Questions about child care licensure


Care Connections & Education offers technical assistance along with many of the classes needed to become a licensed child care provider.  You can find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions here, but please don’t hesitate to call our office to talk with a consultant about anything child care related.  We are here to help and our services are free!

Do I need to be licensed to provide child care?

In Oregon, you can care for up to 3 children in addition to your own at one time or members of the same family*, without needing to be licensed. This is called Exempt Child Care. *Learn more about the Oregon law on exempt care and other exemptions that may apply here.

What is the process to get licensed to care for more children in my home?

There are two types of home based licensure through the

Oregon Office of Child Care: 

Registered Family Child Care The first step to becoming a Registered Family Child Care Provider is to attend a Family Child Care Overview. In this training, you will have the opportunity to speak to a licensor, receive the paperwork needed to apply and learn the rules of registered care.  We offer these classes quarterly. Please call our office to register.

Certified Family Child Care:

Those wanting to become certified will work directly with a licensor through the Office Of Child Care (OCC). Certified family child care providers typically must be registered for at least one year or have other qualifying experience to obtain this license type. The licensor for our area can be reached directly at 541.776.6298.  

Both types of licensure in the home require additional training and/or certifications referred to as: Safety Set Training  Licensed providers are also required to be enrolled in the Central Background Registry

A Snapshot of the differences in license types

I would like to open a child care center in a commercial building. Who should I talk to?

Certified Child Care Centers require a health inspector, the local fire department, as well as a licensing specialist from the Office of Child Care to inspect and approve the facility prior to a license being issued. All three inspections must be conducted annually before a license is renewed. The licensor for our area can be reached directly at 541.776.6298.

I want to open a preschool only program. Do I have to be licensed?

In Oregon, Preschool means “a facility providing care for preschool age children that is primarily educational for four hours or less per day and where no preschool child is present at the facility for more than four hours per day.”  While Preschool programs are not required to be licensed like a child care program, they are required to be RECORDED with OCC. Get more information on becoming a recorded preschool here.

How do I get listed with DHS to accept subsidy payments?

Some families qualify for assistance to pay for child care through the Department of Human Services (DHS). All child care providers, whether licensed or exempt, must go through a listing process in order to be approved through DHS. Those providing care for only family members may be exempt from some of the training required.  More information on the listing process can be found here. Most providers are required to complete Safety Set Training.  Please refer to the listing form or give our office a call for details on specific requirements for your situation.

I am already licensed. How can I take my program to the next level?

Oregon has developed a star rating system for licensed programs that can be a wonderful road map to improving quality and attracting families to your program.  Find out more about Oregon’s quality improvement system now referred to as “Spark”

Where can I find more resources?

Check out our home page for resource links to for more information on the food program, curriculum ideas, enrollment forms & contracts, taxes, insurance and more.

Below are useful forms and checklists for child care providers

TA-806 Child_Enrollment_Authorization

Attendance Log

Emergency Plan

Steps to take during a disaster

Sample handbook and contracts

Keep me home if . . .

Immunization Records

The Oregon Health Authority requires child care providers to keep immunization records on file for each child in their care. Certified family child care providers and centers may be eligible to enroll in the ALERT IIS system which will allow them to download immunization records directly from the state system in place of the paper form. Registered providers can use the form below.
Required Immunizations by Age
Immunization Record Form
Enroll in Alert IIS System