Local R&R agencies located in every county in California can offer information about how to become a licensed provider. View our Provider Support & Resources page for more details and a list of other services available to providers.
Who needs a license to care for children? What does it mean to be a "licensed" family child care provider?
- People who care for children from more than one family and who are not relatives of the child in care, need to be licensed.
- People who care for their own children and also for children from just one other family do not need to be licensed.
In California, there are two types of licensed child care facilities:
Child Care Centers: A child care center is normally operated outside the licensed provider's home and provides non-medical care and supervision to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and/or school-age children for periods of less than 24 hours. These centers are usually in commercial buildings.
Family Child Care Homes: A family child care home is operated in the provider's own home and provides non-medical care and supervision to 14 or fewer children in a homelike environment for less than 24 hours.
For more detailed information about licensing requirements, contact the Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services, which oversees the licensing of all child care facilities in the state, or reach out to your local R&R agency.