In New York State, as a general rule, any child care program planning to serve three or more children for more than three hours a day on a regular basis must obtain a license or registration. You may learn your state’s requirements by contacting us.

It is recommended that a childcare provider obtain a license for a number of reasons:

1) a license will enhance the provider’s skills and knowledge, and assist in establishing a high-quality program,

2) licensing is one of the criteria that parents use in selecting a family child care program/provider, and

3) licensing allows the provider to deduct expenses that would otherwise not be deductible.

The application process to become a childcare provider is the same throughout New York State. The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc. (CHCF) is a Child Care Resource & Referral agency operating in New York City(NYC). The agency’s representatives are available to walk NYC applicants through the entire process or assist with any step at no cost. It may take applicants anywhere from 6-to-8 months to open a family childcare business. 

You may contact CHCF via telephone at (212) 206-1090.

Step One: Complete an Online Orientation

In order to obtain an application to apply for a family child care program license (group) or registration (family), the applicant will first need to take the Child Day Care Orientation. The orientation is available online in English with Spanish sub-titles at

Step Two: Request an Application

After completing the orientation, applicants will need to request an application from their borough Department of Health and Mental Hygiene(DOHMH or DOH). They are only eligible to request an application after successfully completing the mandated online orientation. The application will arrive in 3-to-4 weeks.

Call CHCF to request an application and a list from the DOHMH/DOH office in your borough.

Step Three: Complete the Application

The application for Family & Group Family Child Care is roughly 106 pages. Don’t panic, we can get through it together.

In order to successfully complete an application, a childcare provider will need to:

  • Complete a 15-hour NYS H&S Training **CHCF offers this course!
  • Complete CPR/First Aid Training
  • Submit 3 professional references
  • Describe your qualifications in working with children
  • Provide a history of training completed and certifications acquired
  • Submit a background check (Statewide Central Registry Database Check [SCR]) – (the provider and any household member over the age of 18)
  • Submit a Staff Exclusion List (SEL) form that will check the provider and any staff member for a history of abuse or neglect against children – (the provider and any staff member)
  • Physical/medical statement (the provider and all household members)
  • Criminal conviction (the provider and any household member over the age of 18)
  • Assistant/substitute information (if applicable)  – all assistants and substitutes will also need to submit their qualifications, training, references, medical statement, background checks, SEL and SCR forms.
  • Submit a safety form related to bodies of water on the property, use of firearms and pets (if applicable)
  • Water supply testing form
  • Fuel burning system inspection form
  • Environmental hazards inspection forms
  • An inside floor plan
  • An outside play area (even if it is a public park or recreational space)
  • Emergency relocation plan
  • Emergency evacuation diagram
  • Emergency shelter in place plan
  • Behavior management plan
  • Program guidelines and routines for infants, toddlers, pre-school and school-age children
  • Daily schedule
  • Hours of operation
  • Health Care Plan Guidelines & Health Care Plan **CHCF can help the provider develop a Health Care Plan for FREE!
  • Child support obligation statement
  • Compliance agreement (the provider signature to verify that the application is true and accurate)

Call CHCF for FREE assistance with completing the application.  To ensure all is in order before submitting, CHCF representatives are available to review the application with in detail, approx. The process takes approximately three (3) hours.

Step Four: Submit the Application

All applications in New York City must be delivered to the DOHMH borough office. The addresses are included in the application. You can click here for a list of locations.

A provider should keep a copy of the application, and request a receipt once it’s delivered.

At the same time, he/she can also set up an appointment with CHCF to learn about the different services offered to family and group family childcare providers, assistants, and substitutes, and available free-to-low-cost resources. 

Step Five: OCFS/DOHMH Perform Inspection

After receiving an application, the DOHMH will contact the provider regarding any additional information or documentation needed to complete the application and will schedule an inspection. The purpose of the inspection is to make sure the provider’s home/apartment meets state requirements for a child care business. DOHMH uses its own site inspection form to verify that the information provided in the application is accurate.

At the time of inspection, the space a provider plans to utilize must be organized as if it were already operating.

While CHCF can support the childcare providers throughout the application and start-up process, as well as with room arrangement, only New York City’s DOHMH can approve a home or apartment childcare business.  

Step Six: Receive License/Registration Decision

After an inspection is performed the providers will receive a letter determining whether or not the site has been approved for business.

Once the business is approved the provider is eligible for a Start-Up  Grant with CHCF. The grant offers $300 in materials, as well as individualized program support for the new child care business.

At this stage in the process, it is highly recommended that the provider:

  • Have an operating budget;
  • Have a contract and policy handbook for parents;
  • Start marketing and recruiting for the program;
  • Apply to receive reimbursement for meals and snacks provided through the Child Adult Care Food Program (CACFP.); and
  • Research and purchase business insurance.

CHCF can help the childcare provider every step of the way!!!  Contact us now…

Step Seven: Open for Business

CHCF recognizes that child care providers often wear different hats and play various roles. This is why it is available as a continuous support, providing group training and one-on-one individualized program assistance.

Providers can contact CHCF for assistance in a variety of areas. CHCF can help support a provider’s work with families, answer questions about behavior management or administering medication or assist with employee relations and business best practices.

CHCF is a resource for committed to helping childcare providers. CHCF recognizes that the work providers do builds communities, and is available to support them.

A childcare provider may need to hire employees depending on the number of children enrolled in the program and the type of license he/she has.

The general rules and regulations regarding staff, volunteers or substitutes, require that individuals have pre-service training, a criminal background check, including fingerprinting. There may also be requirements for medical examinations/statements, references, etc.

There are specific legal requirements for employers regarding employment eligibility verification, withholding and payment of taxes.

It is very unlikely that an assistant or substitute is an independent contractor. Misclassifying an employee is a mistake that could prove to be very costly to the business owner, who could end up owing employee-related costs such as back taxes and any applicable penalties for state and federal income taxes.

To learn more about employer responsibilities click here

Contact CHCF for Assistance

Currently, New York State’s obligatory orientation video is only available in English with Spanish sub-titles.  Please call CHCF 212-206-1090 for assistance if you need computer access or help with completing this online course in Spanish