Managing a child care business from your home can be a rewarding career. It allows you to have time at home with your own children while making a positive impact on the growth and development of all the children in your care.

There is a demonstrated need for quality licensed child care in our area. This is especially true for infants and toddlers and for families who work non-standard hours.

If this profession interests you, we have many resources to help. Explore our website and then contact us at 509.529.5744 or [email protected].

Steps to Becoming Licensed

Step 1

Attend a Department of Early Learning Orientation

DEL is the state agency that licenses both family child care homes and child care centers in Washington.

  • Reservations: Call 509.737.2812 to reserve your space at orientation.
  • Provider Handbook

Step 2

Get Ready

Gather Needed Documentation

  • Create a parent contract that contains your policies and procedures as well as your discipline policies. CCR&R has software that can help you develop this important document.
  • Complete the application given out at Orientation.
  • Provide 3 character references.
  • Submit to a Washington State criminal background check.
  • Documentation of a negative TB test.
  • Completion of HIV/AIDS training.
  • Completion of pediatric first aid and CPR.
  • Submit above documentation with resume’ and transcripts to DEL along with $24.00 license fee.

Step 3

Get Set

Prepare Your Home

  • Ensure that your home meets minimum licensing requirements. CCR&R can help with a home visit and consultation that will help you ready your home and your child care program.
  • Allow DEL and the fire department to inspect your home for safety.
  • Complete 20 hours of basic child care training within six months of becoming licensed. This training is available at WWCC in person each June and online every quarter. Click here, to visit the MERIT website.

Step 4



  • You are well on your way to enjoying an exciting new profession! Once you receive your license, you will be entitled to all the services CCR&R provides. Please see our provider pages to explore these resources.
  • See The Washington State Child Care Aware Network Becoming a Provider Page for more information.

Facility Funding

Cascadia Revolving Fund

Cascadia’s Child Care Fund provides low-interest loans and technical assistance to family child care homes and child care centers throughout Washington State. Through the Child Care Fund, Cascadia strives to:

  • increase the number of child care slots,
  • improve the quality of child care,
  • increase the number of jobs in communities,
  • increase the income of child care business owners and employees and,
  • assist providers in building economic assets.

Cascadia helps preserve and improve much-needed child care programs by offering borrowers one-on-one consultation in accounting, finance and business management. A business consultant works exclusively with Child Care Fund applicants and borrowers to help them enhance their business acumen and sharpen their financial management skills. This allows providers to strengthen their business, maximize their profit margins, and successfully cope with the multitude of financial issues facing every small business owner. In addition to the business-related consultation provided to each Child Care Fund borrower, Cascadia offers family child care providers personal financial management counseling. For information on loan amounts, rates, terms or for any other information regarding Child Care Fund loans, click here.

Cascadia Revolving Fund
Mary Ann Johnson, Manager, Child Care Fund
1901 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107

Child Care Micro-Loans

There are child care micro loan funds available throughout the state. The interest rate varies from 6% to 9% depending on the lender. Most lenders have loans up to $5,000 for child care homes and up to $25,000 for child care centers.

Monica Jackson
Family Development Coordinator
Benton Franklin Community Action Council
720 W Court Street Pasco, WA 99301
509.545.4042 or 800.583.1112 ext. 219
[email protected]

The Child Care Facility Fund

This fund provides loans and grants to child care businesses to start or expand child care facilities. Loans and grants must be approved by a board comprised of child care and financial experts. For further assistance, click here or contact:

Gail Gosney, Employer Liaison
P.O. Box 48300
Olympia, WA 98504-8300
360.725.4034, 360.586.0873 (fax)
[email protected]

Subsidy Programs

  • Community Service Office
    CSOs are the local offices that provide many DSHS services. You can contact your local CSO for information on help for paying for child care, public assistance, food stamps, medical assistance, emergency needs, or how to contact other DSHS programs in your community. A specific program that helps parents pay for child care is called Working Connections Child Care.
  • Walla Walla & Columbia County CSO
    416 E Main
    Walla Walla, WA 99362
  • Garfield County CSO
    525 5th Street
    Clarkston, WA 99403
  • USDA Food Program The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides federal funds to nonresidential child and adult care facilities to serve nutritious meals and snacks. The goal of the CACFP is to improve and maintain the health and nutritional status of children and adults in care while promoting the development of good eating habits.