Become a Child Care Provider

Our Valley Needs You!

What you should know...

  There is a shortage of licensed child care slots in Walla Walla and Columbia Counties particularly for:

  • Infants and Toddlers (children under the age of three)

  • Child Care at Non Standard Hours (child care for 12 hour shifts, evenings, early mornings and weekends)

  • Drop In Child Care

  • Child Care located outside the City of Walla Walla

Contact us for more info!

  Owning a child care business can be a way to support your family and support others, while spending time with your own children.

A Good Candidate

You may be a good candidate to start a child care business if..

  • You enjoy being around young children
  • You want to care for your own children and take care of others
  • You want to be an entrepreneur
  • You enjoy challenges
  • You want to serve your community
  • You can obtain a federal tax ID or EIN number
  • You own your home or your landlord permits a licensed family child care business in your

Myth Busting...

What You May Have Heard

  • The licensing requirements are too strict
  • I’ll go broke operating a child care center
  • I have to have a B.A. in education to open a child care program
  • The state system is impossible to navigate
  • There is no support for child care providers operating a business

Myth: The licensing requirements are too strict

  • The licensing process can be strict to ensure that children are well care for. But it is doable.
  • Working with WWVELC, you will have support every step of the way.
  • Becoming a provider is easier than before thanks to changed education requirements, increased state subsidy reimbursement and streamlined licensing processes
  • Having realistic expectations throughout this process is important- if you have a background in ECE and don’t need to make a lot of changes to your home you could become licensed and open your business in about 6- 9 months, otherwise plan for 12-18 months.

The Process

I'm ready to start the process!

Process for Starting Your Child Care Business

  • Figure out what stage of the process you are at
  • Find out what changes you may need to make to your home for it to be licensed
  • Research what programs and services might be the most useful or helpful for you (See our other Provider Resources)
  • Complete education requirements for opening and develop an education pathway that makes sense for you
  • Develop a business plan, profit/loss and finding financing
  • Make changes to your home, create curriculum, health and safety policies
  • Start, complete and submit the licensing application
  • Participate in licensing inspection and approval process

Sound like a lot? Don't worry, WWVELC will walk you through the process and be there every step of the way.

Interested? Here are first steps: 

Contact Us

Fill out the form below if interested or want more information about becoming a Child Care Provider in the Walla Walla and Columbia county regions.

Your Name *
Email Address *
Phone Number *
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Eiledon McClellan

Early Learning Coalition Program Director

Center for Children and Families

1150 W. Chestnut

Walla Walla, WA 99362


Phone: 509-526-1777