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New York State family child care licensing: An overview

Dreaming of opening up your own in-home preschool or child care but not sure where to start? Chances are, you will need a license to operate your child care or school and each state has its own licensing process to become an in-home child care provider.

In New York State, any child care program planning to serve three or more children for more than three hours a day on a regular basis must obtain a license or registration. The Office of Children and Family Service (OCFS) provides support for those interested in starting child day care programs in their communities.

If you live in New York State, we’ve put together a blog post series on everything you need to know about getting licensed:

In New York, there are two types of licenses for Family Child Care: Family Child Care and Group Family Day Care. Learn more about the Types of Licenses here.

To apply for a license, you’ll have to go through an orientation. The application will then require certain inspections and safety regulations. Read more about the in-depth Licensing Process here.

To be eligible for a license, you must be at least 18 years old, have a certain number of years of experience depending on the age of the children you’ll care for, provide references, pass a background check, and more. Read more about License Eligibility.

There are certain training requirements you will have to meet within your first 6 months of employment and beyond whether you want to become a provider, assistant, or substitute teacher. To learn more about Training Requirements for Licensing, click here.

Lastly, your home will have to meet certain requirements for you to receive a child care license in New York State. These requirements include fire protection requirements and emergency escape plans as well as having all concrete floors covered and adequate indoor and outdoor space. Learn more about the 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.