Child Care

Home Care vs Day Care

A child care facility provides non-medical care to children for less than 24 hours a day. Child care facilities include day care centers and family day care homes.

Day care centers provide care for 15 or more children and are not located in the provider's home. These include infant centers, preschools and extended day care facilities.

Family day care homes, on the other hand, are located in the provider's home and care for 14 or fewer children. "Large family day care homes" are for 7 - 14 children, including the children under 10 years old who live at home. "Small family day care homes" care for six or fewer children, including children under 10 years old living at home.

Where Facilities Are Permitted

Day care centers are allowed with a Minor Conditional Use Permit in all residential zoning districts, and most non-residential districts in the City of Santa Rosa. Both Large and Small family day care homes in residential zoning districts are exempt from the Minor Conditional Use Permit requirement.


To open a day care center, please visit the City's Planning Application Portal to review and complete all necessary forms for the Minor Conditional Use Permit application.

Evaluation of Applications

The planner working with you on your project will evaluate it based mainly on the following standards:
  • Noise considerations, such as play hours and areas, will be reviewed
  • Parking, necessary for the size of the facility, will be required on the provider's lot, as well as on the street
  • The planner will check the traffic circulation plan for safety
Day care centers will also be reviewed for compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood.

Other Requirements

Day care centers require environmental review and a public hearing before the Planning Commission. This public hearing requires an on-site sign.

All day care facilities require a State license.

Other Actions Required