Small Business & Professional Development Steps for New Daycares in Utah

If you are a Utah resident looking to begin a daycare startup, get your all inclusive resources right here! From completing licensing procedures to following up with professional development ventures, you will be on your way to being a credible Daycare Owner of a professional childcare center.

Follow 6 small business and professional development steps for creating a daycare startup in Utah.

  1. Classify the childcare facility type.
  2. Follow the licensing procedures.
  3. Undergo the 3 key inspections.
  4. Apply for a CCL Compliance Grant.
  5. Join the Professional Family Childcare Association of Utah.
  6. Join the Utah Association for the Education of Young Children.

What’s unique about opening a daycare in Utah versus other states is the professional development involved with two associations that you can join once your facility has been successfully licensed and inspected.

Small Business & Professional Development Steps for New Daycares in Utah

  1. Classify the Childcare Facility Type

Classifying the childcare facility type is as easy as deciding the amount of children you wish to care for and how long each day. Classifications are noted below.

  • Childcare Center (Regular or Hourly)
    • Provides care for 5 or more children without a parent present.
    • Length in your care is 4 or more hours per day for each child.
    • Children are cared for 4 or more weeks out of one calendar year.
  • Family Childcare
    • Provides care for 5 to 16 children who are unrelated to your family biologically, by marriage, or by adoption.
    • Length in your care is 4 or more hours per day for each child.
    • Daycare schedule is regular and ongoing for each child.

If you have 5 or fewer children in your family facility or childcare center and care for them for less than 4 hours per day, you do not have to seek licensing. However, if one or more of your children need care for more than 4 hours per day, you should seek a certificate of licensure to operate credibly and legally in the state of Utah.

  1. Follow the Licensing Procedures

Speaking of licensing, let’s talk about this important procedure. Licensing means that your childcare center has:

  • Specialized health and safety training to adequately care for young children.
  • Done criminal and child abuse background checks on all staff members along with annual follow ups completed.
  • Received rigours early childhood development training to be able to properly identify, nurture, and enhance the development stages of all the children in your care.

Read the Specific Licensing Guidelines and Procedures for Your Facility Type

Find links to the guidelines and procedures based on your facility type by visiting the Utah Department of Health for more information.

Engage in the Online New Provider Training

The online New Provider Training will give new daycare facility owners the background they need to complete the licensing process. You will learn how to complete the necessary forms, find out how and when to pay when your application is in process, and all the follow-up activities that must be done post submission.

Have Background Checks Performed on All Staff

Your facility must have background checks performed on all staff using the agency picked by the Utah Department of Health. If you use another background check agency, it will not be valid to the rigorous standards set forth by this notable entity.

Once background checks applications are submitted and paid for, each staff member must also undergo a fingerprinting procedure.

Write Your Emergency Plan

You can find the emergency plan template offered to Utah licensing applicants here.

The emergency plan is an important section to include in your daycare handbook. It will show parents that you are prepared for any natural disaster or intruder that could hit while you are in business. How you will proactively respond to the emergency is outlined in the plan to expeditiously get all staff and children to safe haven in or out of the center. The recovery procedure is also vital to display how parents can pick up their children after the emergency has been safely rectified.

Use Your Resources

Childcare licensing can be a confusing venture, but it will be that much more rewarding for your facility professionally and operationally once it has been completed.

For more information on the Utah daycare licensing checklist, visit here.

Small Business & Professional Development Steps for New Daycares in Utah

  1. Undergo the 3 Key Inspections

There are 3 key inspections that are conducted for childcare centers and family facilities in the state of Utah.

  1. Pre-license inspection
    1. Evaluates that you are following all the licensure mandates before receiving your certified daycare license.
    2. Sets forth the standards that must be met for future inspections.
  2. The announced inspection
    1. You are informed about the inspection before it happens.
    2. Follows the same procedure as pre-license inspection except the sleeping equipment is not evaluated again.
  3. The unannounced inspection
    1. This will be a surprise inspection in which you are not notified before it happens.
    2. The checklist form for the announced inspection and unannounced inspection are the same.

You can find the inspection checklists for each of these key inspections by visiting here.

  1. Apply for a Child Care Licensing (CCL) Compliance Grant

Apply for a Child Care Licensing (CCL) compliance grant for monetary assistance to successfully run your daycare. As long as you have complied with Utah Child Care Licensing standards, you will receive grant money. Follow this procedure to expedite receiving your grant money.

  • Apply for a number from the Data Universal Number System (DUNS) to identify your daycare.
  • Register this number with This is the System for Award Management website.
  • Receive an email from [email protected] that contains your grant contract. Sign and submit this application to be qualified for your grant check.
  • Wait for as long as it takes to receive your grant money. Please note that if you contact Child Care Licensing on the status of your application that it will only take longer to process it and submit your grant money.
  1. Join the Professional Family Childcare Association of Utah

Join the Professional Family Childcare Association of Utah for professional development and growth of all the staff in your daycare. Upon joining, you will receive benefits such as:

  • Virtual and in-person training learning about early childhood development, how to run a facility, maintaining partnerships with parents, and more.
  • Using Smart Horizons to gain daycare training hours. This is best for people looking to secure their Child Development (CDA) credential.
  • Access to Care Courses online or in book form for all staff in your daycare.

Join your local chapter by visiting this link.

  1. Join the Utah Association for the Education of Young Children

The Utah Association for the Education of Young Children enhances the proficiency and  effectiveness of childcare staff throughout the state via teaching best practices. When you join this association, you will have benefits such as:

  • Access to Playshop mini-conferences. These happen on a Saturday morning to early afternoon with many speakers on childcare topics. Enjoy this networking and lunch event as your staff members learn more about their important childcare profession.
  • Playshop events counting towards professional development hours.
  • Ability to attend in-person or virtual childcare professional development events.

Small Business & Professional Development Steps for New Daycares in Utah

Keep on Developing!

Urge yourself and your staff members to keep on developing professionally and mentally as you continue to serve the children in your local Utah community. Institute only the highest of standards for your daycare center or family facility and your most dedicated staff members will follow through in their personal quest and collective quest with the entire daycare to serve your enrolled children.

Related Questions

  • How can I receive even more professional development for my staff members?

Follow the Children’s Service Society of Utah. Register for Career Ladder courses to learn more about childcare industry best practices. Go to for more information.

Once you complete a Career Ladder course, you will receive a certificate. If you end up needing a replacement certificate for whatever courses you have taken with Career Ladder, you will need to mail out a check or money with $5 for each certificate to the address provided here.You can find the answer under the question about how to get replacement certificates.

  • Why should I join associations for professional development?

Join your local Utah associations for professional development in order to:

  • Stress the need for constant professional development success amongst your staff.
  • Help you and your staff members learn new concepts about childcare.
  • Initiate conversation amongst your staff for them to become better at performing their job in your center.
  • Institute high quality performance standards for your staff members.
  • Pave the pathway to more effective teaching strategies for staff, so children can learn more while they are at your facility.

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.

Start in Utah today with the help of our startup course and documents.


Small Business & Professional Development Steps for New Daycares in Utah