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Opening a Child Care Business in the City of Philadelphia

This presentation is for anyone hoping to open a child care business in Philadelphia not located in a private home.

Marissa McGarry

on 13 August 2013

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Transcript of Opening a Child Care Business in the City of Philadelphia

According to the Public Welfare Code, child day care is care that is given to children under 16 years old, away from their own homes. This care is given as a part of the 24 hour day instead of parental care.
The Philadelphia Department of Commerce knows that it can be hard to understand the child care licensing requirements set by the city and the state. We want to make this process as easy as possible for you, so you can focus on running a great business.

In order to do that, we have created this presentation, which will walk you through the processes necessary to receive certification for your new child care facility.

Enjoy, and good luck!
The Philadelphia Department of Commerce assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the content in this presentation. Child care licensing is completed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Anyone interested in opening a child care business should check the websites of these departments to ensure that all information provided here is correct and up-to-date.
Commercial Child Care
State Requirements
City Requirements
Final Step: Submit your completed application to the State Department of Public Welfare
Mail all completed applications to:
Southeast Region Bureau of Certification
DPW – Office of Child Development and Early Learning
801 Market Street
Suite 5132
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3126

Please make and keep a copy of all of your application material before you mail it.
Group Child Care Home
A Group Child Care Home is a business in which 7-12 children of various ages, or in which 7-15 children from 4th grade through 15 years of age, receive child care.
Child Care Center
A Child Care Center is a child care business that serves 7 or more children at a time.
Steps to Starting Your Group Child Care Home OR Child Care Center
Step 1: Attend orientation
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare offers orientation programs across the state for people interested in opening a child care business. The orientation will guide you through the process explained below, so it would be best to attend orientation before moving on to other steps.

This orientation is required and must be completed at some point in the 12 months BEFORE you submit your application to the state.
The DPW orientation schedule for Group Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers can be found here: http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/provider/training/orientationtrainingforchildcareproviders/trainingscheduleforprospectiveoperatorsofchildcarecentersandgroupchildcarehomes

Please note that all
participants must pre-register.
Step B: Find a location for your childcare business
Before you submit anything to the city or the state, you will want to research possible locations for your business. Keep in mind possible zoning approval and renovations that may be needed to fit regulations.
Step C: Check this location for potential safety issues
Step D: Talk to L&I if renovations are required
Step 2: Decide how you want to classify your business
Step 3: Decide if you will need a "fictitious name'' for your business
If you want to give your business a name that is different from your own legal name, you need to apply for a "fictitious name" for your business.
More information about filing your Application for Registration of Fictitious Names can be found here: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/corporations/12457/x_ficticious_names/571874
Step 4: Register for Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Step 5: Get all of your required clearances
Pennsylvania requires Group Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers to provide ALL of the following clearances for the owner of the business:

Child Abuse History Clearance

FBI Criminal History Clearance

Criminal Record Clearance
Child Abuse History Clearance
The business owner's application should be submitted with a money order for $10 to the following address:

Department of Public Welfare
ChildLine and Abuse Registry
P.O. Box 8170
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8170

The application form can be found here:
FBI Criminal History Clearance
Register for an FBI Criminal History Clearance here:

The fee for this service is $27.50.
PA State Criminal Record Clearance
The criminal record clearance can be requested from the PA State Police Department for a fee of $10.

The application form can be found here:
Step 7: Complete paperwork for the Bureau of Equal Opportunity
Step 8: Decide if you are going to participate in the child care subsidy and/or Reference and Referral program
The Department of Public Welfare runs a child care subsidy program for low-income families. If you are interested in having your business participate in the program, you will need to submit a form with your application. This form can be found in the Child Care Center or Group Child Care Home orientation handbook.
Step 9: Learn your business's category on the city level
"Group Child Care Home" and "Child Care Center" are state levels. Businesses on these levels will fall under the city category of "Commercial Child Care." The city has a separate process from the state, and both must be completed before opening a child care business.
The Pennsylvania Code explains the safety regulations that a Group Child Care Home or Child Care Center must meet. Before applying, please read through these regulations and check to see if the location you like may need any renovations.

Please also note that you will need
to get liability insurance for your business.
The regulations for a Group Child Care Home can be found in Title 55 Chapter 3280 of the Pennsylvania Code:

The regulations for a Child Care Center can be found in Title 55 Chapter 3270:
If you decide that the property you would like to rent or buy for your business needs renovations, please contact the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections for information on getting the proper permits.

For more information, please vist
or call 311 from within Philadelphia.
Will your business be a part of a corporation? Will it be part of a Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, or Limited Liability Company? Will it be for-profit or non-profit?

Determining which type of entity makes sense for your business and establishing that entity by filing with the State is an important step in opening a business.
More information about filing for any of these options can be found here:
All child care businesses must complete paperwork stating their commitment to the state's non-discrimination civil rights laws.

Contact the PA Bureau of Equal Opportunity Southeast Regional Office at (215) 560-2230 for more information. The required forms can also be found in your orientation handbook.
EINs are used to identify the tax accounts of businesses, especially businesses with more than one employee.

Please contact the IRS at http://www.irs.gov
or 1-800-TAX-1040 to determine if you need an EIN.
If you do, you will need to apply using Federal Form SS-4, which is also available through the IRS.
Step A: Get a Business Tax Number
All businesses in the City of Philadelphia need a Business Tax Number.

More information about applying for this number can be found here:
Step F: Get a Commercial Activity License
All businesses in Philadelphia, with a few exceptions, are required to have a Commercial Activity License (formerly the Business Privilege License). The fee for this is currently $50.

More information about applying for the Commercial Activity License can be found here:
Step E: Get zoning approval
Anyone interested in opening a business in Philadelphia will need to first apply for a Zoning and Use Registration Permit.

More information about this application can be found here:
Step G: Contact the Department
of Public Health
All child care businesses must get a License Eligibility Report from the Department of Public Health. This process includes sending the department your plans and proof of food safety certification, in addition to passing a site inspection.

For more information, please call the Office of Food Protection at (215) 685-7495.
Step H: Arrange a site fire inspection
Owners of Group Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers should call their District Office to set up a fire inspection. Please call 311 for information on this process.
"Commercial Child Care" is the City of Philadelphia's category for any business that provides care for children and is not located in the provider’s primary residence. This includes ALL before and after school programs!
For Group Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers, a completed application package would include:
1. Completed Application for Certificate of Compliance
This application can be found in the handbook you receive at orientation.

2. A copy of your Certificate of Occupancy

3. Your Child Abuse History Clearance Form

4. Your Criminal Record Check form from the Pennsylvania State Police

5. Your FBI Criminal History Clearance letter (from ChildLine)

6. A copy of the verification from the Bureau of Equal Opportunity stating that you have completed and filed the Civil Rights Compliance Questionnaire

7. A copy of your signed certificate for attending the “Getting Started in Child Care” orientation

8. A copy of the Articles of Incorporation, if you incorporated your child care business

9. A copy of the Certification of Limited Partnership, if your child care business is part of a limited partnership

10. A copy of the Registration for a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), if your child care business is part of a limited liability partnership

11. A copy of the Certification of Organization for a Limited Liability Company (LLC), if your child care business is part of a limited liability company

12. A copy of the Certification of Tax-Exempt Status, if your child care is a non-profit business

13. A copy of the fictitious name approval form, if you plan to use a fictitious name for your child care

14. Completed “Tax Information: Family Child Care Home” form, if you would like to participate in the child care subsidy and/or Resource and Referral programs – proof of Federal EIN from the IRS must be attached
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia have separate laws on child care businesses. This presentation will walk you through the process on both levels if you want to open a child care facility in that is NOT in your home.

NOTE: If you are planning on opening a child care facility in your home, please see our other presentation for more information:
Group Child Care Home and Child Care Center are two categories of child care business at the state level. The categories have different definitions, but the application process is the same for both categories.
More Resources and Contact Information
Department of Public Welfare
Department of Commerce
Office of Business Services
Department of Licenses and Inspections
Call 311 or visit:
Office of Food Protection

Call 311 from anywhere in Philadelphia
PA Department of State
Corporation Bureau
PA Code
Group Child Care Homes (Chapter 3280)
Child Care Center
(Chapter 3270)
Steps to Starting Your Commercial Child Care Business
Step 6: Get your food safety certification
All child care businesses must meet certain health and safety standards in order to operate. One of these requirements is passing a food safety course. Even though this is part of the following city requirements section, we suggest that all future child care business owners get this food safety certification early in the process, to avoid unnecessary delays.
A full list of food safety certification course providers can be found here:
Full transcript