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California family child care licensing: Eligibility

This post is a part of our series on California family child care licensing. For more on licensing in California, see the following posts:

California Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
Types of Licenses
The Licensing Process
Training Requirements
Home Requirements


If you’re planning to open an in-home preschool, you will have to meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements will differ slightly depending on the type of license you’ll be applying for:

Family Child Care Home Licensee Qualifications

  • Age: Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Home: Must live in a home
  • Completed Family Child Care Application submitted to Community Care Licensing
  • Criminal record Clearance: must obtain a criminal record clearance for all adults in the home
  • Child Abuse Central Index Check: The applicant shall submit the Child Abuse Central Index checks for all individuals required to be checked directly to the California Department of Justice at the same time that the individual’s fingerprints are submitted for a criminal background check.
  • Proof of certain immunizations (MMR, Whooping cough, and flu shot) and negative TB test for all adults in the home
  • Health & Safety Training: Must complete the required trainings from EMSA approved vendor, or other approved source:
    • Orientation for starting a family child care
    • Preventive Health Practices
    • Pediatric First Aid and CPR certification
    • Mandated Reporter Training
  • Home meets the requirements for safety precautions and is set up and ready to care for children (Please refer to the Pre-licensing readiness checklist)

Additional Requirements for Large Family Child Care Home
Large Family Child Care Home applicants must show proof of 1 year of experience:

  • As a Small Family Child Care Home licensee, or
  • As a teacher or director of a licensed Child Care Center.

Sources: CDSS Family Child Care Home Provider RequirementsCalifornia Department of Social Services (CDSS)Title 22: Family Child Care Homes


Wonderschool is a network of quality in-home early childhood programs. Our mission is to ensure that every child has access to a home away from home that helps them realize their full potential. We work with experienced educators and child care providers to help them start their own child care or preschool out of their homes, whether they live in apartments, condos, or homes that they rent or own.