Community Care Licensing
In child care settings, care can be offered by both license-exempt and licensed individuals. License-exempt providers are those who care for a child or children from one other family, friend, or neighbor. In this situation, the care-giver is legally exempt from California’s licensing requirements. Licensed providers are those that care for more than one family either in their home or in a commercial setting. License-exempt caregivers have the opportunity to turn the service they provide for one family into their very own small business that serves more families and they can do so through Community Care Licensing.
What Is Community Care Licensing?
The Community Care Licensing Division is a part of California’s Department of Social Services. They oversee a variety of care services including child care, adult, and senior and the certification of each facility type.
“The Child Care Licensing Program strives to provide preventive, protective, and quality services to children in care by ensuring that licensed facilities meet established health and safety standards through monitoring facilities, providing technical assistance, and establishing partnerships with providers, parents, and the child care community”
Who Needs Community Care Licenses?
There are two types of child care environments that Community Care oversees, family child care homes and child care centers. Both types offer less than 24-hour non-medical care. Family child care is care offered from the home of a licensed provider. Many serve families with traditional and non-traditional schedules. Children may be of the same group, preschool age for example, or in mixed-age groups. A center setting often involves the care of larger groups of children in a commercial building. They are either owned and operated privately or associated with a larger corporation. They can be a part of a community center, religious organization, or non-profit.
How Does Licensing Benefit Kids in Child Care?
Children and families benefit from an environment where the caretaker is growing in their skills and knowledge. Those who go through the process of obtaining their license also have access to professional development and training opportunities that focus on the ages and stages of child development, how to create a safe and hazard free environment, and state and city regulations.
How to Become Licensed
There are many benefits for license-exempt providers who choose to pursue their license, including an increase in income, access to supportive food programs, and trainings tailored to meet your needs as a new business. California Licensing offers a step-by-step guide to obtaining your child care license whether you wish to open a home or center environment. Watch their video for answers to questions about pre-licensing inspections, needed forms related to family child care homes. Or watch here if you are interested in opening a center for infants, toddlers, or school age children. Feel free to make a visit to the closest Child Care Licensing regional office. Riverside Regional office covers all Riverside and San Bernardino County zip codes.
Your local resource and referral agency can also help walk you through the licensing process. QSSB partner Child Care Resource Center in San Bernardino County offers free workshops, pre-licensing walkthroughs of your home, technical support, mentoring and more. They offer relevant trainings on how to grow and market your business, build relationships with new families, create a healthy and safe environment, and the importance of understanding child development.
One more thing, QSSB does enroll and work with license-exempt programs. Contact us here to learn more about what participation in our program could mean for you!