Alert: Beginning July 1, 2018, the Department of Early Learning will become the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). After June 30, 2018, this website will no longer be updated. For the latest information on early learning, visit the DCYF website at

Licensing Orientations


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There are several types of licensed child care in Washington. Family home child care providers care for children in the provider's home. Child care centers offer care in commercial, privately owned, school or faith-based spaces. School-age programs provide care for children ages 5 through 12 when school is out and are often located on school grounds, in commercial spaces, privately owned or faith-based locations.


To become a licensed child care provider in Washington, you must participate in a Department of Early Learning (DEL) licensing orientation, where you will receive information about:

  • Resources to help you through the licensing process.

  • Providing child care.

  • Training and other support.

  • The licensing application.

Once you submit your application, DEL has 90 days to act on your application. If you are applying to offer child care in your home, a DEL licensor will contact you to schedule an inspection. If you are applying for a child care center license, a licensor will come to the center for an inspection. For both family home and center providers, DEL staff will talk with you about how you plan to offer child care, and work closely with you throughout the licensing process.


After you become licensed, you should be in touch with your local Child Care Aware office, which provides child care referrals to families and technical assistance and training for licensed child care providers.

The Early Start Act and Becoming a Licensed Provider

Please see the Early Start Act Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for becoming a licensed provider here:

*Family home child care licensing orientations

Family home child care licensing orientations occur in two phases:

Phase one: Those interested in becoming family home child care providers must view an hour-long online presentation about family home child care licensing in Washington state. At the end of the presentation, you will be instructed to complete and print a post-orientation questionnaire. You will also be given the next steps to prepare for phase two.

Due to technical issues, the application and questionnaire links are broken in the presentation.  Please find these documents listed below:


Phase two: Contact the licensing office in your area for an in-person appointment. The outcome of that meeting determines whether you are able to proceed with becoming licensed. 

Note: You need to bring several items with you, including the post-orientation questionnaire you completed, your completed application, proof of high school diploma, licensing fee, and other items listed at the end of the online orientation. If you do not bring the completed required documents with you to this appointment, you may be asked to reschedule.

Child care centers and school-age programs

People who are interested in becoming licensed to operate a child care center or school-age program must attend an in-person orientation, which are held around the state, in English and in Spanish. To reserve a spot, call the DEL office listed with the orientation you would like to attend.


Office Child Care Center Orientations
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Class location:

415 W. Wishkah Street, Suite 2C

Aberdeen, WA 98520 

To register, call 360.407.1992

9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Class location:

805 156th Ave. NE

Bellevue, WA 98007 

To register, call 425.590.3100


9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 


Class location:

4101 Meridian Street

Oak Room

Bellingham, WA 98226 

To register, call 360.714.4118





9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

June 14, 2018

August 16, 2018

December 13, 2018


Class location:

Olympic ESD 114

105 National Ave. N.

Bremerton, WA 98312


To register, call: (360) 698-4388


9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

July 17, 2018

October 16, 2018


Class location:

Verdant Wellness Community Center

4710 196th St SW

Lynnwood, WA 98036

To register, call 425.740.6871


(see Vancouver) 


To register, call 360.993.7946


9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

June 5, 2018 *School-age only*

July 25, 2018

September 25, 2018 *School-age only*

November 6, 2018

Class location:

505 Union Ave. SE 

Republic Building, Suite 200

Olympia, WA 98504

To register, call 360.407.1992


9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Class location:

800 Oakesdale Ave. SW

Renton, WA 98057

To register, call 425.917.7949


10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

July 19, 2018

October 11, 2018

Class location:

ESD 101/Conference Center 

4202 S. Regal Street

Spokane, WA 99223

To register, call 509.789.3820


8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

May 17, 2018 *Center only*

July 19, 2018 *Center only*

September 13, 2018 *School-age only*

November 14, 2018 *Center only*


Class location:

1949 S. State Street, Room 195

Tacoma, WA 98405

To register, call 253.983.6400


9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

May 23, 2018

September 19, 2018 *School-age only*

November 14, 2018

Class location:

ESD 123

3918 West Court Street

Lewis & Clark Room

Pasco, WA 99301

To register, call 509.544.5705


9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

June 12, 2018

August 14, 2018 *School-age only*

October 9, 2018

December 11, 2018 

Class location:

907 Harney St.

Vancouver, WA 98660

To register, call 360.993.7946


9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

May 2, 2018

August 1, 2018

November 13, 2018


Class location:

805 S. Mission St.

Wenatchee, WA 98801

To register, call 509.665.5289


9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

May 17, 2018

June 14, 2018

November 8, 2018

Class location:

111 S. 2nd Avenue, Yakima Room

Yakima, WA 98902

To register, call 509.834.6847