Licensing Process

Child care licensing fees are suspended until June 30, 2023; however, due to recently passed legislation, effective July 1, 2023, child care fees will be required.

The early learning program licensing process begins with an online orientation, where the information will be available in two e-learning modules. The online modules are available in English, Spanish and Somali.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the first module, you will:

  •  Have a general understanding of why quality early learning care is important
  •  Be able to identify the different roles within the early learning community
  •  Be able to identify the different licensed facility types
  •  Identify the ages that early learning programs serve
  •  Have a general understanding of Washington's quality rating improvement system

Upon completion of the second module, you will:

  •  Learn the difference between WAC and RCW, and how to navigate the WAC
  •  Understand the requirements for your facility to be licensed or certified
  •  Identify the education requirements for the different early learning provider roles
  •  Identify the variables involved in developing your business
  •  Identify what a licensing visit looks like and the expectations of the licensee
  •  Understand the application process and timelines
  •  Understand the role of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families

If you require another language besides English, Spanish or Somali, or have another special accommodation, please email with the following information and our orientation team will get in contact with you:

  •  Your full name
  •  Phone number
  •  Email address
  •  Physical address of the early learning program
  •  Anticipated date of opening program

For information about participating in orientation for a school-age only site, visit the page below and follow the instructions:


Thank you for your interest in child care licensing. If you have completed the child care licensing orientation and are ready to apply for a license, please email a copy of the orientation completion certificate(s) to to get access to the provider portal and online application.

If you have additional questions about child care licensing (such as WAC questions or the licensing process), please contact

If you want to know the status of your submitted application and it has been at least six days, please contact your licensor or your local licensing office.