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Child Care Licensing

Overview

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.

Support and Information

The Child Care Background Check System

Information on Recent and Upcoming Changes for Child Care Providers

Recent changes

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:

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;

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.

Licensed Homes

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

Who to Contact

The following documents provide contact information for licensing assistance.

Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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