Do I need to be licensed?

If you care for more than four children not *related to you, the state requires that you be licensed.

How do I get licensed?

There are four steps to the licensing process:

Step 1 - If you are interested in operating a child care facility, contact us to obtain more information about licensed child care and schedule to attend the inquiry meeting in your area.

Step 2 - You must complete an application on the forms provided by us. There is no charge for the application or the license. A license is issued for up to two years.

Step 3 - You must send your completed application to the Section for Child Care Regulation (see map). Three different types of inspections are required. An initial inspection of the entire premises is made by us to determine compliance with rules. A fire safety inspection conducted by personnel from the Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety and a sanitation inspection conducted by the Bureau of Environmental Health Services personnel are also necessary.

Step 4 - Once you have met the requirements for licensure, your child care license will be mailed to you. The license will indicate the effective dates of the license, the number of children you are licensed to care for, and any limitations. Unless otherwise stated, this license is valid for two years. While your facility is licensed, our staff will inspect your facility at least twice a year. More frequent inspections will be made if a complaint has been received or if there are compliance concerns. Your facility will also receive annual fire safety and sanitation inspections.

Environmental Health (Sanitation)

Child Care

  • Annual sanitation inspections have been conducted in all regulated child care facilities since October of 1997. County and City health agency personnel are contracted to conduct the sanitation inspections.
  • Annual sanitation inspections are conducted to protect children in and out of home care from environmental hazards such as exposure to disease, harmful chemicals and lead hazards.

See articles below for the link to Sanitation Inspection Guidelines for Family Child Care Homes and for the Sanitation Inspection Guidelines for Group Child Care Homes, Child Care Centers and License-Exempt Child Care Facilities.

Who can receive Child Care Nurse Consultation Program Services?

  • Child Care Providers
  • Families
  • Children

What services are offered?

  • Consultation at child care homes, group homes, or centers regarding child health and safety concerns,
  • Training for child care providers to improve their knowledge of healthy and safe practices, (Training clock hours are awarded to child care staff.),
  • Education and health consultation for family members of children enrolled in a child care facility, and
  • Health Promotion presentations for children in child care settings.

Topics may include:

  • Communicable Disease
  • Immunization
  • Sanitation
  • Children with Special Needs
  • Dental Health
  • Handwashing
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Nutrition
  • Injury Prevention and Safety
  • Asthma...and many others

What does it cost?

Local Health Departments provide most child care consultation, training, and education resources at no cost.

For more information:

Contact your Local Public Health Agency to request additional information from the Child Care Health Consultant. If you have questions about the availability of a Health Consultant in your area, contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Center for Local Public Health Services at:

  • P.O. Box 570
    Jefferson City, Missouri 65102
  • or by calling
    573-751-6170