Child Care Center Operators
Child Care Licensing Fees
Produced by the Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services
[The series host speaks in a preschool classroom.]
Paying the one-time application fee and annual fees is required of every California licensed childcare provider. These fees serve important and positive functions. So in this video, we’ll review the most important things for you to know about childcare licensing fees.
[Two licensing representatives speak.]
Community Care Licensing Representative 1:
Licensing fees cover a small portion of the cost of guidance and other resources that providers need to protect the health and safety of children in their care.
Community Care Licensing Representative 2:
All state-licensed childcare facilities must pay annual fees that enable the facility to remain licensed and in business. This also provides families the reassurance that the licensed facility they choose follows all regulations designed for the benefit of children’s health and safety.
[The host speaks, and the questions she asks are displayed on a white board.]
What must I know about my licensing fees?
There are two types of fees: one-time fees and yearly fees.
- There is a one-time fee that covers the training that each family childcare provider or center-based licensee is required to take prior to beginning operations.
[The host speaks as the corresponding content is displayed onscreen.]
- The one-time orientation fee for family childcare home providers is $25. The one-time orientation fee for childcare center licensees is $50.
There is also a one-time application fee due at the time of application submittal.
- A small family childcare home’s one-time application fee is $73.
- A large family childcare home’s one-time application fee is $140.
- A childcare center’s application fee will vary significantly depending on the planned capacity of the center.
Every licensee must also pay a yearly licensing fee.
- A small family childcare home’s annual licensing fee is $73.
- A large family childcare home’s annual licensing fee is $140.
- A childcare center’s annual licensing fee is equal to one-half of the application fee.
It’s important to be aware that, unlike income taxes, there’s no single date when everyone’s licensing fees are due. Instead, your fee is due every year as long as you remain in business on the same date your license was made effective, which is the date that’s on your license.
Keep in mind that your fees cover the year ahead, not the prior year. Sixty days before your annual fee is due, Licensing will send you a bill that specifies the amount and due date.
[A sample bill, with an arrow pointing to the due date, briefly appears.]
You are required to pay your annual fee by the anniversary date of your license. You can pay your facility’s fees two ways: online or by check or money order. To pay online, you need your PIN number.
[The bill appears again. An arrow points to the PIN number.]
You can find it on the top right corner of your bill. If you don’t have your most recent bill, you can call your local office, or LPA, to get your PIN number. The other information you’ll need to include in your online payment is your facility number.
[The bill appears again. An arrow points to the facility number.]
If you choose to mail a check or money order, include your facility number on your check or money order to ensure the money gets deposited towards your facility. If you operate more than one childcare facility, each one will owe its licensing fees on the date your license to operate that particular facility was activated. That date will probably be different for each facility so it’s important to keep track of each facility’s particular due date.
It is the Community Care Licensing Division’s policy that fees cannot be waived and cannot be refunded once they have been paid unless there is documented proof of a Department error or a genuine overpayment. If you can prove a legitimate claim, contact your regional office to begin the refund request process.
What happens if I’m late paying a fee?
If you miss making your payment on time, you’re at risk of incurring a penalty. Or, depending how late the payment is, a penalty may have already been applied. Your license will be revoked if the fee isn’t paid. If your payment is 15 days late, you’ll get a letter from Community Care Licensing, informing you that you’re seriously behind on making a payment and a penalty fee has been assessed against your facility. This fee will be added to your next year’s bill. Late payment penalties are equal to half of the amount of your annual fee. If it comes to the point that your license is revoked due to non-payment of a fee, you must cease operations immediately. If you want to resume operations, you’ll need to repeat the entire application process from the beginning.
What if I want to change the location of my facility?
If you are planning on changing the location of your facility, you must prior to relocating notify your Licensing Program Analyst and submit a new application. You must also pay a separate application fee equal to 50% of your previous fee. And be aware that the new license will have a new activity date which will also be the date on which your annual fee is based. This procedure applies to licensees of all facility types.
Can I change my capacity? For example, to expand from a small to a large family childcare home?
You can change the number of children in your care. In order to do so, you must submit a new application to your local Licensing office and pay a $25 non-refundable fee. Please note that the due date of your existing annual fee will not change. Also, if you ever need to temporarily cease providing care, talk to your LPA about how to change the status of your license to inactive.
Let’s review some key points about licensing fees. Operators of childcare facilities pay a one-time orientation fee as well as an annual fee. The annual fee is due on the anniversary of the date your license was made effective. If you want to make changes to your license, for example, the location or the capacity of your facility, you’ll need to submit the appropriate forms and fees to Community Care Licensing. By remaining current with your fees, your license will be in good standing and you’ll be able to continue providing childcare for the families that depend on you. It benefits everyone for you to make sure your fees are paid each year before the date on which they’re due.
State of California