Promoting and protecting the health and safety of all Idahoans

Welcome to the Idaho Daycare Licensing Program

Idaho law sets the basic framework for daycare licensing, which is administered by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in conjunction with local fire departments and health districts. Local city and county governments can establish and enforce their own daycare licensing regulations, as long as the licensing requirements are equal to, or more stringent, than state license provisions. 

Who is required to be licensed?

Caregivers or Daycare providers MUST be licensed through the State Daycare Program if they:

  • Provide care for 7 or more children and
  • Receive compensation for providing care for one or more of those children.

The following are exempt from State Daycare Licensing requirements:

  • The occasional or irregular care of a neighbor’s, relative’s or friend’s child or children by a person not ordinarily in the business of daycare;
  • The operation of a private school or religious school for educational purposes for children over four years of age, or a religious kindergarten
  • The occasional care provided exclusively for children of parents who are simultaneously in the same building;
  • The operation of day camps, programs and religious schools for less than twelve weeks during a calendar year or not more often than once a week;
  • Providing care for children who are related to you within the second degree of relationship (father, mother, step-father, step-mother, grandparents and their spouses, uncles and aunts and their spouses, first cousins and their spouses, nephews and nieces and their spouses, bothers and sisters and their spouses);
  • Daycare facilities licensed by a city or county, not requiring state licensing.
Note: Local ordinances or participation in certain programs may require you to be licensed even if you meet exemption criteria.

What's Next?

If you need a daycare license, start by reading about Daycare Licensing Requirements. If you still have questions about whether or not you need a daycare license, contact us, and we'll be happy to help.

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