Choices
A Child Care Center may be your preferred choice, but the operational hours may not meet your schedule.  Choosing child care should be based on what best suits you and your child's needs.  The following will help you make an informed decision.
License-Exempt Child Care
What is it?
A child care provider who is not required to have a child care license. This could be a relative, a neighbor, a friend, somebody from your church group, etc.

It may be at another person's house or in your home.
Training/Education
No statewide standards.
Access
Providers can be found through personal networking, advertisements, or family members.
Trust Line - Regulations
Trust Line was created by the California Legislature to give parents an important tool to use when selecting a caregiver for their children.  All child care providers listed with Trust Line have submitted their fingerprints to the California Department of Justice and have no disqualifying criminal convictions in California.

If a license-exempt provider is the aunt, uncle, grandmother or grandfather of the child, related through blood or marriage, then the provider is exempt from Trust Line registration.  If the provider is not the aunt, uncle, grandmother or grandfather of the child related through blood or marriage, then the provider must be registered with Trust Line before any subsidized child care payments can be made.  The person you choose as your child care provider must be able to legally work in the United States.  You may call the Trust Line registry at 1-800-822-8490 for information on how to have your caregiver fingerprinted or you may visit the Trust Line website at www.TrustLine.org

In addition, some but not all child care providers listed with Trust Line have also received a clearance from an FBI criminal record check.
Licensed Family Child Care Home
What is it?
An arrangement in which your child is cared for by someone else in their own home and who has been licensed through the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD).

A small licensed family child care home can provide care for up to 8 children; a large family child care home can provide care for up to 14 children.
Training/Education
A license for operating a Family Child Care Home is required.  To become licensed, certain requirements must be met.  The provider and all adults living in the home need to have a criminal background clearance completed and certification on file.  Training in Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), First Aid, and Health and Safety courses must have been completed.  The provider and all adults living in the home will need to have received a Tuberculosis (TB) test and be cleared.  CCLD will have to complete an inspection of the facility to ensure State regulations have been met prior to issuing a facility license.
Access
Licensed Family Child Care Homes may be found through the local Resource & Referral network.  Your child care agency can help you with this.
Authority
CDSS' CCLD has the responsibility for licensing child care facilities under the authority of the California Health and Safety Code (Sections 1596-1597, et. seq.) and enforcing the minimum standards contained in Title 22, California Code of Regulations.
Child Care Center/Preschools
What is it?
An arrangement where care is provided in a setting similar to a school (may include infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children). 

Children are usually grouped by age and cared for in different class rooms.
Training/Education
The education requirement for a teacher's aid or assistant is 6 units of Early Childhood Education (ECE).

A qualified teacher is required to have at least 12 semester units of ECE.
Access
Child care centers and preschools can be found through local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies, yellow pages, networking and newspaper ads.
Regulations
CDSS' CCLD has the responsibility for licensing child care facilities under the California Health and Safety Code (Sections 1596-1597, et. seq.) and enforcing minimum standards contained in Title 22, California Code of Regulations.
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