How to Start a Daycare in Kansas

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Starting a daycare in Kansas requires careful planning and adherence to state regulations. Begin by researching the licensing requirements set forth by the Kansas Department for Children and Families, ensuring compliance with safety standards, staffing ratios, and facility specifications.

Whether you are operating an in-home childcare service or managing a larger preschool and daycare facility, utilizing resources like SimplySafeChild’s childcare management software can significantly enhance efficiency. This comprehensive tool simplifies various administrative tasks, from managing alerts and payments to automating processes, thereby minimizing the need for additional staff and streamlining operations. By integrating such software into your daycare’s management framework, you can ensure smoother day-to-day operations and provide a secure, nurturing environment for the children under your care.

As always, use Daycare.com as a resource for any and all of your daycare needs.

Making a decision..

Is Family Child Care Your Next Venture?

Embarking on a new business venture is no small feat – it requires dedication and hustle! And family child care is no exception.

This brochure is your guide to exploring whether family child care aligns with your aspirations. Are you ready to dive in?

Is Family Child Care Right for You?

Discover your strengths, interests, and innovative ideas by taking our Family Child Care Self-Assessment below. Uncover the potential hurdles and triumphs that lie ahead.

Behind every successful provider lies an unwavering commitment to nurturing children’s growth.

Family child care demands dedication. With most providers clocking in around 55-60 hours per week, it’s a blend of childcare duties and business essentials – from grocery runs to paperwork, and everything in between.

Opening a Licensed Child Care Facility: A Guide

Are you considering the provision of licensed child care services?

  • Are you at least 18 years old and possess a high school diploma or its equivalent?
  • Do you aspire to influence children positively, imparting lessons in sharing and cooperative play?
  • Are you interested in managing your own small business?
  • Are you inclined towards providing in-home care or do you envision establishing a daycare facility outside your residence? Both options are viable! The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) licenses various types of child care programs tailored to your preferences and the needs of the community you aim to serve.

Daycare in Kansas

Step 1: What Type of Care Will You Provide?

Obtaining a license is essential to guarantee that children receive care within a safe and healthy environment. Regulated care encompasses home-based care, center-based care, or programs for school-age children. Identifying the type of care you intend to provide marks the initial step in embarking on this journey!

1: Licensed Family Child Care Home

A child care facility where care is provided for a maximum of ten children under 16 years old, including children under 11 years old who are related to the provider. The total number of children under care at any given time is determined by the ages of the children present.

Typically, the license is granted for the provider’s own residence but may also be issued for locations other than the provider’s home, such as a commercial setting. The license specifies the address of the child care facility.

The licensee must be at least 18 years old, possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, demonstrate an understanding of child development, complete certified first aid and CPR training, and undergo childcare-related training covering health and safety topics.

All individuals residing, working, or volunteering in the licensed daycare facility undergo a KBI criminal history and child abuse and neglect background check.

The state licensing fee amounts to $85, with additional local fees possibly applicable.

Inspections of the licensed daycare home are conducted at least once every 12 months to ensure compliance with regulations aimed at safeguarding the health, safety, and well-being of the children under care.

TABLE I – LICENSE CAPACITY, ONE PROVIDER

Maximum Number

of Children Under

18 Months

Maximum Number of

Children at Least

18 Months but Under

5 Years of Age

Maximum Number of

Children at Least

5 Years but Under 11

Years of Age*

License

Capacity

0 7 3 10
1 5 4 10
2 4 3 9
3 3 2 8
*Children five years of age and over may be substituted for younger children in the license capacity.

TABLE II – LICENSE CAPACITY, ONE PROVIDER

Age of Children Enrolled License Capacity
At Least 2 1/2 Years but Under 11 Years of Age 9
At Least 3 Years but Under 11 Years of Age 10
At Least 5 Years but Under 11 Years of Age 12

TABLE III – LICENSE CAPACITY, TWO PROVIDERS*

Maximum Number

of Children Under

18 Months

Maximum Number of

Children at Least

18 Months but Under

5 Years of Age

Maximum Number of

Children at Least

5 Years but Under 11

Years of Age*

License

Capacity

1 8 3 12
2 7 3 12
3 6 3 12
4 4 2 10
*A second provider shall be present when the number of children exceeds the maximum number allowed for one provider. See Table I.
**Children five years of age and over may be substituted for younger children in the license

capacity.

TABLE IV – LICENSE CAPACITY, TWO PROVIDERS*

Maximum Number

of Children Under

18 Months

Maximum Number of

Children at Least

18 Months but Under

2 1/2  Years of Age

Maximum Number of

Children at Least

2 1/2 Years but Under 11

Years of Age*

License

Capacity*

0 5 7 12
 

*A second provider shall be present when the number of children exceeds the maximum number allowed for one provider. See Table I.

**Children five years of age and over may be substituted for younger children in the license capacity.

2: Licensed Group Child Care Home

This child care facility accommodates a maximum of 12 children under 16 years old, including children under 11 years old who are related to the provider. Depending on the total number and ages of children in care, this may necessitate the presence of two providers.

  • Typically, the license is granted for the provider’s own residence but may also extend to locations other than the provider’s home, such as a commercial setting. The license explicitly indicates the address of the child care facility.
  • The licensee must be at least 18 years old, possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, demonstrate an understanding of child development, complete certified first aid and CPR training, and undergo childcare-related training covering health and safety topics.
  • A KBI criminal history and child abuse and neglect background check is conducted on all individuals residing, working, or volunteering in the licensed daycare facility.
  • The state licensing fee amounts to $87, with additional local fees possibly applicable.
  • Inspections of the licensed group daycare home are conducted at least once every 12 months to ensure compliance with regulations aimed at safeguarding the health, safety, and well-being of the children under care.
  • Moreover, the licensed group daycare home must receive approval for fire safety measures.

3: Child Care Center

A child care facility that offers care and educational activities to 13 or more children aged two weeks to 16 years old for durations exceeding three hours but less than 24 hours per day. This includes daytime, evening, and nighttime care, as well as before and after-school care for school-age children.

  • A qualified program director is required to be employed full-time at the center. Each unit within the facility must maintain qualified staff at all times when children are under care, with qualifications determined by regulations and based on the number of children being cared for.
  • Staff members responsible for child care must possess an understanding of children and complete certified first aid and CPR training, along with child care-related training covering health and safety topics.
  • All individuals residing, working, or volunteering in the licensed child care center undergo a KBI criminal history and child abuse and neglect background check.
  • The state licensing fee is $75 plus an additional $1 for each child included in the total capacity. For instance, for a capacity of 60 children, the initial and annual fee would amount to $135. Local fees may also apply.
  • Inspections of the child care center are conducted at least once every 12 months to ensure compliance with regulations aimed at safeguarding the health, safety, and well-being of the children under care.

Daycare in Kansas

Staff to Child Ratios

Age of Children Minimum Staff/Child Ratio Maximum Number of Children per unit
Infants (2 weeks to 12 months) 1 to 3 9
Infants to 6 years 1 to 4 (max. 2 infants) 8 (max. 4 infants)
Toddlers (12 mos. To 2 ½ years if walking alone) 1 to 5 10
2 years to 3 years 1 to 7 14
2 ½ years to school age 1 to 10 20
3 years to school age 1 to 12 24
Kindergarten enrollees 1 to 14 28
School age 1 to 16 32

Staff Qualifications KAR 28-4-429(h)

Unit Size KAR 28-4-429(b) – fewer than 13 KAR 28-4-429(c) – 13-24 KAR 28-4-429(d) – 24+
Option 1 6 months’ teaching experience in any licensed facility with children of the same age 5 sessions of 2.5 hours of observation in licensed preschool or center at different times of day (use form CCL 207)

AND

1 year teaching experience in licensed center or preschool or 1 year of practicum

12 semester hours of college credit in early

childhood

AND

6 months’ teaching experience in licensed

center or preschool

Option 2 5 sessions of 2.5 hours of observation in any

licensed facility with children of the same age

at different times of day (use form CCL 207)

AND

10 hours of KDHE-approved in-service

7-9 semester hours of college credit in early

childhood

AND

3 months’ teaching experience in licensed

center or preschool or 1 year of practicum

Child Development Associate Credential (CDA)

AND

1 year teaching experience in licensed center or

preschool or supervised practicum

Option 3 3 semester hours of college credit in early

childhood

AND

Supervised observation in high school or

college or any 3 months’ work experience

with children of the same age

Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) AA or 2-year certificate in child development

AND

1 year teaching experience in licensed center or

preschool or supervised practicum

Option 4 Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) BA or BS in child development or early childhood

education including a practicum

AND

3 months teaching experience in licensed

center or preschool

Option 5 BA or BS in related field plus 12 hours of college

credit in early childhood

AND

6 months’ teaching experience in licensed

center or preschool

 

  • Each unit must have at least one staff person who is at least 18 years of age, has a high school diploma or GED, and meets the requirements of ONE of the options above, depending on the number of children the unit is licensed for.
  • For Infant/Toddler Units, at least one staff person must meet one of the qualifications in KAR28-4-440(n).
  • For School-Age units, at least one staff person must meet one of the qualifications in KAR 28-4-441(b)(1).

Arrange Your Orientation Session

Your orientation session marks the initial step in acquainting yourself with the necessary steps for the specific type of caregiving you’re pursuing. Led by the local licensing surveyor, this session aims to elucidate the child care licensing procedures and criteria while extending support and motivation. Throughout the orientation, prospective caregivers will gain insights into the operational protocols pertinent to their facility type, encompassing roles and obligations in child care and supervision. This pivotal orientation endeavor lays the groundwork for both you and your enterprise to thrive.

Key aspects covered during the orientation session include:

  • Regulatory requirements for licensing
  • Emergency protocols
  • Behavioral management strategies and disciplinary methods
  • Daily activity schedules
  • Emphasis on outdoor activities
  • Implementation of health and safety protocols, such as safe sleep practices and proper hazardous material storage
  • Maintaining confidentiality, especially concerning child records
  • Mandatory health and safety training subjects
  • Essential Pediatric CPR & First Aid training
  • Schedule Your Mandatory Orientation

To schedule your orientation, kindly reach out to your local licensing surveyor (PDF). Please refrain from applying for a license until you have completed this mandatory orientation session.

Submit Your Application

After attending orientation, an applicant can begin work on the application. Submitting a daycare application is alerting KDHE you are ready to start caring for children.

KDHE has created application instructions for each program type to guide you through this process. Find the application forms and instructions. A complete application must be submitted.

Create an account and submit an application online OR submit a paper application. Until further notice, application and background check fees are being covered under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021.

Daycare in Kansas

Undergo Background Screening

Upon receipt of a thorough application, KDHE initiates the processing of background checks for all individuals listed on the designated form. Depending on the individual’s age and their role within the establishment, one of two types of checks is undertaken: a comprehensive fingerprint-based background check or a name-based inquiry.

In accordance with Kansas law (KSA 65-516), background checks are mandated for each person residing, employed, or regularly volunteering in a licensed child care facility. These checks serve as protective measures aimed at mitigating the risk of abuse or neglect within regulated out-of-home child care environments. It’s imperative for parents to have confidence that the individuals entrusted with their children’s care have no prior history of behaviors that could jeopardize their well-being.

KDHE notifies applicants when a comprehensive fingerprint background check is necessary. It is crucial for applicants to promptly return all requisite forms and documents to KDHE. Learn more about the background check process.

What Comes Next?

For home programs operating in a residential setting where all background checks have been completed, KDHE may issue a temporary permit. This allows you to commence caregiving services. Subsequently, the licensing surveyor will contact you to arrange the first onsite visit for the initial survey. This survey serves as an opportunity for the surveyor to ensure compliance with all regulations while offering assistance and direction.

In a commercial setting (non-residential), the initial survey typically takes place before children are admitted into care. Following the survey process, a temporary permit may be granted.

Further unannounced onsite visits, referred to as compliance checks, may be necessary to confirm the rectification of any violations identified during the initial survey. A permanent license is issued once the facility achieves full compliance.

Conclusion

Obtaining the appropriate childcare license for your establishment marks one of the initial milestones in launching a daycare. Achieving licensure signifies to both the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and families within your community that your program adheres to current health and safety standards and is dedicated to delivering high-quality child care services.

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

Contact Information

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Rev. 3/2022 Bureau of Family Health

Child Care Licensing Program

1000 SW Jackson Street, Suite 200

Topeka, KS 66612-1274

Phone 785-296-1270 Fax 785-559-4244

Website: www.kdheks.gov/kidsnet

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