In Vermont, you must be Registered or Licensed to provide care for children from more than two families.
The first step is to determine the kind of child care program you want to offer. This is important because the application/forms vary based on the size and type of program.
Child Care in Your Home for a Small Number of Children
You need to follow the application process for Family Child Care Homes if you want to provide care:
- In your home; and
- For no more than six children under the age of six plus four school-aged children (only two of the children under 6 can be under the age of two).
Family Child Care Home Application Process:
Complete the application by applying online on the Bright Futures Information System website;
Send any additional paperwork that's required
You'll also need to complete a Criminal record check form(s) for everyone in your home and other caregivers/substitutes over the age of 15, and a census form on all people who are in the home that are 15 years or younger, and send it to your licensing technician;
We conduct a home visit and then process your application
Once we receive your completed application, it is entered into the data system and the required criminal record checks are processed. If this initial step is approved, a licensing field specialist will visit your home to discuss your application. You may need to complete additional steps identified during the visit and notify the specialist who visited you. Your application will then be processed.
Other Types of Child Care
You need to follow the application process for Licensed Programs if you want to provide care:
- Outside your home; or
- In your home, but for more children than listed above for family child care homes.
This includes licensed child care centers, afterschool programs, licensed family child care homes, and non-recurring child care programs. The number of children you can care for is based on indoor and outdoor square footage, completed building fire safety inspections, any local zoning ordinances, and the number of qualified staff present within a program.
Licensed Program Application Process:
Contact the licensing unit at 1-800-649-2642, Option "3" or request information online at the Bright Futures Information System website.
A licensing field specialist will deliver a licensing portfolio to you. At that time, the licensor will explain the process and define each of the components in the portfolio and the timeframe necessary for completion.
Once you complete ALL the information, contact the licensor. They will set up an appointment to review your completed portfolio and conduct a final inspection of the space.
Once the portfolio is sent to the central office, the information is entered into the data system and your application for a licensed is processed. This may take 12 weeks or longer to complete.
The Child Development Division (CDD) licenses and monitors registered family child care homes and licensed programs to make sure they provide safe and healthy environments for children and contribute to their development.
The Child Development Division has some online child care recruitment materials available for communities and organizations to use. You can download the flyer and Facebook images from our publications page: https://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/publications.