A program of Lutheran Social Services in western North Dakota and Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership in eastern North Dakota

Starting a Licensed Child Care Facility

Child Care Center Development Guide

Launching a child care facility is more complex than opening an in-home family or group child care. It takes an average of 9 to 12 months to organize and prepare a facility for opening. Child Care Aware® of North Dakota consultants have the expertise and resources to guide you through the process.

The steps to starting a child care facility are outlined in the Child Care Facility Development Guide. This guide will help you:
• Develop an understanding of the child care industry
• Define the scope of the project
• Test the market need for child care
• Locate a site/building
• Determine facility design and furnishings
• Plan room furnishings
• Assemble a qualified project team
• Plan operational and start-up budgets
• Complete a business plan


Contact a Provider Support & Start-Up Consultant in your region to receive additional information and guidance related to your specific location, child care setting and business goals.

Review these resouces to learn more: