Getting Started : STEP 1

Learn About Child Care Field

In Kansas, you must be licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) in order to provide child care legally.  There are various licensing opportunities based on your specific arrangements.  Learn about them here.

For a handy guide with even more information to start a home-based child care (day care, family child care, group day care home, etc), download this copy of “Let’s Get Started”.

Contact Us!

We can help you on your way to success in opening your new business. Call us to speak to a Specialist or visit our Coaching & Technical Assistance page to learn how we can help point you in the right direction both before and after your business is started.

We can give you customized information and data to help determine how many other child care facilities are in your area as well as average prices for your zip code.


Orientation & Licenses

Attend an orientation with KDHE Child Care Licensing and submit your application. Some counties have orientations on a routine basis while others do them only as needed, sometimes one-on-one. Prospective providers will receive all of their paperwork and instructions at this meeting. The sooner you complete your paperwork and pay for licenses the quicker you can begin your new business!

Please allow 30-90 days to receive your temporary license.

City of Wichita: Providers operating a child care business out of their home are required to obtain a Home Occupations License in some cities, including Wichita.  Visit City of Wichita website and search for Home Occupation Application.


Application forms from the Kansas Department of Health and Human Services website:

  • Licensed/Group Day Care Home
  • Child Care Center/Preschool/Head Start
  • School Age Drop-In Program
  • School Age Program



KDHE Child Care Licensing Inspection

Licensed child care facilities receive annual inspections to maintain licensing.  These are typically unannounced.

Fire Marshal Inspections

You may need a Fire Marshal Inspection for your licensed facility. If you do, contact your local Fire Marshal to schedule inspections of your facility.


Training & Other Requirements

Ensure you have the requirements in place. This includes background checks, health assessments, TB tests and training. Child Start holds many trainings to meet your needs!


Preparing for Children

Set up your environment and prepare for children. Child Start offers training on this topic, or you can contact one of our specialists for specific advice for you! In addition, Child Start houses a Resource Library full of toys, books and other kits to help temporarily supply your environment.  



Advertise your business. Child Start’s Child Care Aware program receives thousands of calls and visits each year from parents seeking child care. This service is free to list and search. For more information visit our Marketing & Referral page.


Open and Focus on Improving Your Child Care

Open your door and enjoy! Be sure to check out all of the resources Child Start offers to child care professionals!

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