What is a licensed family child care provider?
A family child care provider is licensed by the Office of Early Childhood Division of Licensing to care for no more than 6 full time and 3 school age children in his/her home. To receive an application for a family child care license and a copy of the regulations,visit Office of Early Childhood Division of Licensing on line or contact the Division of Licensing at 1-800-282-6063. In order to become licensed, there are requirements set forth. The following are some examples of these requirements. An individual must:
- Be twenty years of age or older
- Submit the names and addresses of three references
- Have a recent physical and a negative skin test for tuberculosis (within the past year of applying). All other household members will also need to meet this requirement.
- Have a criminal and protective service background check and be fingerprinted. All other household members sixteen years of age or older will also need to meet this requirement.
- Complete an approved Infant/Child First Aid training course
- Pay a $40 fee for a four year family child care license
After a complete application is submitted, a licensing specialist will schedule a visit to conduct an interview and inspect your home and yard. The specialist will explain the regulations to you and answer any questions you might have.
How do I complete the licensing process?
In addition to completing the items listed above, there are some additional things you will need to do to become licensed.
Your home will need to have the following:
- A five pound A-B-C fire extinguisher
- At least one working smoke detector for each level of your home
- A simple floor plan of your home that explains what you will do in an emergency
- Enrollment and medical forms for each child in care.
You should also consider:
- Caps to cover all electrical outlets
- Children’s books, puzzles and items for pretend play
- Toys that help develop skills and imagination (blocks, balls, dolls, etc)
- Art supplies (crayons, paper, scissors, paints, markers, etc)
- A notebook to track income and expenses
You can contact 2-1-1 Child Care to obtain information on local resources that will help you start up your family child care business.
- Child and Adult Care Food Programs
- Training Programs (First Aid, Child Development, Medication Administration)
- Family Child Care Associations
- Family Resource Centers
- Business Loans
What are the benefits of being licensed?
To operate legally in Connecticut, you must be licensed if you are caring for children not related to you for more than three hours on a consecutive basis in your home. A license allows you to take advantage of many opportunities:
- You can participate in the USDA Child & Adult Food Program which helps pay the cost of feeding children nutritious meals
- You can receive many IRS income tax deductions (a percentage of your utility bills, mortgage/rent, home repairs, equipment, etc)
- You can receive scholarships to attend trainings in early childhood education or child care conferences
- You can participate in Family Child Care Associations: local, independent groups that support family child care providers and offer trainings on a regular basis.
- You can be listed in 2-1-1 Child Care’s database: a free service offering parent referrals, technical assistance, and support services for family child care providers
How do I prepare my home?
Your home should be a place that promotes good health, growth, and development of children. Your home and any equipment must be in good repair and safe for children. Check your home for the following:
- Clean and free from sharp objects, peeling paint, and fire hazards
- Safe from electrical cords and outlets
- Clear and safe exits (at least two)
- Safe heating systems
- Clean washing and toileting areas
- Working telephone
- Protection from swimming pools or other areas of water
- Absence of poisonous substances (including plants)
- Adequate space for indoor and outdoor activities
- Safe drinking water (well water must be tested)
- Organized and well-stocked first aid supplies
- Proper ventilation, light and temperature
- Protection from pets (including vaccinations)
- Safe cabinet door fasteners
- Smoking – providers must protect children from tobacco hazards
For more information on becoming a licensed family child care provider, please contact 2-1-1 Child Care at 2-1-1 or 1-800-505-1000.