to fencing in any dangerous areas in the home, backyard, or yard that licensing deems to be a safety hazard for students
  • The provider is required to have a current certification for First Aid and CPR training

Capacity Requirements

The state of South Dakota allows for the following capacities depending on the registration/licensing requirements:

We recommend that all providers prospectively starting a brand new program explore the Registered Family Day Care which is the smallest capacity.

Links & Resources

Step 1: Call licensing for an initial inquiry and to obtain an application packet

  • Find your local Child Care Services office here.
  • Please contact your local child care licensing office via email or phone call to obtain an application packet 
  • Familiarize yourself with the South Dakota state Registered Family Day Care licensing process through their website

Step 2: Floor plans

  • Draw floor plans of space intended to use for child care program
  • Submit to the Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety for review
  • Plan review results will be shared with applicants after review. If necessary, corrections to floor plans are made and plans are resubmitted. When the floor plans meet requirements, the applicant moves on to the next step.

Tech tip: Use the Magic Floor Plan App to assist you in drawing your floor plan if you would like to

Step 3: Complete and submit the following paperwork

  • Application: submit completed application form, names of references, and central registry screening forms for background check information
  • Policies & Procedures: a final version of the center’s policies and procedures, orientation plan, and annual staff training plan are submitted
  • Liability Insurance: applicant can either send a copy of the insurance policy with the application, or have a copy ready for viewing at inspection
  • Menus: create menus featuring balanced meals and post in the facility
  • Personnel Program: familiarize yourself with hiring practices, ensure staff clear central registry and Sex Offender Registry before hire
  • Program Plans: a copy of the program schedule and written program of activities 
  • For information regarding the background check process, see here

Step 4: Licensing inspection

  • Once all paperwork has been submitted and approved, and all plan review items are completed, the licensing specialist and a DPS Inspector conduct an on-site inspection
  • As always, we recommend that you keep a close contact with your licensing office if you have any specific questions pertaining to their process

Step 5: Success!

Pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath, and get some rest– the real work is just beginning!

Start, run, and grow your child care business with Wonderschool

Join Wonderschool for support throughout the licensing process, setting up your environment, making critical business decisions, and running the day-to-day of your program. You don’t have to do this alone!