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New York State family child care licensing: Eligibility

You must meet certain eligibility requirements to get licensed to open an in-home child care program in New York State. The provider, assistant(s), and substitute(s) teacher within the program must each meet the following qualifications:

Age: Be at least 18 years old

Education & Experience: Have a minimum of either:

  • 2 years of experience caring for children under 6 years of age or
  • 1 year of experience caring for children under 6 years of age plus 6 hours of training or education in early childhood development. The phrase “experience caring for children” can mean child-rearing as well as paid and unpaid experience caring for children. The term “training” can mean educational workshops and courses in caring for preschool-age children.

Reference: provide to the OCFS the names, addresses and daytime telephone numbers of at least 3 acceptable references, other than relatives. At least one of the references must be able to attest to your character, habits and personal qualifications to become a family child care provider, assistant, or substitute.

Medical Statement: submit a satisfactory medical statement as required.

Background checks: All caregivers and volunteers must pass background checks.

Training: If you are applying to be the provider, you must have completed a health and safety training as required before being approved for that role.

Starting your own in-home child care program? This post is a part of our New York State series on family child care licensing. More on licensing in New York:

New York State Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
Types of Licenses
The Licensing Process
Training Requirements for Licensing
Home Requirements for Licensing


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.