In NYC, family child care (FCC), family day care (FDC), and group family child care (GFCC) is an on-going arrangement in which child care is provided in someone's home on a regular basis for more than 3 hours per day per child. A regulated family child care provider can care for three to six children in their home or apartment. In "group family child care," the provider, working with an assistant, cares for seven to twelve children in his or her home or apartment. These settings serve infants through school-age children. Individuals caring for 2 children or less are exempt from the licensing system.
Family child care providers in NYC can care for children aged 8 weeks through school-age.
Family child care homes providing a full day of care are generally in operation Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. However they can sometimes be more flexible than a center-based program with regard to days and hours of care.
Individuals caring for school-age children typically offer before- and after-school care, care on half days, and/or care on school holidays and vacation weeks.
The cost for family child care varies depending upon neighborhood. In NYC, the average cost of family child care is approximately $800/month.
In New York City and elsewhere family and group child care services are a licensed form of care. The following is a summary of key regulations in NYC. Links to regulations for family child care services in New York State, New Jersey, and Connecticut follow.
Family Child Care Licensing Regulations
Family Child Care
May care for up to 6 children at one time, including the provider's own children under the age of 12 years.
No more than 2 children under the age of 2 years may be in care at any time.
- If there are NO children under 2 years of age, the maximum number in care is 6.
- If ANY children under 2 years of age, the maximum number in care is 5.
Group Family Child Care
A group family child care provider must have at least one assistant present during the hours care is provided.
A group family child care provider may care for 7 to 12 children at one time, including the provider's own children under the age of 12 years.
No more than 4 children under the age of 2 years may be in care at any time;
and no more than 6 children under the age of 3 years can be cared for at any one time.
- If there are NO children under 2 years of age, the maximum number in care is 12.
- If ANY children are under 2 years of age, the maximum number in care is 10
General Staff Requirements and Qualifications
General Requirements of Providers and Others
The provider, assistant, alternative provider(s), and all others who will be in the home while the children are present must submit a recent medical form, including the results of a TB test. In addition, the provider, assistant, alternative provider(s), and all others who will be in the home while the children are present over the over the age of 18 years, must: certify that they have never been convicted of a felony, submit fingerprints, and be screened through the NYS Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment. The NYS Office of Children and Families shall perform a criminal history record check of each.
Finally, the provider, assistant, and alternative providers must submit 3 references from non-relatives to the regulatory agency. At least one reference shall attest to their employment history and one shall attest to the individual's character, habits, and personal qualifications to be a family child care provider.
All providers must be at least 18 years of age and attend an orientation conducted by the NYC Department of Health and must have a minimum of 2 years of experience caring for children under the age of 6 years, or one year experience caring for children under six years of age plus 6 hours of training or education in early childhood development.
Prior to registration each provider, assistant, and alternative provider must complete 15 hours of training plus a minimum of 15 additional hours during the first 6 months of registration for a total of 30 hours during the first year of registration. A total of 30 hours of training must be completed every two years. Training hours must be documented and verifiable.
General Licensing and Facility Requirements
General Licensing Requirements
Anyone who cares for more than two children - aged 6 weeks through 12 years - other than their own in their own personal residence must be registered or licensed. Family Child Care Providers must be registered and Group Family Child Care Providers must be licensed. The period of registration and licensing will be for up to 2 years. The registration or license must be prominently displayed.
The family child care home must meet safety requirements, including electrical outlet covers, window guards or locking devices, a fire extinguisher, smoke detectors, covered radiators and pipes, and a fully equipped first aid kit. In addition, Group Family Child Care Homes must be no higher than the 2nd floor of a fireproof apartment building or in an apartment located on the first floor, or must operate out of the first or second floor of their own single family dwelling. Basement space may be permitted. Family child care home must have two means of egress, excluding fire escapes.
Scheduled inspection by an educational consultant and a fire safety inspector from the NYC Department of Health is required before registration or licensing and for any renewal thereafter. Unannounced inspections may be made at any time and always after a complaint.
NYS Office of Children & Families (formerly NYS Department of Social Services) through the NYC Department of Health - Bureau of Day Care