Starting a Family Day Care

Have You Done Your Homework?

If caring for children sounds like it could be the career for you, bear in mind that the more professional your approach, the more successful your program. That means doing the research to become a licensed provider. The benefits of being a licensed provider include:

  • Support and practical advice to get your business up and running
  • Eligibility for funds to purchase equipment
  • Eligibility for programs that reimburse providers for food
  • Training in CPR and first aid
  • Assurance for your clients that your home meets standard safety requirements
  • Peace of mind for your clients that you have the necessary skills to care for their child

To get started, call your local child-care resource agency, listed in your yellow pages, or visit to learn about your state's licensing process. Contact the National Association for the Education of Young Children ( and request their workbook "Opening Your Door to Children: How to Start a Family Day Care Program."

Once you're up and running, join professional associations such as the National Association of Family Child Care ( to seek accreditation and stay current on the field of family child care. Its requirements exceed those of any state's licensing procedure. It will give clients added confidence in your abilities.

Additional reporting by Amy Zintl

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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