Child Care Licensing
This unit is responsible for the enforcement of the Child Care Licensing Act for registered child care family homes, licensed homes, licensed child care centers in Arkansas.
Minimum Licensing and Registration Requirements (all license types) - Effective January 1, 2020
Please click on the links below to access the current Minimum Licensing and Registration Requirements for Child Care Centers, Child Care Family Homes, Registered Child Care Family Homes and Out-of-School Time facilities. Please note that the latest revisions are highlighted in yellow.
- Child Care Center Licensing Requirements
- Licensed Child Care Family Home Licensing Requirements
- Out-of-School Time Licensing Requirements
- Registered Child Care Family Home Licensing Requirements
Support and Information
- Application Process for Licensure as a Child Care Provider
- Child Safety
- Facility Safety
- Child Care Emergency Plan
- Transportation Safety
- Regulation Clarifications and Updates
- Placement and Residential Licensing
- Arkansas Immunization Information System | Arkansas Department of Health WEB
The Child Care Background Check System
Information on Recent and Upcoming Changes for Child Care Providers
In compliance with recent State legislation and new Federal regulations, FBI fingerprint checks are now required for all employees (and applicants for employment) of Licensed Child Care Centers and Licensed and Registered Child Care Family Homes, regardless of how long the employee or applicant has lived in Arkansas.
Future background check requirement changes
Revisions are currently being made to The Minimum Licensing Requirements to comply with Federal Child Care Development Block Grant mandates. The promulgation process for these revisions will be completed by January 2020. You will receive written advance notice of these new requirements and of the effective date of the changes.
The following changes to the background check requirements are included in this revision:
- Background checks will be conducted by the State Police through the National Sexual Offender Registry for all applicants for employment.
- FBI fingerprint checks must be repeated every five (5) years.
- Applicants who have lived outside the State of Arkansas at any point during the previous five (5) years will have background check results obtained from those state’s criminal record system, child maltreatment record system and sexual offender registry.
- Applicants for employment may not start work until the state criminal background check result is received by the requesting provider. They may then be employed provisionally, pending the receipt of the remaining results, as long as they are closely supervised and never left alone with children during this provisional period.
The New Automated Background Check System
An automated background check process will be available in 2020. This will better enable the DCCECE to provide you with more timely background check results. The automation process includes the following features and capabilities;
- Each licensed and registered child care provider will have access to a secure internet account through Information Network of Arkansas (INA).
- Providers will enter applications for State Police and FBI background checks through this account and will be issued an INA transaction number for the application they have entered.
- The provider will give the INA transaction number to the applicant, who will take the transaction number to a DHS County Office where an electronic fingerprint scanner is located. (A list of scanner locations will be provided.)
- DHS County Office personnel will assist the applicant with scanning and submitting their fingerprints to INA.
- Result information will be transmitted electronically to DCCECE and result letters will be generated.
Types of Child Care Facilities and Programs
Registered Child Care Family Homes
These homes are regulated by the “Registered Child Care Family Homes”. These homes are registered to care for 5 or fewer children. These homes receive periodic unannounced monitors. Incentives: These homes are eligible to participate in state and federally funded programs.
These homes are regulated by the “Minimum Licensing Requirements for Child Care Family Homes”. The Child Care Licensing Act requires a license for any home situation, arrangement, or agreement by which one (1) or more persons care for six (6) or more children from more than one (1) family at a time (this includes the caregivers own preschool children). A caregiver may choose keep up to 16 children, depending on the ages of children in care and the number of caregivers present. Health and fire department approvals are required if care is provided to 11 or more children. City zoning approval is required were applicable. Licensed home care may be provided in the licensee’s own home or another home like setting. Licensed homes receive periodic unannounced monitor visits. Incentives: These homes are eligible to participate in many of the state and federally funded programs.
Licensed Child Care Centers
These facilities are regulated by the “Minimum Licensing Requirements for Child Care Centers”. The Child Care Licensing Act requires that facilities providing care to 6 or more children from more than one (1) family obtain a license (programs operating less than ten (10) hours a week are exempt). These facilities require health and fire department approval and are subject to city zoning. Incentives: These homes are eligible to participate in many of the state and federally funded programs.
Child Care Facility Licensing Forms and Support Materials
- Application Process for Licensure as a Child Care Provider
- Child Care License Application Form
- Arkansas Criminal Record Background Check Form
- 2019 FBI Criminal Record Background Check Form
- Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry Form
- Technical Assistance Packet | Child Personal Data, Accident Report, Attendance Record
- Evacuation Plan
- Appeal Panel Membership Application Form
- Health - Text4Baby Posters
- Health - Arkansas Sisters United Brochure
- Child Care Facility Licensing Act
Who to Contact
The following documents provide contact information for licensing assistance.
- Child Care Licensing Supervisors by County | Map
- For any assistance, please call 501-682-8590