Become a Child Care Provider

The first step in becoming a child care provider is to determine which type of care setting you wish to provide:

Child Care Center

A center serves 16 or more children with a staff-to-child ratio based on the age of the children. State law requires child care centers to be licensed by the Department's Child Care Licensing Program

Before school, drop-in, after school and preschool programs are not required to be licensed.

Licensing Staff inspect centers annually. Health and fire officials visit once a year. 

Group Home Child Care

Two adults provide care for 9-15 children, with a limit of six under the age of 2. Group homes must be registered. 

Family Home

A caregiver cares for 3-8 children at a time with no more than three under the age of 2. Care is offered in a homelike setting, usually in the caregiver's residence. Family child care homes must be registered.

Friend, Family, Neighbor (FFN) Provider

In this more informal type of care, a parent or legal guardian selects an individual- often a family member, friend, or neighbor to care for all the children in one family or up to 4 unrelated children. FFN Providers must be registered.

Licensing Staff inspect Group, Family Home, and FFN providers annually. 

Relative Care Exempt (RCE) Provider

In this type of care, the child is the brother, sister, first cousin, nephew, niece, grandchild, or great grandchild of the person providing child care and also includes a child in a step, foster, or adoptive relationship. This type of care is for payment purposes only, meaning the family of the child must qualify for the Best Beginnings Childcare Scholarship program. This provider role is exempt from some of the Child Care Licensing regulations.

For more information on becoming a child care provider contact the Child Care Licensing Program at (406) 444-2012.