Licensed Centers

Licensed Centers

Want to know what it takes to become a licensed child care center? After you complete the Orientation 1 course, these are the steps you’ll need to take, many of which are required for those planning to open a center.

Orientation II

Those planning to open a licensed center must completed the Orientation II course. The information you learn in Orientation II provides a road map for you to get licensed, including:

  • Plan review submission and initial inspection process
  • Health consultant program and food and health programs submission
  • Building and fire safety inspection process
  • Overview of the application process and requirements for directors, staff, and programs

Complete additional required trainings

Depending on your role, you may have other training requirements:

We offer face-to-face sessions of Safe Sleeping Practices and Reducing the Risk of SIDS in Child Care several times a month in locations across Central Indiana. Find more information on I-LEAD through Indiana Learning Paths.

Find these additional required courses online on I-LEAD through Indiana Learning Paths.

  • Indiana Health and Safety Orientation modules
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Detection and Prevention


Join an emerging provider cohort support group

Although not required to become licensed, we highly recommend you join one of our emerging provider support groups. We meet on a regular basis so those interested in opening their own child care business can:

  • Hear from guest speakers on business topics, owning a child care, and licensing
  • Support each other
  • Get resources for getting up and running

Fill out our Provider Information Form to get connected to a program engagement specialist to learn about our current groups.

Understand and fulfill requirements for your building

You will learn more in Orientation II about what is required for a Child Care Center for building and zoning codes. You will also need to check with your local municipality. Some municipalities require you to submit plans to be approved by the Department of Fire & Building Services and/or the Indiana Department of Health/Sanitary Engineering.

Want to get a head start? Our Child Care Permit Requirements page details any specifics we know of for you in your county, city, or town.

Invite us to do an onsite or virtual walk-through of your center

Although not required, our program engagement specialist can do a walkthrough of your center before the licensing consultant comes for your inspection. We can provide guidance on:

  • Environment and materials
  • Marketing
  • Administrative records and budgets
  • Lesson plans

Fill out our Provider Information Form to get connected to a program engagement specialist to make an appointment.

Submit your application

The application for Child Care Centers includes items such as written plans for food service, health programs, handbooks, fees, and forms. You will also need to include documentation of your education and experience as a director, as well as that of all of your teaching and child staff. Other required documentation includes information about your organization, such as purpose, board of directors, and funding sources. You will learn more in your Orientation II class.

Pass on-site inspection and get provisional license!

You contact your licensing consultant when your building is ready to schedule an inspection. Your consultant will connect you with the Fire Marshall inspection. The initial inspection is usually scheduled within 30 days of receiving the request.

Know your director requirements. Keep in mind that directors of a licensed center must:

  • Be 21 years of age
  • Be on-site for a minimum of 30 hours per week
  • Fulfill “Director Responsibilities” as outlined in licensing requirements
  • Hold one of the following combinations of degrees/credentials. You will be required to submit documentation of your education and experience in your licensing application:
    • A. / B.S. degree in either Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education; OR
    • Any other B.A. / B.S. degree with:
      • 15 credit hours in Early Childhood Education OR
      • A Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, Certified Childcare Professional (CCP), Preschool Associates Credential (PAC), or, if a school-age lead caregiver may obtain an Indiana Youth Development Credential
    • 2-Year Associate degree in Early Childhood Education AND a minimum of three years of experience in a licensed child care center or home