Types of Child Care

Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) is the California State agency responsible for licensing, inspection and monitoring child care outside of the child’s homes.

Licensed Child Care

Is regulated by Title 22 of the California Health and Safety Code to protect the health and safety of children in child care.

  • Family Child Care (FCC): “Family Day Care” or “Family Child Care” is regularly provided care, protection and supervision of children, in the caregiver’s own home, for periods of less than 24 hours per day. Family child care licenses are given in two capacities – small capacity license and large capacity license. FCC providers are not required to have taken any child development classes but some have chosen to do so.
  • Small license: Homes that are licensed to care for group sizes of six or eight, (or the provider can choose to care for fewer) children. The child count is based on the number of children in attendance at any one time. Small family child care homes are not required to have an assistant.
  • Large license: Large family child care homes can care for 12 or 14 children. An assistant is required in a large family child care home when there are more than eight children in attendance at any one time. Large FCC homes must pass a fire inspection, and the caregiver must have one-year prior experience with a small FCC license or had comparable experience in a related setting.
  • Child Care Center: “Child Care Center” or “Day Care Center” is any child care facility in which less than 24-hour per day non-medical care and supervision is provided to children in a group setting. Centers are often structured programs, with regulation that require teachers working in the centers to have a certain number of early childhood education (ECE) units. Child care centers usually have more children in care and have a larger staff working with children. Licensing regulations require certain teacher-child ratios and limit mixed age children groups.

Education, Training and Other Qualifications

  • Child care aides in FCC must be 14 years of age or older, and in centers must be 18 years or older.
  • Child care centers teachers must have completed a minimum of 12 units of Early Childhood Education.

Health and Safety Code requires that:

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  • All adults working with children in a child care center or living in a family child care home setting, pass a criminal background check and be free of tuberculosis.
  • In child care centers and family child care homes at least one person must always be on site who is CPR certified. In centers, one person must be on site that has completed 16 hours of health and safety training. In family child care homes the licensee(s) are also required to have completed 16 hours of health and safety training.
  • Both FCC and centers are required to adhere to Title 22 of the Health and Safety Code regulations. According to facility type, additional regulation includes meeting building, fire, and zoning codes.

State law requires that licensed child care facilities make any licensing report pertaining to the Family Child Care Home or center facility inspection available to the public. The complaint and violation record of a licensed child care facility is public, that information can be accessed by contacting CCLD at 844-538-8766 or by visiting their website: www.ccld.ca.gov. ICES can give you step-by-step directions of how to access that information at the CCLD website, please contact ICES if you would like that information at (209) 966-4474.

What Types of Child Care are Exempt from Licensure?

Care provided by family, friends, or neighbors (FFN) for the children of one family that may be provided in a variety of ways:

    • In the FFN’s home
    • In the parent’s home
  • Cooperative care arrangements between parents/legal guardian or specific family member for the care of their children where no payment is involved and through combined efforts, rotate as caregivers. No more than 12 children are receiving care in the same place at the same time.
  • A one day per week program that operates a child care program for no more than four hours on that one day.
  • A public school and/or private school that operates a before and/or after school-based child care program run by teachers employed by the school or school district.
  • A public recreation program operated by the city, state, county, community college district, chartered city or county that meets the criteria outlined in Title 22 Exemption from License sections.

Health and Safety Code does not apply to license-exempt child care, but caregivers can be registered with Trustline, the Caregiver Background Check Bureau. Fingerprints are submitted and background checks are conducted to clear the individual from disqualifying criminal convictions. Public and/or private schools background checks are often required for school district employees.

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