Jennifer Davis operates a licensed in-home child care center in north Springfield.
Jennifer Davis operates a licensed in-home child care center in north Springfield. She is licensed to have up to 10 kids ages 2 and older. (Photo by Jackie Rehwald) Credit: Jackie Rehwald

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If you want to provide care for more than six children in your home, you are required to have a license. You can apply for a license through the Missouri Office of Childhood.

A child care provider caring for six or fewer children in their home doesn't need a license, and can also qualify for government money for providing care to families who are eligible for the Child Care Subsidy. To meet state requirements, there should be no more than three of the six children who are under 2 years old.

Here are more resources for those interested in providing in-home child care:

  • Reach out to Community Partnership of the Ozarks at 417-888-2020 or email and ask about the Educare program. The program helps providers with the process of becoming registered or licensed. 
  • Ozarks Technical Community College’s Early Childhood Development Degree program trains students to work in early childhood education or a related field. OTC students have the unique opportunity to gain experience at the OTC Early Childhood Education Center. Students will also choose one of two options to specialize their coursework. Option A will train students to integrate math and science into their curriculum. Option B is designed for students interested in working with children who have special conditions such as autism or sensory challenges. Program graduates can find positions at preschools, childcare centers, religious programs, recreational centers and other related organizations. Learn more on their website.  
  • Child Care Aware of Missouri has created free child care center startup guides for both in-home day care providers and larger centers designed to provide care for 20 or more children. These help you understand things like licensing requirements, how to develop policies and procedures, how to determine if your home or space is suitable and safe for child care, how to prepare a budget and other tax, legal and insurance considerations. Find the Family Child Care Business Startup Guide here and the Child Care Center Startup Guide here

Jackie Rehwald

Jackie Rehwald is a reporter at the Hauxeda. She covers public safety, the courts, homelessness, domestic violence and other social issues. Her office line is 417-837-3659. More by Jackie Rehwald