How to Look Up License Info for Preschools & Daycare
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How to Look Up License Info for Preschools & Daycare
As of Summer 2014, parents can view complaints, violations, and
inspection dates online for
all daycares, preschools, and childcare centers in California at
the website for the
California Childcare Licensing Division (CCLD).
Previously, these records were only available to parents by phoning
or visiting the CCLD office.
If the daycare or preschool has reviews on BPN,
go to the daycare's page and find its
"License #" in the top section, above the reviews.
Click the "view" link next to License #
to go to the CCLD's report for that facility.
Here are lists of BPN reviews:
Home-based Daycares & Preschools ...
Childcare Centers ...
You can also use the "Search" function at CCLD here:
Hints for searching at CCLD:
Please (send us email
if the View link is incorrect on one of our pages so we can fix it.)
- If you are looking for a Childcare Center or Preschool that is
not in someone's home, it's easiest to search on the name of the center or school. Add the City
in to the search to narrow down common names.
- For Large Daycares (up to 14 children), which includes
Preschools based in someone's home, you must search on the owner's name, not
the name of the preschool or daycare. It is often easier to do a
search on the daycare's zip code and then pick it out from the list of matching
- Small Daycares (8 or fewer children) are difficult to look up,
because you must exactly match the owner's name as CCLD recorded it
(usually but not always "Lastname, Firstname".)
Unlike Large Daycares and Preschools, you cannot search
on the city or zip code for small daycares.
Get the license number from the daycare owner and look it up as explained
in the next section.
- To look up a specific daycare where
you know the daycare's license number, the easiest way to view
their info is to directly type a URL (web address) into your web browser.
Copy-paste the URL below into your web browser's address bar, and
substitute the license number for '000000000':
CCLD's "Facility Detail" page includes basic information about the daycare,
and also a record of inspections, complaints, and citations. Here is some
advice about what to pay attention to:
Very few daycares and preschools that are reviewed on the
have had any complaints filed.
If the daycare or preschool you are researching has one or more substantiated complaints,
find out the details from the local State
Licensing Office - the contact info is on the Facility Detail.
More than one substantiated complaint would be a very strong signal that
there's a problem with the daycare. Not all parents go to the trouble to file
a complaint - they just change daycares when there is a problem
- so multiple complaints is a red flag and warrants additional research.
- Citations: Type A citations are serious, and Type B citations
are minor. A majority of
daycares that are reviewed on the BPN website do not have any Type A citations. One or two Type B citations is not unusual, which
may represent just a paperwork deficiency, such as
failing to have an emergency contact form on hand for every child at the daycare. If you
are concerned about Type B citations, ask the daycare about it, or contact your local State
Licensing Office - see the Facility Detail for contact info. Multiple Type B
citations may indicate a lack of organization at the daycare, which may or may
not affect a parent's satisfaction with the daycare.
On the other hand, a Type A
citation can indicate a serious safety violation at the daycare, such as
more children present than the daycare is licensed for.
Since the online database currently
does not provide details about the nature of the violations, you should contact the
State Licensing Office to learn more. Multiple citations for a daycare is very
unusual and should be a strong warning sign that further research is needed.
- Lic. Date This date is not always present but when it is, it can
tell you how long the daycare has been operating. Just be aware that when a
daycare moves to a different address, they will be assigned a new license
number which resets the license date.
- State Licensing Office Contact Information This is the address and
phone number where you can get the details about citations and complaints for
the daycare you are researching.
Your child's childcare provider is required to keep 3 year's worth
of any confirmed violations and show them to you if you ask. If you want to
check a daycare or preschool that your child doesn't attend, you
can look it up in the
CCLD Database or
optionally call/visit the Regional Office and ask to review the daycare's file.
See Facility File Review
on the CCLD website.
Here is the information for Alameda and Contra Costa counties:
BAY AREA REGIONAL OFFICE
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1102, MS 29-04
Oakland, CA 94612
FAX (510) 622-2641
For other California counties,
see List of Child Care Program Offices (PDF file from CCLD).
Note: Until recently (June 2014),
California was one of the few states that did not make this
information available online. Here is a Jan 2014 report about this by the
Center for Investigative Reporting:
this page was last updated: Sep 16, 2014
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