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Get Licensed as a Family or Group Child Care Home

Licensing is the process by which the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), Child Care Licensing Bureau regulates Family Child Care Homes for the care of 1-6 unrelated children and Group Child Care Homes for the care of 7-12 unrelated children. The process requires that Family and Group Child Care Home licensees are in compliance with rules for Family and Group Child Care Homes.

Note:  It is illegal in the State of Michigan to care for unrelated children in your home without being licensed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Prior to submitting an application, you must contact local zoning authorities to see if operating a group home is allowed in 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 debit card to pay the fee online (Discover or American Express Cards are not accepted). Click here if you do not have a credit card or a debit card.

Step II   - The application must be completed online, including submission of a $50.00 application fee for a Family Home and/or $100.00 application fee for a Group Home.  The fee is non-refundable. 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:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs 
Child Care Licensing Bureau
P.O. Box 30837
Lansing, MI 48909-8164 

1.Zoning Approval for Group Child Care Homes only (BCAL-3748). Zoning approval is required under the Zoning Enabling Act (2006 PA 110, MCL 325.32016)Note: The Zoning Enabling Act requires counties and townships to grant zoning approval if the requirements of subsection (4) of the act are met. Except for the requirements in subsection (4) of the act, subsection (7) of the act indicates that a local county or township ordinance cannot be more restrictive than the Child Care Organization Act (1973 PA 116, MCL 722.111 to 722.128).

2.Child Care Licensing Information Request Form BCHS-CC 001 for applicant and all adult household members.

3.You will receive a Launch letter from the Child Care Background Check Unit once you have submitted an application and fee.  The Launch letter will provide instructions for how to activate your account in the CCBC System and begin background checking all applicants. You will receive your launch letter 10-15 days after you submit your child care license application. More information can be found at

4.Medical Clearance Request (BCAL-3704-CC) - 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-CC) - For each child care staff member and child care assistant signed by the child care staff member or child care assistant's physician or their physician's designee which attests to the child care staff member or child care assistant's health.  The Patient Information section must be completed before submitting the form to your child care staff member or child care assistant'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.  Child care staff members and child care assistants must also have documentation of TB test results.

7.Documentation of valid infant/child/adult CPR and first aid. First aid and CPR training must be from a person certified as a trainer from an organization approved by licensing. Go to for a list of approved organizations. 

8.Verification of training in prevention and control of infectious disease, including immunizations.

9.Verification of training in safe sleep practices to prevent sudden infant death syndrome.

10.Verification of training in recognition of and reporting of child abuse and neglect.

11.Verification of training in prevention of shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma, and child maltreatment.     

12.Documentation of completion of the online training "Infant Safe Sleep Training for Child Care Providers" available at > Infant Safe Sleep and Shaken Baby Syndrome section.

13. 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.

14.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 licensing, 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 provided 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, including the basement, and in all sleeping areas and bedrooms used by children in care. [R 400.1944(1)]
* A carbon monoxide detector on each floor that is used by children in care. [R 400.1934(3)]
* A posted evacuation and care plan for tornados, fires, and serious accidents or injuries and crisis management. [R 400.1945(1) and (2)]
* 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 original license.

Prior to the expiration of the 6 month original license, you will receive a renewal application packet reminder. After you submit a complete renewal application packet, including renewal fee, 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:
  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 affect 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 child care staff member and child care assistant.

4. A license is issued to a specific person at a specific address. If you plan to move, contact licensing 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.

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

6. The applicant must report to licensing, within 3 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 licensing to help providers comply with the child care licensing rules. Child care home technical assistance can be accessed at Technical Assistance & Consultation .

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 licensing, toll free at 866-685-0006.