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How to Obtain a License
Licensing Procedures for Obtaining a Child Care Facility License
  1. Hillsborough County Ordinance requires the owner and or operator of a child care facility to complete a two-part consultation class (link to HC CCL 2 in the forms page of Child Care Centers) prior to initial licensing. All first time directors / operators are also required by law to complete Part II of this consultation within 90 days of employment. The fees for these consultation classes are as follows:
    1. $40 for Parts I and II
    2. $25 for Part II only

    Please complete the Child Care Consultation Registration form including answering the questions on the bottom of the page. Please print clearly and complete the entire form. Please submit this form and appropriate fee to the Child Care Licensing Programs office. Please follow the instructions on the form for submitting the correct amount and for mailing purposes.

    Note - all fees are per person, non-refundable and must be made in form of check or money payable to B.O.C.C. and mailed to Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing - 3110 Clay Mangum Lane, Building 39, Tampa, FL 33618. The applicable fee and completed form must be received in order for the Child Care Licensing Office to process your request and sign you up for the next available consultation class(es). These classes are taught in English. If English is not your native language it is recommended that you bring a translator.

  2. Contact the zoning department and see if you are allowed a child care facility on your potential site. If the site is not appropriately zoned, you will need a zoning review for a change of use.
  3. At the time of your initial inspection, please submit the following to the senior inspector:
    1. Child Care Center Application (HC CCL 38), which can be printed out from this website
    2. Legal / letter-size floor plan showing square footage of each room, designation of each room (infants, toddler, preschool, after-school), kitchen, office, sinks and toilets, etc.
    3. A legal / letter-size outside playground design with total square footage
    4. Two reference letters for applicant from persons who have known the applicant two years or more
  4. The license fee for center is based on the capacity of the center. The license fee for initial and renewals is $75 for the first ten children and $2 for each additional child (effective October 1, 2009).
  5. When all requirements are met, you will be issued a license from our office. You may not take children in care until you have received this license.

Child Care Licensing Requirements
The complete requirements are included in County Ordinance and the Rules and Regulations Handbook. The following are highlights of licensing requirements:
  1. The indoor play space must have 35 square feet per child of usable child care space.
  2. The outdoor play space must have 100 square feet of usable space per child for at least 1/2 of your indoor capacity. The outdoor play space must have at least 1,000 square feet regardless of indoor capacity.
  3. The outdoor play space shall have a safe and adequate fence or wall at a minimum of 4 feet in height.
  4. Each child care facility shall have one sink and done, and one toilet for every 15 children.
  5. Your proposed facility must be inspected and approved by: Zoning, building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing inspectors from Hillsborough County or City of Tampa, Plant City, or Temple Terrace depending on where your facility is located. You also need a fire inspection, health inspection, written verification of water and sewer or satisfactory well water verification, and septic tank capacity verification.
  6. You and all of your child care staff must have a background screening prior to working on site. This consists of a local law enforcement check, a state criminal records check, and a FBI check.
  7. You must have one staff person for every 50 children or increment thereof with verification of completion of the Red Cross First Aid Child Care Course, or its equivalent, present at the facility at all times.
  8. You must have one staff person for every 50 children or increment thereof with verification of completion of the Infant / Child CPR Course present at the facility at all times.
  9. The staff person responsible for planning and food preparation must complete the nutrition and food management courses.
  10. All child care personnel are initially required to take a Department of Children and Families 30-clockhour introductory child care course, a 10-hour module based on developmentally appropriate practices for children and a five-hour literacy course, and then a 10 hours of annual in-service training every year thereafter is required.
  11. Every child care center is required to have at least one staff person with a CDA credential or equivalent for every 20 children.
  12. The director of the center must have a Florida Director's Credential.