Do I Need a License?
If you are providing care for your children (or those of a relative), and children from only one other family then you do not need a child care license and you are legally exempt (license-exempt) from licensure requirements in California.
If you are providing care and supervision to non-relative children from more than one family in your home or non-residential facility for periods of less than 24 hours, then you will likely need a license. There are specific instances outlined in law which allow some child care providers to legally operate without a license. These providers and facilities are referred to as license-exempt.
VIDEO: Understanding Licensed Care and License-Exempt Care
What is license-exempt care?
If you are providing care and supervision to children without a license in a home or facility that is not license-exempt you need to understand that you are breaking the law.
Operating without a license is a misdemeanor and subject to a $200 per day fine. You may also be subject to criminal charges by local law enforcement.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING A LICENSED CHILD CARE PROVIDER?
If you are interested in becoming a licensed child care provider and would like information, click on the link below for the type of license you are interested in.
Family Child Care Home Licensing Information
A Family Child Care Home must be in the licensee's own home. A Family Child Care Home reflects a home-like environment where non-medical care and supervision is provided for periods of less than 24 hours.
Child Care Center Licensing Information
A Child Care Center (or Day Care Center) is usually located in a commercial building. Non-medical care and supervision is provided for infant to school-age children in a group setting for periods of less than 24 hours.
ARE YOU CURRENTLY LICENSED AND INTERESTED IN RECENT CHANGES IN THE LICENSING PROGRAM, IN CURRENT LICENSING REQUIREMENTS, HOW TO GET FORMS ETC.?
Resources for Providers
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR CHILD CARE? DO YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT LICENSING REQUIREMENTS, HOW TO EVALUATE YOUR CHILD'S DAY CARE FACILITY, OR HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT?
Resources for Parents