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How to Become a Licensed Child Care Provider in New York

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Becoming a licensed child care provider can provide you with a way to supplement your family income or it can become a full-time business that you can use to pay all the bills. As long as you meet the requirements of your state licensing office, you can make money providing child care services. Many families rely upon this much needed service so that both parents can work to support the family. In the state of New York, licensing requirements are determined by the Office of Children and Family Services.

Research your options regarding what type of child care center you intend to open. The state of New York classifies child care centers into four categories: child care centers (non-residential; six children or more), family day care home (residential; three to six children), group family day care home (residential; seven to 12 children) and school-age child care programs (non-residential before and after school program). This will determine some of the more specific licensing requirements.

Submit your application to obtain a child care provider license. Applications are submitted to the Office of Children and Family Services. You can obtain licensing packets from state regional offices or by answering a series of questions through the department's website. Once you have answered all of the questions, you can order a packet. With your application, you must submit a filing fee of $25 (as of 2010) unless you live in one of New York City's five counties where the fee is $100.

Childproof your home or facility and prepare it for an inspection by a state licensing representative. The state will be checking to ensure that there are no dangers to children present at your facility. You will need to ensure that you have first aid kits and fire extinguishers available. You will also need flashlights and will need to cut off access to heating sources or other dangers in the house. All toys and riding toys will need to be free of sharp edges and in good working condition. Your home or facility should be cleaned and sanitized in preparation for the visit. Once you have been deemed "compliant," then the state will issue your certificate.

Complete training as required by the Office of Children and Family Service. The state of New York requires that new registrants complete 15 hours of state provided training during the first six months of registration as a child care provider. You will need to complete another 15 hours before your registration expires. Each additional time that you apply for renewal, you will need to complete a total of 30 hours of required training. Training involves coursework regarding the promotion of health and safety or children.


Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.