How to Start a Daycare in Nevada

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To start a daycare in Nevada

  • Begin by researching the state’s regulations and licensing requirements for child care facilities. Familiarize yourself with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public and Behavioral Health, which oversees daycare licensing.
  • Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your daycare’s mission, services offered, target market, and financial projections.
  • Secure a suitable location that complies with zoning laws and meets safety standards, ensuring ample indoor and outdoor space for children to play and learn.
  • Hire qualified staff with appropriate background checks and certifications in early childhood education.
  • Obtain necessary permits and insurance for your daycare business. Create policies and procedures for health, safety, and emergency protocols.
  • Market your daycare services through local advertising, a com listing, social media, and community outreach to attract families seeking quality childcare options.
  • Finally, maintain ongoing compliance with state regulations and continually assess and improve your daycare’s operations to provide a nurturing and enriching environment for children.

Do I need a childcare license in Nevada?

Commencing a daycare venture encompasses more than merely selecting a location and deciding on a business name and structure; it also necessitates obtaining proper licensing.

In accordance with Nevada law, educators must obtain a childcare license to establish a daycare business or offer care to more than four children in exchange for compensation. Nevada’s childcare licensing criteria and regulations are designed to assist educators in establishing supportive, nurturing learning environments conducive to children’s growth and development.

Nevada law governs six categories of childcare facilities:

  • Family care: Conducted within a provider’s residence, licensed family care facilities must adhere to a prescribed curriculum and can accommodate up to six children.
  • Group care: Similar to family care facilities, group care setups are operated within a provider’s home, necessitating a curriculum. Licensed group care facilities, however, require an additional educator and can care for up to 12 children.
  • Drop-in facilities: These establishments provide childcare services for up to three hours, requiring parents to remain on-site during their children’s care.
  • Childcare centers: Operating as standalone facilities, childcare centers offer comprehensive, all-day childcare services, complete with a structured curriculum.
  • Institutions: Catering to at-risk youth, institutions provide both care and housing, offering educational, nutritional, medical, and dental services.
  • On-site facilities: Primarily servicing the children of employees, on-site childcare businesses are exclusive to the company’s premises.

Licensed childcare facilities in Nevada have the option to enroll in the Nevada Department of Education’s Silver State Stars Quality Rating & Improvement System (QRIS). This voluntary system, provided at no cost, aids families in locating high-quality childcare options that suit their preferences, while also offering coaching, quality improvement grants, advancement bonuses, and national accreditation support to childcare centers, facilitating the establishment of top-tier childcare programs.

Daycare in Nevada

Childcare licensing requirements outside of Washoe County, Nevada

Daycare facilities located outside of Washoe County, Nevada, are required to fulfill the licensing prerequisites outlined by the Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public and Behavioral Health in order to obtain a daycare license.

Licensing Training:

Prior to initiating the application process for a daycare license, completion of the Licensing Application Process (LAP) training is mandatory. This involves registering for an NVeLearn account, viewing an instructional video, and undertaking a brief assessment. Upon successful completion of the LAP training, participants receive a certificate, enabling them to proceed with the license application procedure.

Hiring Requirements:

  • Hiring new personnel, it is imperative that they undergo fingerprinting by the local law enforcement agency within 24 hours of employment. Notification of the new hire to Nevada Childcare Licensing must be promptly submitted via the Change in Personnel form.. Additionally, a Background Check Consent and Release form, endorsed by law enforcement and the daycare director, must be completed, with each new hire undergoing a background check. A processing fee of $11.50 is applicable for each background check, payable through the ALIS system.
  • Furthermore, new hires must furnish proof of a negative tuberculosis test before commencing work.
  • Unsupervised interaction with children is only permitted once a provider has received clearance from Nevada Childcare Licensing.
  • Within a fortnight of employment, new hires must receive both oral and written orientation encompassing facility protocols, policies, childcare licensing prerequisites, with documented signatures and dates retained in the employee’s file.
  • Completed applications for new hires must be made accessible to the Nevada Registry upon fulfilling all hiring requirements.

Staff Training:

Within 90 days of employment, daycare staff must undergo CPR and first aid training, in addition to instruction in identifying signs of illnesses or blood-borne pathogens relevant to the ages of the children under their care. Furthermore, they must undergo three hours of training in child development, guidance or discipline, and recognizing and reporting child abuse. Staff members entrusted with infants aged one year or younger are mandated to receive training on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Throughout the daycare’s licensing year, all staff members are obliged to complete a minimum of two hours of training in nutrition, obesity prevention, or physical activity.

Staff-to-Child Ratios:

Educators and volunteers who have successfully undergone background checks and received first aid and signs of illness training can be factored into staff-to-child ratios, as can teachers under the age of 18. However, a qualified educator aged 18 or above must continuously oversee each volunteer and educator under 18.

Child care centers operating from 6:30 am to 9:00 pm

Age of children Staff-to-child ratio (staff:children)
Under nine months 1:4
Nine months to 18 months 1:6
18 months to three years old 1:8

If a room contains children of varying age groups, the ratio is determined by taking the average age of all the children in the room. Additionally, if more than six children of varying ages are present in a room, at least two staff members must be on duty.

Family child care homes

Age of children Maximum number of children
Birth to 1 year 2
Birth to 2 years 4 (only two children under the age of one)
Over 2 years 6

With approval from Child Care Licensing, a family care home may provide care for up to three additional children between the ages of six and 16 before and after school. The provider’s own children under the age of 10 must be counted as additional children.

Group child care homes

Age of children Staff-to-child ratio (staff:children)
Birth to 1 year (four children maximum) 1:2
1 year to 2 years (eight children maximum) 1:4
Over 2 years 1:6

With approval from Child Care Licensing, a group care home may provide care for up to three additional children between the ages of six and 16 before and after school.

Daycare in Nevada

Home-based childcare licensing requirements in Washoe County, Nevada

Daycare facilities located in Washoe County, Nevada, must adhere to the licensing requisites set forth by the Washoe County Department of Social Services to obtain a daycare license. In Washoe County, family child care homes are defined as facilities within occupied private residences where the licensee resides and provides care for at least two but no more than six children. Similarly, a group child care home pertains to a facility within an occupied private residence where the licensee resides and consistently offers direct care for no fewer than seven but no more than 12 children.

Subject to prior written authorization from the Washoe County Human Services Agency (HSA), Child Care Licensing, home providers may offer before- and after-school care for up to three hours to a maximum of three school-age children, in addition to the number specified on the facility’s license.

Home-based childcare facilities must undergo an application process, which includes submitting a license fee, undergoing background checks, completing initial training, verifying insurance, and obtaining approval from Washoe County Child Care Licensing to attain licensure.

The typical timeframe for acquiring a home-based childcare license, from application submission to licensure, spans from three to six months.

Staff training and qualifications requirements include:

  • Providers at home-based childcare facilities must be at least 18 years old.
  • Caregivers must be at least 16 years old, and those under 18 cannot supervise other staff.
  • No more than half of the caregivers in a facility can be under 18 years old.
  • Caregivers under 18 years old must have either completed or be currently enrolled in a Nevada Registry-approved course in child development, which they must finish while employed at the facility.
  • There must be at least one CPR-certified caregiver on duty at all times.
  • Home providers and staff members must complete 23 initial training hours and 24 training hours annually based on their licensure date. College courses in early childhood education can be counted as 15 training hours per credit taken.

The initial training requirements encompass:

  • A course on child abuse and neglect (minimum duration: two hours)
  • A course on signs of illness, including blood-borne pathogens (minimum duration: two hours)
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) training (minimum duration: two hours)
  • Shaken baby syndrome training (minimum duration: one hour)
  • Medication administration and allergies training (minimum duration: two hours)
  • Training on building/physical premises safety (minimum duration: two hours)
  • Emergency preparedness training (minimum duration: two hours)
  • Transportation safety training (minimum duration: one hour)
  • Wellness training covering obesity, nutrition, and physical activity (minimum duration: two hours)
  • CPR training (minimum duration: two hours, must be completed in person)
  • First aid training (minimum duration: two hours)
  • Child development or guidance and discipline training (minimum duration: three hours), tailored to the age range served by the facility.

Staff-to-child ratios and group sizes

Home-based childcare facilities in Washoe County, Nevada, must maintain specific staff-to-child ratios and group sizes.

Family child care homes

Age of children Maximum number of children
Less than 1 year old 2
1 to 3 years old 4
3 years old or older 6

 

  • One caregiver must be on duty at all times. An alternate caregiver must be available in case of an emergency
  • Any children who reside in the facility under 3 years old are counted in the staff-to-child ratios

Group child care homes

Age of children Required staff-to-child ratio Maximum number of children per age category
Less than 1 year old 1 caregiver for every 2 children (1:2) 4
1 to 3 years old 1 caregiver for every 4 children (1:4) 8
3 years old or older 1 caregiver for every 6 children (1:6) 12

 

  • Any children who reside in the facility under 3 years old are counted in the staff-to-child ratios

Insurance requirements for home-based childcare facilities

Home-based childcare facilities are required to maintain a liability insurance plan of $300,000, tailored to the number of children under their care.

Center-based childcare licensing requirements in Washoe County, Nevada

In Washoe County, Nevada, center-based daycares are permitted to offer care for 13 or more children within a designated childcare facility. The capacity of a childcare center is determined by factors such as the square footage available indoors and outdoors, along with the number of sinks and toilets within the facility at the time of licensure.

To obtain licensure, childcare centers must complete an application process, which includes submitting a license fee, undergoing background checks, completing initial training, verifying insurance, securing approval from Washoe County Child Care Licensing, and obtaining inspections and approvals from various departments including the Washoe County Health District, Fire Department, Building Department, and Zoning Department. The typical timeline for acquiring a license for a center-based childcare facility, from application submission to licensure, typically spans from nine to twelve months.

Staff training

All educators and staff members are required to complete 23 initial training hours and 24 training hours annually thereafter, based on their date of licensure. College courses in early childhood education can be credited as 15 training hours per credit taken.

The initial training requirements encompass:

  • A minimum of two hours for a child abuse and neglect course
  • A minimum of two hours for a signs of illness course, which includes blood-borne pathogens
  • A minimum of two hours for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) training
  • A minimum of one hour for Shaken Baby Syndrome training
  • A minimum of two hours for medication administration and allergies training
  • A minimum of two hours for building/physical premises safety training
  • A minimum of two hours for emergency preparedness training
  • A minimum of one hour for transportation safety training
  • A minimum of two hours for wellness training, covering obesity, nutrition, and physical activity
  • A minimum of two hours for CPR training, which must be completed in person
  • A minimum of two hours for first aid training
  • A minimum of three hours for child development or guidance and discipline, tailored to the age range served by the facility

Daycare in Nevada

Director qualifications

Childcare centers in Washoe County, Nevada are required to have an approved director in place before a license can be issued.

  • There are various pathways to meeting the qualifications of a director:
  • Possessing an associate degree or a higher degree in early childhood education and having a minimum of 1,000 hours of verifiable experience in a childcare facility.
  • Holding an associate degree or a higher degree in any field other than early childhood education, completing at least 15 semester hours in early childhood education or related courses, and having at least 2,000 hours of verifiable experience in a childcare facility.
  • Holding a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) certificate, completing at least 15 semester hours in early childhood education or related courses, and having at least 3,000 hours of experience in a childcare facility.
  • Possessing a current credential as a Child Development Associate, with an endorsement for preschoolers, infants, or toddlers, as appropriate, issued by the Council for Professional Recognition or its successor organization, and having at least 2,000 hours of verifiable experience in a childcare facility.
  • Having another equivalent combination of education and experience approved by Washoe County HSA Child Care Licensing.
  • Directors are also required to have a minimum of 1,000 verifiable hours in an administrative position or have completed a course or other training in business administration.

Staff-to-child ratios and group sizes

Center-based childcare facilities in Washoe County, Nevada, must maintain specific staff-to-child ratios and maximum group sizes.

From 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Age of children Required staff-to-child ratio Group size
Birth to 9 months old 1 staff member for every 4 children (1:4) 8
9 months to 23 months old 1 staff member for every 6 children (1:6) 12
2 years old 1 staff member for every 9 children (1:9) 18
3 years old 1 staff member for every 12 children (1:12) 24
4 years old 1 staff member for every 13 children (1:13) 26
5 years old and older 1 staff member for every 18 children (1:18) 36

From 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Age of children Required staff-to-child ratio Maximum number of children
Less than 3 years old 1 staff member for every 6 children (1:6) 12
3 years old or older 1 staff member for every 10 children (1:10) 20

Every staff member must stay awake while on duty at night.

Insurance requirements for center-based childcare facilities

Childcare centers must carry a $1,000,000 liability insurance plan.

Childcare license application in Nevada

To obtain a childcare license outside of Washoe County, Nevada, you must fulfill the following steps:

Step 1: Acquire a business license

Before commencing operations, it’s essential to register your daycare business and secure a business license through Nevada’s SilverFlume business portal. This license, distinct from a daycare license, officially registers your business with the State of Nevada and authorizes you to file business taxes. The Nevada Secretary of State advises developing a comprehensive business plan before initiating the business license application process. A well-defined business plan will facilitate the completion of the business license application for your daycare.

Step 2: Undertake the online Licensing Application Process (LAP) training

Prior to applying for a childcare license, successful completion of the Licensing Application Process (LAP) training. is mandatory. This online training program entails watching an instructional video and passing a test covering Nevada’s childcare licensing procedures. Upon passing the test, you will receive a certificate of completion, enabling you to proceed with the daycare licensing process.

Step 3: Submit the initial licensing application

Once the LAP training is completed, contact your local childcare office to obtain a Web ID via mail. Upon receiving the Web ID, you can create an account on Nevada’s online childcare licensing and certification system  and proceed with the initial licensing application for your center. An initial license incurs a $50 fee.

Step 4: Complete fingerprinting and background checks

Every staff member over 18 years old is required to complete a Consent & Release form and undergo a background check. Additionally, each individual must submit a fingerprint card  along with a money order to the Nevada Department of Public Safety Criminal History Repository. Consult your local fingerprinting agency for fee and payment details. Upon completion of background checks and fingerprinting, forward a copy of the Consent and Release form and fingerprint card(s) to Child Care Licensing for auditing. Once reviewed, Child Care Licensing will notify you of your facility’s background clearance status.

Step 5: Develop your disaster plan

Your daycare’s disaster plan delineates the protocols to be followed by you and your staff during an emergency situation. This plan should encompass:

  • Responsibilities assigned to the director and staff members.
  • Evacuation procedures for safely relocating staff members and children to a secure location equipped with essential supplies for childcare, including medications and contact details for families.
  • Implementation of a transportation strategy.

Step 6: Undergo health and fire inspections

Your facility will undergo inspections by the State Fire Marshal, the State Board of Health, and local government authorities to ensure compliance with safety, environmental health, building, and zoning codes.

Step 7: Schedule an initial licensure inspection

Following completion of inspections and submission of documentation, Child Care Licensing will reach out to schedule an initial licensing consultation.

Childcare license application in Washoe County, Nevada

To acquire a childcare license in Washoe County, Nevada, you must fulfill the following steps:

Step 1: Request a licensing application

Reach out to Washoe County HSA Child Care Licensing at (775) 337-4470 to understand the licensing procedures and request an application.

Step 2: Complete background checks

Initiate the comprehensive background check process by contacting Washoe County HSA Child Care Licensing.

Step 3: Submit a zoning inquiry

Prior to signing a lease for a potential building intended for a childcare center, inform licensing authorities so that a zoning inquiry can be submitted by the licensing worker.

Step 4: Complete your application form

Fill out your application form and remit the licensing fee to the Washoe County Human Services Agency. The licensing fees vary depending on the capacity of your center.

Once these steps are finalized, your designated licensing worker will guide you through the remaining licensing procedures.

Childcare license fees in Nevada

Number of children Licensing fee
Five or six children $20
Seven to 12 children $60
13 to 50 children $100
51 to 100 children $150
101 to 150 children $200
151 to 200 children $250
Over 200 children $300

Childcare license fees in Washoe County, Nevada

Type of daycare facility Licensing fee
Family child care home $30
Group child care home $60
Childcare center with 13 to 50 children $100
Childcare center with 51 children and over $200

Once you’ve been approved for a childcare license, develop your marketing strategies to reach prospective families in your community who might be interested in childcare services.

How to stay compliant with a daycare license in Nevada

To maintain compliance with your daycare license outside of Washoe County, Nevada, it is necessary to annually renew your license via the ALIS system at least 45 days before its expiration. A $50 late fee is applicable for license renewal applications received or postmarked later than 30 days before the license expiration.

How to stay compliant with a daycare license in Washoe County, Nevada

To ensure compliance with your daycare license in Washoe County, Nevada, it is imperative to renew your license annually via the ALIS system no later than 60 days before its expiration. A $50 late fee is incurred for a license renewal application received or postmarked later than 30 days before the license expiration. Furthermore, the Washoe County Human Services Agency reserves the right to levy an additional administrative fine if your renewal application is not submitted before the current license expires.

Final thoughts

Commencing a daycare venture presents a gratifying opportunity to positively impact your community. Ensuring strict adherence to Nevada’s childcare licensing criteria and obtaining a daycare license not only signifies your commitment but also reassures families in Nevada of the reliability and excellence of your childcare services, instilling trust and confidence in your program.

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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