Licensure & Registration

Iowa has three types of child care; licensed centers, registered child development home providers and child care home providers that are not registered.

Licensed Centers - These are businesses that typically care for dozens of children. There are about 1,500 of them in Iowa. Use the “find childcare” tab to find a center near you. Centers are required to follow a long list of requirements and they receive at least one unannounced monitoring visit annually from DHS consultants. The most recent consultant report is located on each center’s listing.

Child Development Homes -  About 2,800 people provide regulated child care in their homes.  Any person providing child care in their home can apply to be registered.  Those serving more than 5 children are required to register.  The Department seeks to visit all child development homes at least once per fiscal year. 

Child Care Homes - People who provide childcare in their own homes and who care for five or fewer children are not required to be registered but have the option to do so.  

For additional information click Provider Child Care Requirements.