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The Importance of Becoming a Registered Provider

Updated February 14, 2024

Audrey Rider

SDSU Extension Early Childhood Field Specialist

Children outside daycare center

Are you thinking of starting a daycare, or are you currently operating a childcare practice? Many parents and families look for places that are registered and licensed. If you are caring for 12 or fewer children in your own home, registration is voluntary, but if you plan to or have 13 or more children, it is mandatory to become licensed.

Here are some advantages to becoming state registered:

  • Can receive state dollars through grants, childcare food program reimbursements, and subsidies for families who receive childcare assistance
  • Keep up-to-date on training opportunities at the state and local level.
  • Some providers have found it easier to purchase insurance if they are registered.
  • Can advertise through the state, which can serve as a marketing tool.
  • Promotes higher quality of care and promotes childcare as a profession rather than just a “babysitter.”
  • Reduces the chances of any form of abuse or safety issue happening to children in care due to health and safety standards. These standards include:
    • Eligibility with comprehensive background check.
    • On-going training in caring for children.
    • Pediatric CPR certification.
    • Child guidance and supervision.
    • Nutritious meals and snacks.
    • Fire and life safety.
    • Prepare for emergencies and conduct emergency drills.
    • Safe sleep practices.
    • Maximum of three infants in care with no more than four children under the age of two.

For more information regarding licensing and to get a packet of information to help in getting registered contact South Dakota Department of Social Services.

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