There are many types of child care providers and there are different rules and regulations that pertain to each. The descriptions below and the requirements outlined should start you on your path to becoming a child care provider.
Child Care Centers
Child Care Centers provide care for six or more children below 13 years of age who attend less than 24 hours a day. Child care centers are required by state law to be licensed. Under the provisions of the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers (N.J.A.C. 10:122) every person or organization caring for six or more children below 13 years of age is required to secure a license from the Office of Licensing in the Department of Children and Families, unless the program is exempt by law. Please refer to 10:122-1.2(d) for a list of these exemptions.
If you decide to pursue licensure or have any questions, call The Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing 1-877-667-9845 or click here to visit their website .
Registered Family Child Care Provider
This provider is an individual who is registered under the rules of the Family Child Care Provider Registration Act (see N.J.A.C. 10:126) and serves no more than five children at any one time.
Family, Friend, Neighbor Provider
This provider is an individual who has been evaluated and approved by the NJ Department of Human Services/Division of Family Development (DHS/DFD) or its designee and serves no more than two unrelated children for fewer than 24 hours of care per day.
These are individuals who have been evaluated and approved by DFD or its designee to care for the child in their own home for fewer than 24 hours of care per day.
If you are interested in caring for children in your home — below are some important steps you must take:
1. Submit an application to the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency for your county, along with:
- two character references;
- results of a medical examination and tuberculin Mantoux test;
- disclosures of any criminal convictions;
- consent forms for Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background checks for everyone living or working in your home who is 14 years or older.
2. Attend pre-service training sponsored by DFD or your CCR&R, which covers important health and safety topics, such as:
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- First Aid
- Prevention of Infectious Diseases
- Child Abuse and Neglect, Discipline
- Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome and Abusive Head Trauma
- Prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Safe Sleeping Practices
- Administration of Medication
- Building and Physical Premises Safety
- Handling and Storage of Hazardous Materials
- Precautions in Transporting Children (who transport children)
- Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Prevention of and Response to Emergencies Due to Food and Allergic Reactions
- Child Growth and Development
3. During pre-service training, you will also be provided with other important topics to help guide you through the registration process, as well as inform you about important regulations and policies.
4. In addition to pre-service trainings, the CCR&R will inspect your home to ensure your home complies with local, state and federal requirements for health, fire and building codes; as well as meets all Family Child Care Registration program requirements and DHS/DFD child care assistance program requirements.
5. A registration fee of $25 paid to the CCR&R is required upon issuance of a Certificate of Registration
For more information, please contact the CCR&R for your county.