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How To Start A Child Care Program


Child care programs, often referred to as early care and education programs, are vital to the Kentucky economy.  

59% of Kentucky children under age 6 and |62% of children age 6 to 12 have all parents working. (Source: Kids Count State Level Data Online: Kentucky Profile).

As a result, children of these families need warm, nurturing environments in which to grow and learn.

 The need for early care and education programs in the Barren River Area Development District (BRADD) served by the Western Kentucky University (WKU) Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) varies from county to county. The WKU CCR&R works with individuals to explore opportunities for new programs in the BRADD area and provides support to those in the process of starting a child care business. To talk with or request technical assistance from a WKU CCR&R staff member, please contact our office:

(270) 745-2216
(800) 621-5908  

To access Kentucky Child Care Program regulations, please go to the Division of Regulated Child Care’s website.  

Because the Kentucky Child Care Regulations are the minimum requirements for providing child care in Kentucky and may not reflect best practice, please visit the links on the right to gather information on best practices in child care.  

You may also contact the WKU CCR&R for information on designing your program so that you are providing the best possible care for children: (270) 745-2216 or (800) 621-5908  

Learn about Levels or Types of Early Care and Education Programs.

Do you need information about STARS for KIDS NOW, Kentucky's voluntary child care quality rating system or Kentucky's Early Childhood Development Scholarships?

Visit the Quality Enhancement Initiative website for information.

Download the 2010/2011 STARS For Kids Now Overview Information Sheet and Calendar.

Helpful Links

The Afterschool Alliance
Information on starting an afterschool program in your community.  

Afterschool Investments
A resource guide to financing an afterschool program. Listing of publications on budgeting, Finding Funding, Building Partnerships, Grant Writing, and Community Fundraising.  

The Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP)
This program assists providers in improving the quality of meals and snacks provided in child care settings through provider education and financial assistance. In Kentucky, the CACFP is administered by the Kentucky Department of Education. For more details, write or call: 

Division of School & Community Nutrition
1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 250
Frankfort, KY 40601

Child Protection Services
This site provides contact for child abuse and neglect reporting.    

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS Starting a Business web site provides helpful tax related information for individuals thinking about starting a small business.  

The IRS Child Care Tax Center
The IRS Child Care Tax Center offers tax information specific to child care programs.  

Kentucky QuickFacts form the U.S. Census Bureau
This site provides demographic information about Kentucky that may be helpful in planning for starting a child care business.  

The National Association for Family Child Care Homes (NAFCC)
The NAFCC is a professional organization for FCCH’s that provides information on best practice in the FCCH setting, professional development conferences and literature, and a FCCH accreditation system.    

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
The NAEYC is a professional organization for early care and education professionals that provides information on best practice in the child care centers, professional development conferences and literature, information for families, information on early childhood issues, and a child care center accreditation system.    

The Western Kentucky University (WKU) Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
This agency provides counseling and training to individuals who are thing about starting a small business and provide direction in writing a business plan and/or loan proposal.

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 Last Modified 11/13/14