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Get Licensed as a Group Child Care Home

Licensing is the process by which the Department of Human Services (DHS), Bureau of Children and Adult Licensing (BCAL) regulates group child care homes for the care of 7-12 children. The process requires that group child care home licensees are in compliance with the rules for group child care homes. 

Note:  It is illegal in the State of Michigan to care for unrelated children in your home without being licensed or registered by the Department of Human Services.

Prior to submitting an application, you must contact local zoning authorities to see if operating a group home is allowed in a your neighborhood.  

Step I - You must read the Licensing Rules for Family and Group Child Care Homes  and the  Child Care Organizations Act (1973 PA 116)  prior to submitting your online application . Upon receipt of your application, a rule book and the Child Care Organizations Act will be sent to you.

Internet Explorer is required to complete the online application.

Note: You must have a credit card or a personal checking account to pay the fee online (Discover or American Express Cards are not accepted). If you do not have one of these, click here.

Step II   - The application must be completed online, including submission of a $100.00 application fee.  As part of the on-line application, you will be instructed to print the forms listed in numbers 1-5 below, as well as provide the information indicated in numbers 6 - 9 below, and mail them to:  

Department of Human Services 
Bureau of Children and Adult Licensing
P.O. Box 30650
Lansing, MI 48909-8150

1. Zoning Approval for Group Child Care Homes (BCAL-3748).

2. Documentation of electronic fingerprint clearance for the applicant only. The Fingerprint Specialist at L1 Identity Solutions will provide documentation by completing the TCN # on the applicant's copy of the Licensing Record Clearance (BCAL-1326).

Licensing Record Clearance (BCAL-1326) - It is necessary to complete one for each non-applicant adult (18 or older) who resides in your home. If you or a member of your household has been convicted of a criminal offense, or has a record of substantiated child abuse or neglect, further assessment will be done by BCAL. The purpose of this assessment is to determine your ability to care for children and comply with the family child care home rules.

4. Medical Clearance Request (BCAL-3704) - For you signed by your physician or your physician's designee which attests to your health.  The Patient Information section must be completed before submitting the form to your physician for completion. 

5.  Medical Clearance Request (BCAL-3704) - For each assistant caregiver signed by the assistant caregiver's physician or their physician's designee which attests to the assistant caregiver's health.  The Patient Information section must be completed before submitting the form to your assistant caregiver's physician for completion.

6. Documentation of tuberculosis (TB) test results for all persons living in the home who are 14 years of age and older.  Assistant caregivers must also have documentation of TB test results.

 Documentation of valid infant/child/adult CPR, first aid and blood borne pathogen training for the applicant and any assistant caregivers. First aid and CPR training must be from a person certified as a trainer from an organization approved by BCAL. Go to  for a list of approved organizations. 
8. Proof of inspection and approval of your heating system (includes wood-burning stoves and any other permanently installed heating devices) and fuel-fired water heater within the past 12 months. Furnaces and other flame- or heat-producing equipment used to heat the home when children are in care and fuel-fired water heaters must be inspected by the following entities:
* A licensed heating contractor for a fuel-fired furnace.
* A licensed heating contractor or licensed plumbing contractor for a fuel-fired water heater.
* A mechanical inspector for the local jurisdiction or licensed mechanical inspector for a wood stove or other solid fuel appliance.
Note: Electric heat does not require an inspection.

9.  Documentation that the level of radon gases does not exceed 4 picocuries per liter of air in the lowest level of your home. For more information on radon testing, go to

Step III  -  An environmental health inspection and approval are required if your application indicates that your home has a private well and/or septic system.  The environmental health inspection, requested and paid for by BCAL, is done by your local health authority prior to becoming licensed. 

Step IV -  
 After review and approval of your application materials, you will be invited to attend a required orientation session arranged by your local licensing office. The purpose of the orientation is to review the licensing rules and laws and prepare you for the licensing inspection.
* The orientation will last approximately 6 hours.
* It will cover the licensing rules and the Child Care Organizations Act (1973 PA 116).
* Additional information will be provided which will help you to be successful in the business of caring for children.
* Time will be provied for you to ask questions.

Step V  -  Once all required application materials have been submitted and are complete, your licensing consultant will inspect your home to assess compliance with the licensing rules. Your licensing consultant may take pictures to document their findings. It is your responsibility to be in compliance with the rules and law at the time of the inspection and at all times thereafter.  Some of the items you must have available during the on-site inspection are:
* At least one functioning multipurpose fire extinguisher, with a rating of not less than 2A-10BC, properly mounted on each floor level that will be used by children in care. [R 400.1944(3)]
* A working smoke detector on each floor of your home. [R 400.1944(1)]
* A carbon monoxide detector on each floor that is used by children in care. [R 400.1944(1)]
* A posted evacuation and care plan for tornados, fires, and serious accidents or injuries. [R 400.1944(1)]
* A written discipline policy. [R 400.1913(1)]. 

Step VI   Once it has been determined that you are in compliance with the rules and the law, you will be issued a 6 month provisional license.

Prior to the expiration of the 6 month provisional license, you will receive a renewal application packet. After you submit a complete renewal application packet, an on-site inspection will occur. If you continue to remain in compliance with the rules and the law, you will then be issued a regular license that is valid for 2 years.

General Information:
1.  As an applicant, you can expect the licensing process to take 3 to 6 months to complete after you submit a complete application packet. Individual circumstances may effect the actual time required to issue your license.

2. 10 clock hours of training must be completed each year by the applicant. Annual training is assessed by the calendar year. Note: The orientation session counts as 6 hours of training. 

3. 5 clock hours of training must be completed each year by each assistant caregiver.

4. A license is issued to a specific person at a specific address. If you plan to move, contact BCAL prior to the move so that you can apply for a license at your new address. If you move to a new address and do not contact this office, your license is no longer valid at the new address.

If a complaint about your child care home is received by BCAL, an investigation may be conducted and may include an inspection of your home.

The applicant must report to BCAL, within 7 working days, any changes in the household composition or when any new or existing member of the household has any of the following:
* Arrests or convictions.
* Involvement in substantiated abuse or neglect of children.
* Court-supervised parole or probation.
* Been admitted to, or released from, a correctional facility, or hospital, institution, or facility for the treatment of an emotional, mental, or substance abuse problem.
These may be reported by using Notification of Changes in Status - Family and Group Child Care Home (
 BCAL-1485 ).
7. Technical assistance is provided by BCAL to help providers comply with the child care licensing rules. Child care home technical assistance can be accessed at .

8. If you decide to no longer care for children, contact your local licensing office to request closure of your license. 

If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact BCAL, toll free, at (866) 685-0006.  


Related Documents
Directions for On-Line Application Submission PDF icon