The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has available the Toolkit: Opening a Pennsylvania Child Care Facility which can provide information and steps to becoming a certified child care facility.
All prospective providers wishing to start a child care facility, family child care providers, and current providers wanting to relocate their current facility or open a new location must attend an orientation tailored to the type of facility they wish to open. For a child care center or a group home child care, providers must complete an online orientation and contact their Regional OCDEL Certification office to register for the face-to-face orientation.
These orientations cover topics such as how to fill out the application, important necessary documents, clearances, health and safety regulations, and information on child care subsidy, Keystone STARS, and Early Intervention. For more information, read OCDEL’s current steps for the orientation process. Upon completion of these orientations, providers will be given a certificate of completion that is valid for one year.
For more information and help getting started, prospective providers should contact their Regional OCDEL Certification office.
Keystone STARS may also be able to help providers through the beginning stages of certification with Technical Assistance.
HOW TO APPLY
- View the document, Toolkit: Opening a Pennsylvania Child Care Facility on the PA Department of Human Services website.
- Contact your Regional OCDEL Office to ask about:
- Completing the online and face-to-face orientation training.
- How to get a certificate of occupancy from your local municipality.
- Getting to know the child care regulations, Title 55, Chapter 3290.
- Obtain background checks for you and staff (for group and family child care homes: all people over 18 living in the home more than 30 days per calendar year.)
- PA Child Abuse History Clearance ($8 per person) – call 1-877-343-0494 or visit the Child Welfare Portal.
- PA State Police Criminal Record Check ($20 per person) – call 1-888-783-7972 or visit Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History.
- FBI Fingerprint Criminal Background Check ($25.75 per person) – call 1-877-371-5422 or visit the Keep Kids Safe website for more information.
- Download the application for new and renewing family child care homes, group child care homes and child care center.
- Orientation done? Health & Safety trainings are next! The Federal Reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) requires all staff in certified child care programs to have training in 10 critical health and safety topics. Free modules (covering 9 of 10 required topics) are available to earn annual training hours and meet most of the new federal requirements.
- Read this announcement with information about how child care staff may comply with the federal requirements.
- Start today! Access the new online training for free at the Better Kid Care website.
- Find courses in Pennsylvania’s Professional Development (PD) Registry. You can search and register for first aid training sessions in your area. The PD Registry offers early learning professionals a wide variety of trainings on relevant topics offered at appropriate skill levels. There is no cost to sign up as a user of the PD Registry.
- Family Child Care Homes – Watch What to Expect in an Inspection video!