(1) Any individual, agency, or group may apply for a license to operate a child care center, or may apply for a registration certificate to operate a family child care facility or a group child care facility. Applications may be obtained from the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Quality Assurance Division, Licensure Bureau, P.O. Box 202953, 2401 Colonial Drive, Helena, MT 59620-2953.
(2) Applications for a license or registration certificate by Indians residing on Indian reservations must follow the requirements of 52-2-722, MCA.
(3) Before a regular child care center license may be granted, the applicant must have the following:
(a) an annual approved inspection report from the state fire marshal or the fire marshal's official designee indicating the fire safety rules have been met;
(b) an annual approved inspection report from public health authorities certifying the satisfactory completion of training or a certificate of approval following inspection by local health authorities in accordance with ARM 37.95.128, 37.95.139, 37.95.140, and 37.95.205 through 37.95.227;
(c) proof of current fire and liability insurance coverage for the child care center;
(d) a schedule of daily activities;
(e) a sample weekly menu;
(f) a signed health attestation for each staff member who has direct contact with the children in care;
(g) satisfactory background check results;
(h) list of each staff person's legal name, position, age, residential and mailing addresses, and telephone numbers;
(i) a written emergency disaster plan for all buildings used for child care services in accordance with ARM 37.95.124; and
(j) such other information which may be requested by the department to determine compliance with the licensing requirements.
(4) Before a regular group or family child care facility registration certificate may be granted, the applicant must have the following:
(a) a health attestation for each staff member who has direct contact with the children in care;
(b) proof of current fire and liability insurance coverage for the provision of child care in the facility;
(c) satisfactory background check results;
(d) a written emergency disaster plan in accordance with ARM 37.95.124; and
(e) any such other information which may be requested by the department.
(5) Applications for renewal shall be made by the provider at least 30 days prior to expiration of the license or registration certificate.
(6) A child care facility may not provide care for more than the number of children permitted at any one time by its child care license or registration certificate.
(7) Any individual, group, or other agency may request that the department determine whether a facility should be licensed or registered according to law. Referral may be either in writing or by telephone.
(8) After receiving a written request from a director, any provision of a rule within this chapter may be waived at the discretion of the department where the department has the authority to do so and if the department determines that the health and safety to the children in care is not diminished. The written request must:
(a) include the basis for request such as significant hardship to facility;
(b) propose an alternative that is consistent with best practices in early childhood standards; and
(c) demonstrate that the alternative will meet the intent of the rule.