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For Providers > Getting Started

Getting Started

Why do I need to register?

Based on NYS Social Service Law 390, anyone caring for more than two (2) unrelated children on a regular basis, for less than 24 hours per day, must be registered/licensed.

Types of Legal Care In New York State

Family Child Care – NYS Registered
1 Adult (18+) in a residential home caring for 6-8 children, depending on their ages.

The provider must renew their registration. The first renewal is every 2 years, if remaining in compliance, renewal is then every 4 years.

A registered family child care provider may care for:

  • 6 young children not yet school age PLUS 2 school age children. There must be one caregiver for every 2 children under the age of 2.

Informal Child Care- Legally Exempt
1 Adult who cares for no more than 2 children other than their own and/or less than 3 hours per day.

Takes place in a residential home, and is not required to become NYS registered or licensed, but are enrolled as legal child care providers.

Group Family Child Care- NYS Licensed
2 Adults in a residential home, caring for 10-16 children.
The main provider must renew their registration. The first renewal is every 2 years, if remaining in compliance, renewal is then every 4 years

A licensed group family child care provider may care for:

  • 12 young children not yet school age PLUS 4 school age children.

*Regardless of the number of children in care, there must always be one adult caregiver present for every 2 infants under the age of 2 years in a Group Family Child Care home.

School Age Child Care- NYS Registered
Located in a commercial building, school, church, community center, or other public facility.

  • The number of children cared for depends on the square footage of each classroom space.
  • Adult to child ratio varies for young school-agers and older school-agers.

Sometimes, school age programs do not offer child care services on school days off, holidays, or vacations. Parents would need to find alternate care.

Child Care Center- NYS Licensed
Located in a commercial building, school, church, or other public facility.

  • Number of children cared for depends on square footage of each classroom space.
  • There is a different required ratio of adults to children, based on children’s ages.

Child Care Council offers a series of classes called “Start a Center” to assist you with the process of becoming a licensed Child Care Center. We also offer consulting services for a reasonable fee that could include building design, budget planning and program design.

If you are interested in opening a Child Care Center, please contact our education department at 585-654-4720.

Can I take care of children before I am registered?
You may legally care for up to 2 unrelated children on a regular basis for more than 3 hours per day. Please call the Child Care Council if you have further questions about legal capacity informal child care.

What is required of me before I become registered or licensed?
Depending on which type of child care you are going to apply for, our staff will assist you in registering for any required classes and completing any necessary paperwork. You may also visit our professional development page, which lists our course offerings.

Child Care Orientation

In order to obtain an application to apply for a child care program license or registration to operate a family day care or group family day care, you will first need to take Child Day Care Orientation. This orientation will walk you through the information you need to know to determine if you are interested and able to start a family-based child care program in New York State. This orientation will also introduce you to the important rules and regulations you need to know in order to run your business. Start by attending the class online at or take a live class with us in a group setting.

Call the Registration Department to register or for more details! (585) 654-4720

How long does it take to become registered?
Applications are valid for 6 months from the date of request.
Once you begin working on your application and receive your Documents Received Letter, you have 90 days to complete the entire application.

Do you have to follow a lot of rules in order to be registered?
The “regulations” refers to the guidelines set forth by OCFS in accordance with NYS Social Services Law 390.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services have a complete list of regulations for each type of child care on their website. Visit Site

We have staff in our office that can complete an application for you to start a family child care or child care center. For family and group family, call our registration department, and for child care centers, call our education department 585-654-4720. We will walk you through all the steps you need to begin!

Call and ask about our new training series for everything you need to begin in family child care, Starting Your Own Child Care Business 101.

Recent News

COVID Vaccine

January 15 2021

Registered and Licensed child care providers are now eligible to receive the COVID vaccine in phase 1B. You must go to this website to complete the eligibility form and make an appointment. There is detailed information on the site.

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