State of Idaho Daycare Licensing

Teacher sitting a chair holding a globe with young students looking on.

Idaho State Law establishes the basic framework for daycare licensing.

Protecting the Health and Safety of Children

Daycare licensing requires child care programs meet basic health and safety standards aimed at protecting the well-being of children in care.

Families who select licensed child care programs are assured that fire, safety, and health inspections have been passed; adults employed as caregivers have successfully completed a background check; children enrolled meet immunization requirements; and employees receive annual training.

Licensing Applications and Questions

IdahoSTARS processes all state licensing applications for child care (daycare) and can answer your questions.

Daycare or child care facilities receiving compensation and enrolling seven (7) or more children are required to be licensed. Facilities caring for less than seven (7) children may voluntarily choose to become licensed as a first step toward quality care.

We encourage you to consider participating in the Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP). This program is designed to assist low income families with the costs of child care.

Licensing and ICCP share many of the same requirements and you can apply for ICCP at the same time you apply for state licensing.

  • To gain more information about your city’s and/or county’s operating requirements check out this document.PDF
  • If you are not located in a city with specific licensing requirements and are providing care for 7 or more children you will need to obtain and Idaho state Daycare license. State of Idaho Daycare Licensing
  • If you care for a maximum of 6 children and are not located in a city that requires licensing you are legally exempt from licensure. Facilities caring for a maximum of 6 children may voluntarily choose to become licensed as a first step toward quality care.
  • Upon receipt of your application by IdahoSTARS, a referral will be made to your local Health District for the collection of the non-refundable licensing application fee. Your Health District will then contact you with information on how to make your fee payment.
  • Fees
    • Daycare Center (with 26 or more children in attendance at any given time) $325
    • Daycare Center (with 13-25 children in attendance at any given time) $250
    • Group Daycare (with up to 12 children in attendance at any given time) $100
    • Family Daycare (with a maximum of 6 children in attendance at any given time) $100
  • Daycare owners and those who are age thirteen (13) or older, living in the home (whether they are present during regular child care hours), regular caregivers, substitute caregivers, volunteers or frequent visitors (more than 12 hours per month) where care is provided must complete a Criminal History and Background Check and receive Enhanced Clearance.
  • Anyone between the ages of 13 and 17 who works at or is frequently on the Daycare premises is required to request a check of juvenile records
  • For assistance with the obtaining Pediatric or Child & Infant CPR and Pediatric First Aid certification(s) contact your local CCRC office and ask to speak with a Resource Specialist by dialing 2-1-1 the Idaho CareLine (or 1-800-926-2588).
  • Online courses are not acceptable unless they also have a hands-on skills test performed in front of a live instructor.

Proof of Liability and Fire Insurance of the facility must be submitted..

  • Your city or county may have local ordinances related to daycare which cover Building Codes, Electrical Codes and Planning and Zoning Codes. Proof of Compliance with Local Ordinances must be submitted.
  • Compliance documents could include:
    • Business Licenses
    • Home Occupation Certificate
    • Special Use Permit
    • A letter from your city or county stating you are in compliance with local ordinances

A Fire Safety Inspection must be submitted with the daycare license application. You must contact your local fire district and request that a Fire Safety Inspection be completed for daycare (child care) licensing. Download the Fire Safety Inspection Checklist.

Once the Health District receives the referral from the Vendor Specialist that you are ready for your Health Inspection, you will be contacted by your Health District to complete the required Health and Safety inspection.

The health inspector will look for various health and safety practices and materials in your child care program. See the following link to review exactly what they will look for during an inspection. Idaho District Health Department Child Care Guidelines PDF

Need more information? Visit Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Licensing

If you would like the state Daycare Licensing application mailed to you, please email us at