Types of Part-Time Child Care in Washington
When it comes to taking care of your children, you ...
This post is part of our series on the Washington State family child care licensing. For more on licensing in Washington, see the following posts:
Washington State Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
Types of Licenses
One of the first steps in becoming an in-home child care provider is applying for a license to operate your family child care within your state. Once you have looked at the types of family home child care licenses in the Washington State, you are ready to get started on the licensing process. Here we break down what that process looks like so you can get started becoming an in-home preschool or child care provider.
To become a licensed child care provider in Washington State, you must participate in a Department of Early Learning (DEL) licensing orientation. Family home child care licensing orientations occur in two phases:
Phase 1: Complete the online orientation
Those interested in becoming family home child care providers must view an hour-long online presentation about family home child care licensing in Washington state. At the end of the presentation, you will be instructed to complete and print a post-orientation questionnaire. You will also be given the next steps to prepare for Phase 2.
Phase 2: Appointment with DEL
After completing the online orientation, call your local Department of Early Learning (DEL) office to schedule your Phase Two appointment. You must bring the following documents with you (DO NOT MAIL THESE TO DEL):
You will receive a license application, instructions about how to fill out the application and other related information. The licensor(s) who conduct the orientation will explain how to complete the application and what other information you must provide. DEL staff will talk with you about how you plan to offer child care and work closely with you throughout the licensing process.
MERIT: Managed Education and Registry Information Tool (MERIT) is Washington’s online tool for early learning professionals to find training, to track their career progress and obtain a portable background check. You must register your facility in MERIT before receiving your license.
Background Check: State law requires the Department of Early Learning (DEL) to conduct background checks on anyone who is authorized to care for or have unsupervised access to children in licensed child care facilities and ECEAP sites. DEL issues portable background checks, valid for three years, which can be submitted through the MERIT. The Portable Background Check process must be completed for the applicant(s), staff, and household members 13 years and older. This process begins by each person registering in MERIT using his or her own email address.
It is extremely important that the application packet is complete. The following documents must be provided within 60 days of your Phase Two appointment:
Once you send in your application, the department may take up to 90 days to process an initial license application. The 90 days begins when the license applicant’s signed and dated license application packet, fees, and background check forms have been received by the department.
If the application is incomplete, you will receive a written notice of what is missing. The written notice will include a timeline in which to submit the required information. If you do not respond with the requested information within the specified timeline, the department may “deny” the application. The department will call the applicant when the department is ready to schedule a licensing visit. All corrections will need to be made before an initial license is issued to you.
Prior to the department issuing a license, a department licensor must inspect the proposed indoor and outdoor spaces to be used for child care to verify compliance with the requirements.
The licensee must grant reasonable access to the department licensor during the licensee’s hours of operation for the purpose of announced or unannounced monitoring visits to inspect the indoor or outdoor licensed space to verify compliance with the requirements.
When compliance with a requirement is being met in unlicensed space in the licensee’s home, the licensee must provide a signed and dated declaration, on a department-approved form for the purpose of verifying that the licensee is in compliance with the requirements regarding:
The annual family home child care license fee is $30, or as otherwise set by the Legislature. The license fee is nonrefundable and is due with the license applicant’s initial license application packet; and annually thereafter, 30 days prior to the anniversary date of the license. Payment must be in the form of a check or money order.
Background Check Fees
Each individual required to obtain a department background check must pay the fee established under chapter 170-06 WAC. The fee must be submitted with the individual’s completed and signed background check application form. Each individual applying for a first-time license application or each individual applying for the first time for a department background check clearance must be fingerprinted and pay the processing fee.
First Aid and CPR Certification
The licensee and each staff person must have a current first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification as established by the expiration date of the document.
HIV/AIDS training – Bloodborne Pathogens plan
The licensee, each staff, and each household member who is responsible for the care of children must complete one time the state Department of Health training on the prevention and transmission of HIV/AIDS.
The licensee must have a written bloodborne pathogens plan that includes:
The applicant, and each staff person fourteen years old and older, and each household member sixteen years old and older must provide documentation signed by a licensed health care professional of tuberculosis (TB) testing or treatment consisting of:
Food Handler Permits
Parent, staff and operation policies (handbooks). See
Floor plan, including proposed:
Private septic system – inspection and maintenance
Private well and water system
The furnace area safety
Guns and weapons storage
Smoke detector locations and working condition
The licensee must store all medications, as well as vitamins, herbal remedies, dietary supplements and pet medications as described in the following table in a locked container or cabinet until used or inaccessible to children. The licensee must keep emergency rescue medications listed in subsection (1)(a)(i) through (vi) inaccessible but available for emergency use to meet the individual’s emergency medical needs:
Medication Storage Table
|This list is not inclusive of all possible items in each category. Medications must be maintained as directed on the medication label, including refrigeration if applicable.|
|(1)||If the medication is a (an):||The medication must be stored in a locked container or cabinet.||The medication must be stored inaccessible to children.|
|(a)||Individual’s emergency rescue medications:|
|(i)||Any medication used to treat an allergic reaction;||X|
|(iv)||Bee sting kit;||X|
|(vi)||Other medication needed for emergencies.||X|
|(b)||Nonprescription medications, including herbal or natural:|
|(i)||Pain reliever, cough syrup, cold or flu medication;||X|
|(ii)||Vitamins, all types including natural;||X|
|(iii)||Topical nonprescription medication;||X|
|(iv)||Hand sanitizer, when not in use.||X|
|(i)||Intended use – Topical;||X|
|(ii)||Intended use – Ingestible, inhaled or by injection.||X|
|(d)||Pet medications (all types).||X|