Family Child Care Home Licensing Information


If you are considering opening a Family Child Care Home, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I enjoy working with children?
  • Am I knowledgeable about child development or willing to learn more about child development?
  • Am I ready to be a professional business owner?
  • Would I like to be able to set my own hours and wages?
  • Would I like to work at home so that I can stay at home with my own children?
  • Am I willing to open my home to other families and to have my home inspected by the Child Care Licensing Agency?
  • Is my family supportive of my plans to operate a Family Child Care Home, and are they willing to get criminal background checks and meet all the requirements of people in the home?
  • Am I willing to meet all licensing requirements and, if required, make changes to my home (e.g. build a 5-foot fence around my swimming pool)?
  • Am I ready to take responsibility for the health and safety of children other than my own?

If so, Family Child Care may offer you a rewarding and challenging career opportunity.

VIDEO: Is Family Child Care the Rights Business for Me?


In order to get a Family Child Care Home License:

1. You must attend an orientation

You may register for an online orientation or in-person orientation. In-person orientations are scheduled on a regular basis throughout California.

There is an orientation fee and it is nonrefundable, so be sure that you meet the qualifications for a license before you sign up for an orientation.

To review the qualifications for a license and Pre-Orientation Registration Information, click on the appropriate link: (English), (Espanol/Spanish), (Chinese).

You may sign up for an in-person orientation by viewing the orientation schedules and contacting your local Regional Office. The Regional Office directory will show you what counties each Child Care Licensing office covers. Online orientations are available as soon as you register.  

2. You must be familiar with all Family Child Care Home licensing laws and regulations.

The Family Child Care Home licensing requirements are available on our Laws and Regulations page.

3. You must complete and submit all the information and forms required in the application packet. We will not accept your application until after you have completed the orientation. There is an application fee that is nonrefundable.

4. You must undergo a pre-licensing inspection. A Licensing Program Analyst will contact you to schedule an inspection of your home.

If you are ready to sign up for an orientation, please view the orientation schedules and contact your local licensing office or register for an online orientation.

VIDEO: How to Apply for a Family Child Care License.