Licensed Child Care in North Dakota
Early Childhood Services Licensing System
North Dakota law (NDCC 50-11.1) requires licensure of Early Childhood Services (child care) by the Department of Human Services; and authorizes the Department to develop standards of child care to be used for the regulation of these child care settings.
Licensing is a form of consumer protection. Without licensing to achieve compliance with state's regulations, children would be at higher risk from unsafe care.
Child Care licensing regulations are designed to protect and promote child safety and well-being in child care setting by establishing and enforcing regulations that require maintenance of minimum standards, such as:
- physical size of the facility,
- safety features,
- staff qualifications,
- staff-to-child ratios and,
- amount of space needed.
The county social service agencies conduct the licensing studies and investigations. (see staff directory) The regional office, upon review and recommendation by the county office, issues or denies licensing applications. (see licensing map) All licensed facilities receive two review visits per year, one of which is unannounced. In addition, complaints are investigated by an on-site review. When a rule violation occur the following actions could be taken:
- correction order
- fiscal sanctions, and
- penalties (see corrective action data)
Licensed Child Care Categories
- Licensed Family Child Care: The care of seven or less children in the provider's own home.
- Licensed Group Child Care: The care of 8 to 18 children in the home or other type of facility.
- Licensed Child Care Center: The care of 19 or more children in public or private buildings, churches or schools. Children are often grouped by age.
- Licensed Preschools: Part time educational and socialization experiences for children 2 years to kindergarten.
- Licensed School-age Programs: The care of school age children before and/or after school. Some programs provide care during school holidays and summer vacations.
- Multiple License Facility: Has more than one type of license. ex. Center & Preschool.
For more information on child care liensure regulations for each state, please go to nrc.uchsc.edu.
Self Certified Providers care for five or fewer children and are not licensed and not monitored.
Anyone caring for more than four infants or six or more children (of mixed ages) is operating against the law.