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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Child Care Facility License

Service overview

There are two types of child care facilities:

  • Family Child Care
  • Commercial Child Care

To operate a family child care facility, you need the Child Care Facility License issued by Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I).

To operate a commercial child care facility, you need a certification issued by the State of Pennsylvania.

Family child care facilities

This type of facility must:

  • Be a one- or two-family dwelling.
  • Be the child care provider’s primary residence.
  • Not serve more than the number of children approved by the Zoning Permit.
    • Areas 1 and 2: Maximum of four children
    • Area 3: Maximum of six children
    • Elsewhere in the City: Maximum of six children, except by special exception that allows a maximum of 12 children

Use the map below to find the area where your business is located.

Family child care facility areas

  • Areas 1 & 2
  • Area 3

Who

Anyone operating a Family Child Care center needs this license.

Requirements

Other licenses and registrations

Safety and inspections

Where and when

Online

You can apply online using eCLIPSE.

If you need help filing your application online, you can schedule a virtual appointment.

In person

You need an appointment to visit the Permit and License Center in person.

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.

Cost

License fee
$51

A non-refundable application fee of $20 is applied toward the license fee. The balance is due after your facility passes the fire safety inspection.

Renewal fee
$51

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application

(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)

  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info.

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You will be charged a $20 fee for collection.
  2. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect this fee directly.
  3. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
  4. If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit, or appeal application will be void.
  5. You cannot take any additional action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
  6. The permit or license will be revoked if the outstanding fees are not paid within 30 days.
  7. You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.

Late license payment

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.

How

You can apply for this license online using eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

Online

1
Upload all required documents.

Applications are reviewed within five business days.

2
Once your application is processed, L&I will request a safety inspection.

This takes about 15 days.

3
If you pass the inspection, pay the remaining fee and L&I will issue your license.

If you fail the inspection, you must correct the issues. You have 35 days to comply. Once the corrections are complete, contact the district office to schedule a new inspection.

In person

1
Visit the Permit and License Center.

Your application is reviewed while you wait.

2
Once your application is processed, L&I will request a safety inspection.

This takes about 15 days.

3
If you pass the inspection, pay the remaining fee and L&I will issue your license.

If you fail the inspection, you must correct the issues. You have 35 days to comply. Once the corrections are complete, contact the district office to schedule a new inspection.

Fire safety inspections

All family child care facilities need an annual fire safety inspection (PDF) from the City of Philadelphia.

Renewal requirements

You must renew this license annually. You can renew online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

To renew your license:

  • You must be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
  • The property is subject to annual inspection by L&I.

Forms & instructions


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