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New York State family child care licensing: Licensing process

How to use this guide

First of all, congratulations on taking this exciting step in your licensing journey! Trust us, we know how confusing state websites can be. Hopefully this guide will demystify some of the requirements.

  1. Keep this guide close and check things off as you go  
  2. Make use of our library of resources for additional support

Join Wonderschool for additional community support

Step 1: OCFS Online Orientation 

  • Complete the online Office of Children and Family Services Orientation here  
    • Use our tips here to help you get through the Orientation and request your application booklet

Step 2: Fill out Family Child Care Application Booklet AND Register for your CPR and First Aid Courses 

  • You will have 90 days from the date your application booklet is issued to you, so get working on it as soon as you receive it
  • Search with your zip code here for CPR and First Aid courses near you – spots fill up quickly, so register as soon as you get your application booklet
    • You will need to submit CPR and First Aid certificates along with your booklet
  • Make sure to include a check to pay for the Statewide Central Registry (SCR) background check 
    • It is $25 per person, and you will need a background check for yourself and each member of your family who is 18 years or older
  • If you need to request a new application booklet because you’ve moved/changed addresses, follow our guide here

Step 3: Register for and complete your Health and Safety Training 

  • Search with your zip code here for Health and Safety Training courses near you 
    • You do not need to complete your Health and Safety Training before submitting your application booklet, but you do need a certificate of completion in time for your inspection with a licensing analyst.

Step 4: Make an appointment for fingerprinting for yourself and your family members 

  • Call the phone number included in the fingerprinting information section in your application booklet to schedule an appointment 

Step 5: Complete OCFS Fire/Safety & Licensor Inspections

  • An OCFS representative will complete an inspection of your program to ensure it meets necessary standards

Step 6: Success!

Pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath, and get some rest– the real work is just beginning!

Minimum Requirements

  • You must have EITHER (check one)
  • 2 years of paid or unpaid work experience caring for children under 6 years of age (including your own) OR
  • 1 year of paid or unpaid experience caring for children under 6 years of age and 6 hours of training or education in early childhood development
  • Authorization for a background check to be conducted on your behalf, as part of the application packet; passing the background check for all adults over 18+ residing in the home where the family child care will be operating in
  • Medical clearance, basic physical from a medical provider (doctor, not registered nurse) that allows you to perform the typical duties of a child care provider (see page 41)
    • The medical provider is required to perform a TB test and sign off on your results

Other members in your household also needs to get a medical provider to sign off that members are healthy and can live in the household where children will be present for the daycare (see page 67)

Start, run, and grow your child care business with Wonderschool

Join Wonderschool for support throughout the licensing process, setting up your environment, making critical business decisions, and running the day-to-day of your program. You don’t have to do this alone!


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.