Idaho Childcare
State Requirements

Worker Qualifications

Center staff: Providers must be 18 years old or older. Persons 16 or 17 may provide care if directly supervised by a provider. An adult must be awake and within sight and hearing of children. Four (4) hours annual training. Daycare Licensing Instructions and Application

When determining the worker:child ratio (number of staff to children) within a licensed child care facility, each and every child under the age of thirteen (13) present at the facility shall be counted. This number includes the children of the child care provider and the children of any child care workers.
Only licensed child care workers, juvenile child care workers, and volunteers who are caring for children shall be counted as staff in the ratio. Visitors shall not count in the worker: child ratio.

-Volunteers must be supervised by a licensed worker at all times.
-Juvenile child care workers must be supervised by a licensed worker at all times.
-Visitors must be supervised by a licensed worker at all times.

Provider /Child Ratio

Age Range Ratios For Center Based Care for Idaho State
The maximum allowable worker:child ratio shall not exceed twelve (12) points. The number of points is determined by using the following point system:
Less than 2 Years 5 Children:1 staff / 10 Children:2 staff / 15 Children:3 staff
2 Years 6 Children:1 staff / 12 Children:2 staff / 18 Children:3 staff
3 - 4 Years 10 Children:1 staff / 20 Children:2 staff / 30 Children:3 staff
- 12 Years 12 Children:1 staff / 24 Children:2 staff / 36 Children:3 staff
The maximum allowable points for each staff member is twelve (12), using the following point system which is based on the age of each child in attendance
Under 24 months 2 points
24 months to under the age of 36 months 1.2 points
36 months to under the age of 5 years 1 point
5 years to under the age of 13 years 1/2 point
Children Idaho State Child Care Licensing Fee
Daycare Licensing Fee
Upon receipt of your application by IdahoSTARS, a referral will be made to your local Health District for the collection of the licensing fee. Your Health District will then contact you with information on how to make your fee payment. The fee amount is determined by the criteria below
More than 26 children in attendence at any given time $325
with 13-25 children in attendance at any given time $250
Group Daycare $100
Family Daycare $100
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.

Training Information
For state daycare licensing, each owner or operator of a daycare center licensed by the Department must receive and ensure that each staff member receives and completes four (4) hours of ongoing training every twelve (12) months after the staff member’s date of hire. “Training” means continuing education in child development areas relating to child care. Beginning October 1, 2016, child care providers participating in the Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP) will be required to complete a series of free online courses designed to cover a variety of health and safety topics for providers in Idaho. For state daycare licensing, the training will count if the staff member takes the training after their hire date. It will be credited for the licensing period in which the training was taken and will only count one time. City licensed providers – please check with your city to determine if trainings will meet local ordinances.

Criminal History Compliance

A department criminal history background check clearance, completed within the last three years, can be transferred to any new employer. When using a transferred department criminal history check clearance for daycare licensing, the new employer must also ensure that a new Idaho State Police name-based record check is completed with no disqualifying crimes found. A copy of the department criminal history clearance letter and the Idaho State Police record check must be on file with the new employer.

If a Department criminal history and background check clearance is more than three years old from the date of hire, a new Department criminal history and background check is required. 

A department criminal history background check on youth 13-17 years old must include a check of juvenile justice records for each jurisdiction in which the youth has resided since age 13. The juvenile justice check is to include records of adjudication of the magistrate division of the district court, county probation services and department records. Use our Authorization and Request for Search of Juvenile Justice Records form to request this information.

For more information, read our Compliance History Compliance Facts and Guidelines document. 

Insurance and Fire Inspection Information
Proof of Liability and Fire Insurance and a copy of your approved Fire Safety Inspection must be submitted with the daycare license application.

Local Compliance Information
Your city or county may have local ordinances related to daycare which cover Building Codes, Electrical Codes and Planning and Zoning Codes. Proof of Compliance with Local Ordinances must be submitted with the daycare license application.

These documents could include:

  • Business Licenses
  • Home Occupation Certificates
  • Special Use Permits
  • A letter from your city or county stating you are in compliance with local ordinances
Verification of Pediatric CPR and Pediatric First Aid
Certifications in Pediatric Rescue Breathing, Infant-Child CPR and First Aid Treatment must be submitted with your daycare license application.

Certification needs to be completed through a course offered by a certified instructor. Online courses are not acceptable.

Referral and Completion of the Health Inspection
Once the Health District receives the referral from the Vendor Specialist that you are ready for your Health Inspection, you will be contacted by your Health District to complete the required inspection.

Records Requirements
It's important to keep good records about daycare staff, and the children who have/are attending, for at least twelve months. Read the complete list of Record Requirements to find out what kind of information you must keep on file to be in compliance for your daycare license.

Contact Information

Child Care Licensing Agency
(Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
450 West State Street, Boise, Idaho 83720
Connect with a Vendor Specialist Monday through Friday, 8:00am-6:00pm, MST.
Phone: Dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-926-2588
Idaho Daycare Listings 

Early Childhood Information Clearinghouse (ECIC)

Child Care Subsidy Agency
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP)
450 West State Street
Boise, Idaho 83720
Phone: Dial 2-1-1 or 800-926-2588 (Idaho Careline)

Phone: Dial 2-1-1 or 800-926-2588 (Idaho Careline)

Head Start - State Collaboration Office
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
2417 Bank Drive, Suite B1
Boise, Idaho 83705
Phone: (208) 345-1182
Fax: (208) 345-1163
Head Start City Agency Locator
Child Care Food Program Agency
Department of Education
650 West State Street
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: (208) 332-6800
Fax: (208) 334-2228
State Child Care Resource & Referral Contact
Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
Early Childhood Information Clearinghouse
4215 10th Street
Lewiston, ID 83501
Phone: (208) 799-3100
Toll Free: 2-1-1 or (800) 926-2588
Office of Child Support Enforcement
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
450 West State Street
Boise, Idaho 83720
Phone: 800-356-9868
Child Abuse Reporting

To report suspected child abuse in Idaho, call Toll-Free: 208-334-5437

For national child abuse information, call Childhelp®, 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453), or your local CPS agency.

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