How to Start a Daycare in Hawaii

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Starting a daycare in Hawaii requires careful planning and adherence to state regulations.

  • Begin by conducting thorough research on the specific requirements for daycare facilities in Hawaii, including licensing, safety regulations, and zoning laws.
  • Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your daycare’s mission, target market, services offered, and financial projections.
  • Secure suitable premises for your daycare, ensuring it meets all safety and health standards mandated by the state.
  • Hire qualified staff members who are passionate about early childhood education and possess necessary certifications.
  • Obtain the required licenses and permits from the Department of Human Services in Hawaii, and consider obtaining liability insurance to protect your business.
  • Create a stimulating and nurturing environment for children, complete with age-appropriate activities, nutritious meals, and a safe play area.
  • Market your daycare services through local advertising, a com listing, social media, and community outreach to attract families in need of childcare services. Networking with other childcare providers and joining relevant associations can also help establish your daycare’s presence in the community.

By following these steps diligently, you can lay a solid foundation for a successful daycare business in Hawaii.

Do I need a childcare license in Hawaii?

According to Hawaii childcare regulations, you need a childcare license if you care for more than two children unrelated to you by blood, marriage, or adoption, for free or at a fee. However, some programs are exempt from childcare licensing. They include:

  • Child care provided in a child’s home
  • Child care provided by relatives
  • Child care provided for up to two children unrelated to the provider
  • School-aged programs operated by community associations or multi-service organizations
  • School-aged programs operating no more than two consecutive calendar weeks in three months
  • Childcare programs operating less than six hours weekly
  • Childcare programs providing specialized training or skill development

The State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) regulates childcare licensing in Hawaii. They ensure the safety and well-being of children in a childcare setting.

Start a Daycare in Hawaii

The department issues licenses for the following daycare types:

Family Child Care Homes

A private dwelling where a caregiver provides care for three to six children who are not related to them.

Group Child Care Centers and Group Child Care Homes

Group childcare center: A childcare establishment, distinct from a private residence, that caters to children aged two and above.

Group childcare home: A childcare facility, which could be an extended or adapted private dwelling, offering care for seven to twelve children during daytime hours.

Infant and Toddler Child Care Centers

A facility, distinct from a private residence, where children aged six weeks to 36 months receive care.

Before and After School Child Care Facilities

A childcare establishment, separate from a private residence, offering childcare services to children aged four years and eight months or older outside of regular school hours, either before the school day begins or after it ends.

Childcare licensing requirements in Hawaii

Initiating a daycare entails several essential steps, commencing with obtaining the necessary licensing. Alongside crafting a business plan, adherence to Hawaii’s childcare licensing prerequisites is imperative for the operation of a daycare enterprise.

Family child care homes

Maximum group size

  • Can provide care for a maximum of six children under 6 years old during daytime hours.
  • Can supervise up to two children under 18 months old without additional adult assistance, but can accommodate up to four children under 18 months old with the aid of additional adults.

Staff to child ratios

Age Staff:child ratio
0-1 years 1:2
Others 1:6

 Staff qualifications

A provider must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Reside in the home

Other requirements:

  • CPR and first aid certification
  • Physical exam and TB test
  • Criminal background checks
  • Employment history background check
  • Fingerprinting and child abuse background checks
  • Two references
  • Three-year employment history

Group child care centers and group child care homes

Staff to child ratios for group child care centers

Age Staff:child ratio
2 years 1:8
3 years 1:12
4 years 1:16
5 years+ 1:20

 Maximum group size for group child care homes

  • Can care for up to 12 children

Staff qualifications

A director of a facility licensed for six or more children must:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years old.
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, accompanied by two years of practical experience in childcare, or demonstrate a blend of two years of college education and four years of hands-on experience.

A teacher must be at least 18 years old and have one of the following qualifications:

  • A degree in early childhood education or child development combined with a six-month experience.
  • A postsecondary credential obtained through a child development associate program or a structured two-year college program, along with a certificate in early childhood education, and supervised teaching experience in an early childhood program for one year.
  • A bachelor’s degree in elementary education coupled with six months of employment in an early childhood program, as well as completion of six credits in approved child development or early childhood training courses.
  • A bachelor’s degree in any field, accompanied by six months of experience in an early childhood program, and completion of twelve credits in approved child development or early childhood training courses.

An assistant teacher must be at least 18 years old and have one of the following qualifications:

  • A post-secondary credential from a child development associate program or an associate’s degree along with a certificate in early childhood education, paired with six months of experience in an early childhood program.
  • Completion of two years of post-secondary education, combined with six months of employment in an early childhood program, and the completion of nine credits in approved child development or early childhood training courses.

Other requirements:

  • Training in CPR and first aid
  • Undergoing a physical examination and TB test
  • Completion of a criminal background check
  • Verification of employment history
  • Fingerprinting and checks for child abuse history

Start a Daycare in Hawaii

Infant and toddler child care centers

Staff to child ratios

The ratios for each age group depend on the group size.

Age Staff:child ratio Maximum group size
6 weeks – 12 months 1:3 6
1:4 8
12 months – 24 months 1:3 6
1:4 8
1:5 10
1:4 12
18 months – 36 months 1:5 10
1:6 12

 Staff qualifications

A director of an infant and toddler center must:

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years old.
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, child development, or a related field, inclusive of 30 hours of coursework in infant and toddler development, along with a minimum of one year of full-time experience working with children under 36 months in a licensed group care setting; or
  • Have completed two years of college education in early childhood education, child development, or a related field, encompassing 30 hours of coursework in infant and toddler development, coupled with two years of full-time experience working with children under 36 months in a licensed group care setting.

A lead caregiver must be at least 18 years old and have one of the following qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, child development, or related fields, along with one year of full-time experience working with children under 36 months in a licensed group setting, and completion of 12 credits in approved early childhood education training courses, including 30 hours of coursework in infant and toddler development.
  • A high school diploma or equivalent, along with a credential from a child development associate program, and two years of full-time experience working with children under five years of age in a licensed group care setting, supplemented by completion of 12 credits in approved early childhood education training courses, including 30 hours of coursework in infant and toddler development.
  • Completion of two years of college education, along with two years of full-time experience working with children under five years of age in a licensed group care setting, and completion of 12 credits in approved early childhood education training courses, including 30 hours of coursework in infant and toddler development.

A caregiver must be at least 18 years old and have one of the following qualifications:

  • A high school diploma or its equivalent, along with one year of full-time experience working with children under 36 months in a licensed group care setting, and completion of 12 credits in approved early childhood education training courses, including 30 hours of coursework in infant and toddler development.
  • A high school diploma or its equivalent, coupled with two years of full-time experience working with children under 36 months in a licensed group care setting, and completion of 30 hours of coursework in infant and toddler development.
  • Absence of a high school diploma, with 36 months of full-time experience working with children under 36 months in a licensed group care setting, and completion of 30 hours of coursework in infant and toddler development.

Other training requirements:

  • Training in CPR and first aid
  • Medical examination
  • Testing for tuberculosis
  • Screening for criminal background
  • Verification of employment history
  • Fingerprinting and checks for child abuse background

Childcare license application in Hawaii

Below are the steps to take when applying for a Hawaii childcare license.

Step 1: Complete and submit your application

Complete the appropriate application for the type of childcare program you are opening:

  • Forms for licensing group childcare centers, group childcare homes, and infant & toddler childcare centers.
  • Forms for registering family childcare homes.

Your application should include the following documents:

  • Additional application forms
  • Written statement outlining operational policies
  • Occupancy certification
  • Forms for verifying employment history
  • Background check for child abuse or neglect
  • Background check for criminal history

Step 2: Prepare for facility inspection

Upon receipt and review of your application, the department will designate a childcare licensing worker to conduct an inspection of your facility to ensure compliance. Any issues identified during the inspection must be addressed by you before the department proceeds with further review of your application.

Step 3: Wait for approval

Following the compulsory facility inspection, the department will assess your application and subsequently grant a license if you meet the health and safety criteria.

Start a Daycare in Hawaii

How to stay compliant with a daycare license in Hawaii

Running a successful childcare business involves more than simply acquiring a daycare license. It entails developing a comprehensive business plan and selecting an engaging name for your daycare. A meticulously crafted plan serves as the foundation for your business, delineating your mission statement, policies and procedures, budgeting, and marketing strategies.

All childcare licenses in Hawaii have an annual expiration and must be renewed annually during the initial four years. Subsequent license renewals are contingent upon center performance. Should you have any inquiries, please reach out to your local childcare licensing unit.

Starting a daycare business in Hawaii

Establishing a daycare enterprise in Hawaii presents an enriching opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of families and young children within your community. However, achieving success entails meticulous planning and adherence to state regulations to secure the necessary license. By following the steps and guidelines outlined in this guide, you can effectively navigate the licensing requirements and shift your focus towards advancing your business to the next stage.

To best market your daycare and utilize coming tools such as all-in-one waitlist management, payment processing, and single scan solutions for parent updates, sign up at https://www.Daycare.com/signup

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