Family Child Care Home-A Small Group Option


A family child care home is licensed to care for five or fewer infant  to preschool age children, and an additional three school age children(some states).  This includes children living in the home but the provider’s own school-age children are not counted in the ratio.   (Individuals caring for one or two children are exempt from being licensed.)  Many Family Child Care homes will provide care up to midnight to accommodate family who works that second shift.  The provider’s home is the business location and often can be found right in your own neighborhood.  Licenses are issued to family child care home providers who meet a specified list of state requirements.  Many state licensing regulations require that family day cares provide age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate activities for the children and have required training for providers as well.  In addition, NAFCC(National Association for Family Child Care) offers Family Child care providers an opportunity to take their child care business to the top of the quality ladder through their Accreditation program.  Be sure to ask during your tour if the Family child care business has their accreditation-providers are proud of this accomplishment.

A Group Family Child Care Home is licensed child care in a personal home.  They are allowed to care for a slightly larger number of children at one time.  A group family child care provider must have an approved assistant present when caring for seven to twelve children at one time, may add one or two school age children as well.

Most providers do not advertise and rely on word of mouth and some use social media.  The best resource is to contact out your local (CCR)Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.

Pros:  Smaller environment for children who need more individualized care, children are in a more home-like family atmosphere. Many Family Childcare Homes have earned accreditation, which means they take their child care business to the top of the Quality Ladder.

Cons:  Pricing can be lower in many cases.  Location can be very convenient.

Share your comments below if this Family Child Care works best for you?

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  1. I personally like the more intimate atmosphere of small group home child care. My mother in law is a home child care provider and I think the children she watches get a lot more attention one on one with her when they are doing activities.

  2. Definitely an interesting option to consider. I’ve wondered how families with parents working odd shifts find quality childcare, and this sounds like a great option for that situation.

  3. I checked out a daycare that was close by, she’d been in business for 12 years. She was the sweetest lady I’ve ever met and years ago she turned her home into a daycare. If it wasn’t for her hours my son would have been in there. It was easier for her to interact with the children when she had a smaller class.

    • Nichole, thank you for sharing your story. Some home providers hours of operation may not be a perfect fit, however there are many that offer extended hours including weekends.

  4. I am lucky to have family take care of my son. However, I know that’s not an option for everyone so knowing this info is important! Planning ahead is key.

    • Tanay, childcare is a hard and difficult choice for parents to make. Home providers have be licensed and certified by their states. You have to make several visits to providers home to make sure its a right fit for your child.

  5. I was afraid of home care when my child was really young. After going the daycare route, home care would be my only option if I ever have more children while working.

  6. There are SO many things to think about when you become a parent, child care included. I am sure I would enjoy the smaller environment and more personalized attention for my little ones.

  7. I was always leary about this option feeling like there wasn’t enough accountability or someone monitoring the methods of the caregiver. I ulitimately quit my job and stayed home with my kids because I just didn’t trust any one with them when they add little.

  8. I’m soo not there yet, but this is good information. I’d rather have a smaller group because sometimes kids need that attention depending on their age and needs.

  9. This post was extremely informative! The smaller environment for the child seems to be more beneficial! Great information and definitely something to think about.

  10. This is really helfpul. I love that theyl imit it to less than 5 children. It seems way more intimate for the kids. And besides, when they’re in school they’ll be spending enough time with large groups as it is. Thanks for the tips!

  11. I’ve considered something like this for a hybrid homeschool option. I stay home so my kids don’t need traditional childcare but I have found a few homeschool options that operate in a similar way.

  12. We are fortunate to never need to use childcare for my girls but if I had to consider it this option seems to me more feasible for my family and something that I would look for.

  13. I definitely have enjoyed the smaller in-home learning environment for my oldest two children, but have been a stay-at-home mom for my youngest. Thank you for sharing the pros and cons!

  14. Choosing the right child care center can be scary. It was definitely scary for my twin daughters when they were small, which led me to homeschool them.

  15. My little one isn’t in care but when she did very briefly we chose in-house with less than 4 kids. This has always been my preferred option because she gets the attention and bugs don’t fly around as much as larger groups. Just my personal opinion. BUT I can also see how a slightly bigger group would be of benefit, especially when they’re a bit older (toddlers) and wanting to play all the time.

  16. i wish your article was around the time I was raising my son. I adore the idea of a smaller setting and the personalized and loving attention children receive in these type of settings. Thank you for a thoughtful article. My child is grown and off to college but I have a girlfriend who has a 18 month old. This sounds like it would be a great idea for her to look into when she returns to work.

  17. I use to provide childcare services privately, not connected with any govt services. It is a very much needed job and can provide at least a little steady income.

    • Katrina, I agree that its very important to research and visit each center or family child care home making using the child care checklist. This is certainly not a easy decision for any family to make.

  18. I was very scared when I had to put my first born in daycare, it is not easy and with the right information and research through blogs like yours, I found the perfect place 😉

  19. Really great information. I was able to stay home with my children after they were born, but I think I would’ve preferred home child care to a regular day care center. I like the family atmosphere.

  20. I think it is so important to choose a place where you trust the provider and KNOW that your child will let you know what goes on.

    Ivelisse |

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