(1) A person may operate child care for three or fewer children without having a license issued by the department. A person who is not required to be licensed may choose to apply for a license and, upon obtaining a license, shall be subject to the Child Care Licensing Act. A person who has had a license issued pursuant to this section and has had such license suspended or revoked other than for nonpayment of fees shall not operate or offer to operate a program for or provide care to any number of children until the person is licensed pursuant to this section.
(2) No person shall operate or offer to operate a program for four or more children under his or her direct supervision, care, and control at any one time from families other than that of such person without having in full force and effect a written license issued by the department upon such terms as may be prescribed by the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the department. The license may be a provisional license or an operating license. A city, village, or county which has rules, regulations, or ordinances in effect on July 10, 1984, which apply to programs operating for two or three children from different families may continue to license persons providing such programs. If the license of a person is suspended or revoked other than for nonpayment of fees, such person shall not be licensed by any city, village, or county rules, regulations, or ordinances until the person is licensed pursuant to this section.
(3) A provisional license shall be issued to all applicants following the completion of preservice orientation training approved or delivered by the department for the first year of operation. At the end of one year of operation, the department shall either issue an operating license, extend the provisional license, or deny the operating license. The provisional license may be extended once for a period of no more than six months. The decision regarding extension of the provisional license is not appealable. The provisional license may be extended if:
(a) A licensee is unable to comply with all licensure requirements and standards, is making a good faith effort to comply, and is capable of compliance within the next six months;
(b) The effect of the current inability to comply with a rule or regulation does not present an unreasonable risk to the health, safety, or well-being of children or staff; and
(c) The licensee has a written plan of correction that has been approved by the department which is to be completed within the renewal period.
(4) The department may place a provisional or operating license on corrective action status. Corrective action status is voluntary and may be in effect for up to six months. The decision regarding placement on corrective action status is not a disciplinary action and is not appealable. If the written plan of correction is not approved by the department, the department may discipline the license. A probationary license may be issued for the licensee to operate under corrective action status if the department determines that:
(a) The licensee is unable to comply with all licensure requirements and standards or has had a history of noncompliance;
(b) The effect of noncompliance with any rule or regulation does not present an unreasonable risk to the health, safety, or well-being of children or staff; and
(c) The licensee has a written plan of correction that has been approved by the department.
(5) Operating licenses issued under the Child Care Licensing Act shall remain in full force and effect subject to annual inspections and fees. The department may amend a license upon change of ownership or location. Amending a license requires a site inspection by the department at the time of amendment. When a program is to be permanently closed, the licensee shall return the license to the department within one week after the closing.
(6) The license, including any applicable status or amendment, shall be displayed by the licensee in a prominent place so that it is clearly visible to parents and others. License record information and inspection reports shall be made available by the licensee for public inspection upon request.