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Illinois family child care licensing: Licensing process

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

Illinois Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
Types of Licenses
Training Requirements
Home Requirements


Once you have looked at the different types of family child cares you can open in Illinois, you are ready to get started on the licensing process. Here we break down what that process looks like so you can get started becoming an in-home child care provider.

Home child care licensing process in Illinois

  • Start with the online, free orientation which can be found at DCFS Training
  • File an application with the Department of Children and Family Services, including:

    • Application for Home License;
    • List of staff and household members: A list of persons who will be working in the Day Care Home, including any substitutes and assistants, and members of the household ages 13 and up;
    • Background check authorization: Completed authorization to conduct a background check of each employee and household member of ages 13 and up;
    • Education transcripts: A copy of high school diploma, equivalent certificate, or degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or vocational institution;
    • Qualifications of a caregiver: Documentation that the applicant meets the qualifications for a caregiver;
    • Completed Child Support Certification Form
    • 3 references: The names, addresses and telephone numbers of at least 3 adults not related to the applicants, nor living in the household, who can attest to their character and suitability to provide child care;
    • Hazard Protection Plan: A written hazard protection plan identifying potential hazards within the home and outdoor area accessible to the children in care.
    • Illinois Gateways Registry membership: Proof of membership in the Gateways to Opportunity Registry by the primary caregiver and assistants;
    • Proof that the home has been tested within the last 3 years for radon;
    • Background check: everyone age 13 years and older living or working in a Day Care Home is subject to a background check. Individuals 18 and over must be printed and will receive a full check, which consists of a review of information from the Illinois State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State and National Sex Offender Registry, Illinois DCFS Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System, and the child abuse and neglect registry of any other state of residence. There is no cost for this check.
    • 15 hours of pre-service training: proof of at least 15 hours of required pre-service training on specific topics completed not more than a year prior to the application;
    • Fire Safety Inspection;
    • A medical examination, including TB, DPT, and MMR;
    • Affidavit that you are current with any child support owed;
    • Proof of liability insurance (Group Day Care Homes only): the operators of the group day care home shall carry public liability insurance in the single limit minimum amount of $100,000 per occurrence.
  • Once the application is accepted as complete and correct, and background check results have been received, the home visit will be scheduled. This visit is to verify compliance with all parts of Rule 406 (Rule 408 for Group Day Care Homes). A walk-through of the home and property will be conducted to note any safety hazards, sign other agreements and verifications, set capacity, determine areas of use, days and hours of operation, and explain required record-keeping for children enrolled and employees.

You can find the Day Care Home Licensing Standards here and the Group Day Care Home Licensing Standards here.




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.