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How To Get Your Child Care License In Oklahoma: A Simplified Guide

You’re great with kids, and you know it!

But still, you wonder how to turn that passion from a child care gig to a child care business in Oklahoma. Getting your child care license is a great start. Businesses that are licensed have the credibility and visibility needed to grow.

Wonderschool helps child care workers in Oklahoma succeed. But licensing can be tricky. That is why we’ve created a simplified guide on how to get your state license. 

Need more support? We have a team dedicated to giving you all the tools you need to start on the right foot. 

Quick View: Child Care In Oklahoma 

Running your own child care business could come with opportunities and freedom in Oklahoma. Child care is in demand everywhere, and quality child care that looks like your dream early childhood preschool is even more needed.

Who can start a child care business in Oklahoma?

    • Stay at home moms and dads who want to earn money and help the community.
    • Preschool teachers who wish to transition from becoming their director to a higher paying career switch.
    • Babysitters who are skilled at caring for multiple children and want to turn their service into a business.
    • Early childhood education students and graduates.

From transitioning teachers to former therapists, Wonderschool has helped people from all backgrounds to turn their passion for working with kids into a creative and lucrative career.

There are five types of programs you can open. Our guide focuses on home-based care, but our team will be able to help you grow any kind of child care business in Oklahoma.

How to use this guide

First of all, congratulations on taking this exciting step in your licensing journey! Trust us, we know how confusing state websites can be. Hopefully this guide will demystify some of the requirements.

  1. Keep this guide close and check things off as you go ✅ 
  2. Make use of our library of resources for additional support
  3. Join Wonderschool for additional community support

Step 1: Apply for your license

Your DHS Child Care Licensing Specialist will help you get a permit. A permit is usually recommended when you have provided and met the following:

Step 2: Work towards earning more Stars

The Stars program is Oklahoma’s quality rating system. More stars represent a higher quality program. A higher star status can be recommended when you have provided documentation that shows you meet the following criteria:

1 Star

    • You have a permit/license
    • Request for Child Care Home Star Certification (Stars application)
    • Documentation showing 20 clock hours of training.
    • A daily schedule that shows reading to children at least 15 minutes a day.
    • Sample written parent policies.
    • Sample written parent contracts.
    • A sample daily care sheet
    • Provided a list of community resources

2 Star

    • Provide documentation of all required at the 1+ Star level and meet educational criteria outlined in the Stars Resource Book.

Step 3: Contract with DHS for Child Care Subsidy

If you would like to provide care for families who receive subsidy, you will need to apply to contract with DHS.

Before a contract can be signed and approved for a family child care home, providers must have either:

    • a DHS permit and a 1+ Star rating or higher; or
    • a DHS license and a 1 Star or higher rating.


You must have a landline phone. The contract application process includes:

    • Providing your photo identification
    • Providing your Social Security Card
    • Providing you Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) Criminal History Information Report
    • Providing proof of ownership of the facility
    • Viewing a training video
    • Reading and signing a contract

Step 4: 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!