Developing Your Day Care Plan

Congratulations on your decision to open a center for the next generation of our City! In these pages, we will guide you through the process of opening a commercial Child Care Center or Type A day care center or conducting day care out of your own home as a Type B in-home day care center.

The first step in this process will be to determine what type of care center you wish to open. If you plan on a center in a commercial district or a school or religious center with 7 or more children at one time, please follow the instructions for Type A day care centers or Child Care Centers (CCC). If you plan to provide child care in your own residence with 6 or fewer children, please follow the instructions for a Type B day care.

Which type of Child Care classification is right for my business?

Child Care Centers: A Child Care Center permits thirteen or more children of any age. All Child Care Centers (CCCs) must be licensed through the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS). Please note, when child care is provided for 13 or more children, you must obtain a license from the ODJFS. CCCs are permitted on property zoned Commercial, Industrial, Manufacturing, or a school or religious center classified as residential where the day care is an accessory use. Any child under the age of 6 related to the licensee, administrator, or employee on the premises will be counted in the total number of children under care.

Type A Day Care Centers: Like CCCs, Type A day care centers must be licensed through ODJFS to care for 7 to 12 children in a property zoned Commercial, Industrial, Manufacturing, or a school or religious center classified as residential where the day care is an accessory use. Any child under the age of 6 related to the licensee, administrator, or employee on the premises will be counted in the total number of children under care.

Please note: The City of Columbus does not follow the Ohio Revised Code’s (ORC) definition of Type A day care centers. Where the ORC permits Type A day care in a private residence, Columbus does not permit such an operation in your own home without a variance from City Council.

Type B In-Home Day Care: A Type B in-home day care permits one to six children to be cared for in the provider's personal residence. No more than three children may be less than 2 years of age at any time. The provider's own children under 6 years of age must be included in the total count. Licensing for Type B is provided through the Franklin County Department of Jobs and Family Services.

Baby Steps for Your Business Success! While considering what day care operation you want to open, we cannot encourage you enough to BE INFORMED and HAVE A PLAN! The City, along with many of its partners, provides resources to you at little or no cost. One such free resource to assist in developing your business and marketing plan is the Ohio Small Business Development Center (OSBDC) at Columbus State Community College. Through one-on-one instruction with OSBDC’s business and marketing experts, you will be guided through such activities as assessing where need for child care is the highest and developing a business plan that ensures that adequate funding is available to cover the start-up costs along with your day-to-day expenses for the first few years.

Additionally, we strongly encourage that before you begin identifying locations or start the permitting/licensing process, you determine your ownership structure. Please consider the advantages and disadvantages of the following legal structures: Sole Proprietor (Owner), Partnership (General or Limited), Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Liability Company, Corporations (Different Types), Fiduciary, Association, Business Trust, etc. The Columbus Bar Association’s Find a Lawyer is an excellent – and free! – service that connects entrepreneurs just like yourself to outstanding attorneys licensed to practice law here in the State of Ohio. Additionally, you can call the Columbus Bar Lawyer Referral Service from 8:30am-5:00pm at (614) 221-0754 or toll-free at (877) 560-1014.

Last, and perhaps most important, you will be carefully guided in developing a marketing plan, or put another way, your 'program's philosophy.' This method of branding your business will give potential clients an immediate sense of who you are and what their child or children stand to gain from your child care program! As will be discussed below, a great opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the child care field and its needs is the optional “How to Start” training program available at Action for Children (AFC), located at 78 Jefferson Ave., Columbus, OH 43215. You may contact AFC at (614) 224-0222.

Finally, during the planning phase of your business, it is strongly encouraged that you and any potential employees have background checks conducted as early as possible.

Block A

Begin Planning Type A Daycare CCC and Type A day care centers permit seven or more children of any age. All CCC and Type A care centers must be licensed through the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) - learn more

Block B

Begin Planning your Type B In-Home Day Care A Type B in-home day care permits one to six children to be cared for in the provider's personal residence. No more than three children may be less than 2 years of age at any time. The provider's own children under 6 years of age must be included in the total count. - learn more