How to Become a Licensed Child Care Provider
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A FAMILY CHILD CARE HOME is operated in the licensee's own home.  A Family Child Care Home provides non-medical care and supervision to 14 or fewer children in a home-like environment for less than 24 hours.

To become a Family Child Care Home provider, you will need to be licensed.  Here are a few good reasons for you to make the effort to become a licensed Family Child Care Home provider.
You are licensed by the State of California.
Resource and Referral (R&R) agencies refer parents to you.
Your home is considered safe and meets basic health and safety requirements.
You may be able to receive reimbursements for the meals and snacks you serve to the children in your care through the United States Department of Agriculture, Child & Adult Care Food Program.

You must contact your nearest CCLD Office. Find out when and where the next Family Child Care Orientation meeting will be held and make a reservation to attend the orientation. There are two CCLD offices in Los Angeles County:
Los Angeles East Regional Office
1000 Corporate Center Drive
Suite 200 B
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(323) 981-3350
Los Angeles Northwest Regional Office
6167 Bristol Parkway
Suite 400
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 337-4333
State Child Care Orientations are held frequently throughout Los Angeles County and are offered in different languages.  You should be able to find a State Child Care Orientation near your home.

At the orientation, you will receive the following information:
Regulation requirements on becoming a licensee for your home/facility.
A copy of the California Code of Regulations, Title 22 for Family Child Care Homes.
Criminal clearance information and options.
An application packet and zip code listing that includes all zip codes serviced by the CCLD Office.
Resource and Referral information.
Orientation Certificate, verifying your attendance.
Regulation requirements on becoming a licensee for your home/facility.

Send your completed application package to the Community Care Licensing Office handling your zip code along with the following FOUR items:
Small Family Child Care
0 - 8 Child Capacity
Large Family Child Care
0 - 14 Child Capacity*
*Documentation outlining your qualifying experience to be a large Family Child Care Home provider must be included in your application.
To protect children against Tuberculosis (TB - a highly contagious disease), you and everyone in your home who is age 18 and over (including any assistants) must get a TB test. This can be done at a doctor's office or at a public health or community clinic. The results of the TB test for all household members must be included in your application.
Where Do I Get a TB Skin Test?

Public Health Centers
Your health care provider or HMO
A student health center if you are a college student
How Much Will a TB Skin Test Cost?

There may be a small fee at a clinic or public health center, or free with your health care provider or HMO.

The orientation certificate is good for six (6) months from the date of issuance.

You may contact your local Community College or American Red Cross for places to obtain training and your certification.
The law states you are required to complete a 15-hour CPR/First Aid/Health and Safety Course and obtain certification to be a licensed Family Child Care Provider.

The courses required are:
Infant/Pediatric CPR.
First Aid/Health and Safety.
How Much Will It Cost?

CPR/First Aid/Health and Safety trianing could cost between $10 - $70.

Once the Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) office accepts your application, the CCLD office has 60 days to license you. You will receive the following THREE items:
An acceptance letter with the name and phone number of your Licensing Analyst.
A facility/license number.
Criminal Clearance Information: Once you receive this information, it is recommended that you submit your criminal clearances immediately to ensure timely processing.

All adults must submit three types of criminal clearances:

Department of Justice

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Child Abuse Index Check
By law, you must submit criminal clearance information for the following people:
You (the Family Child Care Provider)
All adults (age 18 and over) living in your home.
All adults who will have contact with the children.
Anyone you hire to help care for the children in your care.
If you already have criminal clearances with CCLD or Trust Line, ask your Licensing Analyst if those may be used. Fingerprint checks will determine if you or any of the other persons required to be fingerprinted have been convicted of any crime other than minor traffic violations.

If your facility license is denied for an offense other than child abuse, violent felonies or crimes against children, you may request an exemption from the Director of California Department of Social Services. Your licensing agency can help you apply for the exemption.
You will receive information on LIVE SCAN. LIVE SCAN is an electronic way of submitting your fringerprints for criminal clearance. There are many locations throughout Los Angeles County where you may have this done. You will receive a listing of agencies from CCLD offering the LIVE SCAN service.
LIVE SCAN - $16.00 per adult
Department of Justice - No Charge
FBI - $17.00 per adult
Child Abuse Index Check - $15.00 per adult

The LIVE SCAN agency charges a Service Fee, which varies from agency to agency.

Your LICENSING ANALYST will call you shortly after your application is received. They will discuss your readiness (i.e., things you may still need to do or get to become licensed).
Your Licensing Analyst will call you to arrange a pre-licensing inspection visit of your home/facility. During this visit, the Licensing Analyst will discuss forms you are required to maintain for children and your home/facility. The Licensing Analyst will notify you of any recommendations for improvements to ensure that your home/facility meets regulatory requirements. You will have extra time to fulfill these recommendations. The Licensing Analyst will leave you a written report of everything discussed at this visit.
The Community Care Licensing office may find out that you have been operating an unlicensed home, either because someone reported this or you tell them (sometimes in the licensing process itself). You will be given a Notice of Operation in Violation of the Law and a 15-day grace period in which you must apply for a license. If you do not, the State can stop you from operating. Before this happens, get your application started immediately. You may be allowed to continue operating while your application is being processed.
You may want to get started right now. You can begin if you take care of just one family's child or children. You can do that while you are waiting for your license. You will get a feeling of what it is like to take care of someone else's child. You may have plenty of experience informally taking care of a friend's or relative's child for short periods of time, but it may be different trying it with another family and being paid for it.

Another possibility would be to work as an assistant for a Family Child Care Home provider to give you a good sense of what being a Family Child Care provider is all about.

Family Child Care programs are not all the same.  You have many decisions to make.  You do not have to decide now and, in fact, these decisions are probably better made after you have gone to an Orientation meeting, read the licensing materials and talk with a licensing evaluator.

There is a need for child care providers for children from a few weeks old to middle school. The greatest need is for infant care, but many parents need child care for the hours before and after kindergarten. School-aged children do not need as many hours of care as infants. Caring for school-aged children, you would work perhaps a few hours before school and more hours after school until parents can pick up their children.  Deciding on the ages you would like to care for is up to you.

It may seem confusing and time-consuming, but there are many agencies available to help you become a licensed Family Child Care Provider. Below is a listing of those people and agencies:

Offers a wide variety of information such as referrals for health screening, how to deal with head lice, recipes for nutritional lunches, how to spot child abuse, etc. You can bounce off concerns and questions and experts will listen and suggest how to handle a situation and offer resources in your area. Nurses and other professionals will call you back within 24 hours (if they can't immediately respond to your questions).

University of California San Francisco Childcare Health Program
Phone: (800) 333-3212

Resource and Referral (R&Rs) Agencies
California Federation of Family Day Care Association will refer you to Family Child Care Associations which are a network of providers who get together to offer one another support, resources and information.

You can reach them at (323) 935-4035.

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