How to Open a Child Care Center

The following is a list of steps that will aid you and your organization in opening a child care center in DuPage County.

Step One: The Initial Inquiry

Contact Environmental Health (EH) Services for information regarding standards, plan review guidelines and any questions regarding your project. If serving food, a food permit is required. A copy of our food construction guide and plan review application is available upon request.

Step Two: Submit Plans

One set of building plans are to be submitted, including the child care facility plan review guide. If serving food, a food service plan review form and food service plan review fee payable to DuPage County Health Department will also be required.

Step Three: The Review Process

The area EH Specialist reviews the plans.

Step Four: Approval Process

Plans may need additional information or changes prior to approval. In addition to personal consultations, correspondence indicating the status of a proposed plan for a child care center will be sent to the applicant.

Step Five: Initiate On-Site Construction

Upon receipt of all necessary information and approval of plans, notification is sent to the applicant to begin construction. The approval letter details a series of inspections that are required prior to your opening day.

Step Six: Inspection

Listed below are inspections that will need to be scheduled with the area EH Specialist.

  • Plumbing Rough-In
  • Pre-Opening
  • Operations Opening

Child Care Center Opening Checklist

Did you:

  • Contact the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for licensing information
  • Contact your local building and zoning department for their requirements
  • Contact your area EH Specialist at the local public health center
  • Submit complete building plans and plan review forms
  • Submit plan review fee, if serving food and enroll in a Certified Food Protection Manager course to obtain manager certification

Last Reviewed: 1/26/2024