Rural Development

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Child Care


The business of child care offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to pursue a passion for child care and child development while enjoying the independence and responsibility of being your own boss.

There are two core types of child care businesses, family/group child care and child care centers. Along with all the other processes that come with setting up any type of business, child care businesses have a few more regulations to be aware of. Whether you choose to operate your business from your home or in a commercially-leased property, you will want to review this list before getting started.

  1. Location – review the zoning laws for where you would like to set up business to determine whether or not the property can be used for a child care business. You will also want to review local and state requirements for both indoor and outdoor space, as well as building, fire and health inspections prior to committing to a location.
  2. Insurance – adequate insurance protection is a requirement for your child care business. You will want to consider theft and fire insurance as well as liability insurance to protect your facilities, staff and the children you care for.
  3. Licensing – ND state licensing requirements ensure that child care providers provide a safe and healthy environment for children in their care. Licensing requirements vary depending on the number of children you will be caring for, the age of the children and what type of location you will be providing services in. For more information about getting licensed visit
  4. Commitment – child care providers typically have a longer work day than other professions and may find it more difficult to plan for time away from the business such as vacation days or illness. Consider what, if any, staffing needs you will have to fulfill as well as background checks on potential employees.

For assistance with your child care business check out these resources:

Child Care – A program of the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), Child Care Aware provides a hub of information for parents and child care providers. North Dakota’s information is available online at

Child Care – The Child Care Bureau serves as an information resource for the child care community and helps improve the quality of early care programs. Each state has a division of its government dedicated to child services. Operating under the Child Care Bureau, the National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center provides detailed state profiles and access to your state's lead child care agency.

SBA also has an extensive guide on How to Start a Quality Child Care Business, available at

For additional business assistance with starting or growing your child care business please contact Center for Technology & Business at