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Child Care Locator Fact Sheet

The Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act (10 O.S., § 401-410), enacted in 1963, authorizes DHS to administer the licensing program. This responsibility includes developing minimum requirements for child care programs, revising existing requirements, and implementing policies and procedures for the licensing program. The foundation of quality child care is a strong licensing program.

Oklahoma licensing requirements have many detailed regulations intended to protect children from illness and harm; to safeguard the health and safety of children while in care. Child Care Licensing works in partnership with providers and parents to protect the safety and well-being of children while in out-of-home care.

The following health and safety items are monitored by Child Care Services: 

  • Background Investigations
  • Behavior and guidance
  • Caregiver qualifications, responsibilities and professional development (including Pediatric first aid and CPR) 
  • Child abuse and neglect definition, identification, and mandatory reporting
  • Cleanliness and sanitation 
  • Daily routine 
  • Diapering and toileting
  • Emergency preparedness 
  • Equipment (indoor and outdoor)
  • Food and nutrition (including response to emergencies due to food allergies and allergic reactions)
  • General records and documentation
  • Hazards (building and physical premise safety including identification of and protection from hazards that can cause bodily injury, such as electrical hazards, bodies of water, and vehicular traffic
  • Handling and storage of hazardous materials and disposal of biocontaminants) 
  • Health protection and disease control (including prevention and control of infectious diseases, including immunizations) 
  • Higher risk activities
  • Licensed capacity
  • Medication administration
  • Necessity and issuance of a permit or license 
  • Parent communication and family engagement
  • Prevention of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma
  • Ratios and group sizes of children  in care
  • Rest time requirements (including safe sleep practices and sudden infant death syndrome)
  • Supervision
  • Transportation safety 

Background investigations are required per 10 O.S. § 401 et seq., Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act (Licensing Act), for owners, prior to authorization to operate; responsible entities, prior to authorization to operate and when there is a change in a responsible entity; personnel applicants, prior to hire; individuals with unsupervised access to children, prior to having access to children; adults living in the facility, prior to authorization to operate or moving into the facility of an existing program. This includes children who turn 18 years of age while living in the facility; and individuals who have access to or review of the fingerprint results, prior to access to or review of the results.

  • Individuals with criminal history prohibitions are prohibited from being the owner or responsible entity, being employed, living in the facility, or having access to children, such as being present at the facility during the hours of operation or present with the children in care while off-site, when the individual has criminal history.  
  • To find a complete list of prohibited offenses you may access our hyperlink Licensing Policies and Practices page to review Licensing requirements. 

The child care locator is a place where parents, providers, and the public can view information about child care programs. The child care locator provides the following information:

  • The name, phone number, address and star status1 of the child care program. It also lists the purpose of the visit and any non-compliance2 observed. 
  • The monitoring history of licensed child care programs for the last 36 months.
  • The date, allegation, and finding for all completed licensing complaints with substantiated findings.

1 The star level consists of programs that participate in the Reaching for the Stars Program. There are 4 levels of rating programs in which specified Differential Quality certification criteria must be met.   The levels are 1, 1*, 2, & 3. A One Star program meets Oklahoma’s minimum licensing requirements, while a Three Star program meets higher national standards and is the highest level.  Child Care providers volunteer to make quality improvements above a One Star rating. 

2 A non-compliance identifies a violation of a licensing requirement. 

No. Oklahoma Child Care Services refers abuse/neglect allegations to DHS Child Welfare for screening and/or investigation. DHS Child Welfare will issue a summary of their findings to the facility within 60 days of acceptance. If confirmed, the facility is required to post the summary for 120 days and maintain a copy in their facility file for one year. A copy of this summary is in the public file kept at the Child Care Licensing Office.

You should carefully evaluate the non-compliances for the program. Taking into consideration the requirement not being met, if it is repeated, plans to correct and how often the program is monitored by Licensing.  You may also use Form 07LC123E to help you notice important things about the place where your children will spend their days.  Every child deserves the best start in life.

Links to the Licensing Requirements as well as Reaching for the Stars criteria is available on the hyperlink Licensing Policies and Practices page.

Child care assistance that pays for all or part of a child’s care based on eligibility guidelines.  More information on subsidy assistance is available from DHS Adult and Family Services hyperlink Child Care Subsidy. 

Click here to access the Child Care Locator.

Last Modified on May 31, 2024
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