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For Providers

Eligible child care providers receive reimbursement for serving low-income families and can draw on networks of training and technical assistance resources to help them provide high-quality child care services. Many states, territories, and tribes are committed to building a well-trained, fairly compensated, cohesive child care workforce with jobs built on intentional training and education.

Starting a Child Care Program

The Resource Guide: Starting and Operating a Child Care Business document includes information about resources in your state and community, publications with startup information, and links to information on the web. It also includes a list of national organizations with information about child care issues, including startup costs, budgeting, program development, regulations and standards, funding, and staffing.

Funding a Childcare or Afterschool Program

The Resource Guide: Starting and Operating a Child Care Business document includes information about resources in your state and community, publications with startup information, and links to other information on the web. It also includes a list of national organizations with information about child care issues, including startup costs, budgeting, program development, regulations and standards, funding, and staffing.

The U.S. Department of Education 21st Community Learning Centers Program supports the creation of learning centers for students in low-performance or high-poverty school areas. You can call 800-872-5327, email 21stCCLC@ed.gov, or visit the 21st Century Community Learning Centers website.

The Afterschool Alliance offers information about starting an afterschool program including start-up guides, funding and sustainability information, state-level resources, and more. Also, Youth.gov—a U.S. government website—contains useful information about afterschool programs.

The state child care agency responsible for giving child care subsidies to low-income families may have funds to help increase the availability of quality after-school care. A child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency can provide information about financial help and funding opportunities for afterschool programs in your community, and how to provide quality care. Some provide free equipment and information about provider support organizations, training organizations and opportunities, marketing practices, business practices, and more. Child Care Aware offers a child care finder tool that provides contact information for all state and local CCR&R agencies.

Finding Training and Professional Development Opportunities

The Resource Guide: Child Care Workforce Qualifications, Training, and Professional Development document has information designed to help you identify the education, training, and experience to qualify for a teaching or administrative role in a child care center or to operate a family child care program in your home. Information is also included to help you locate training and professional development opportunities in your community.

More information about the early childhood industry, working conditions, employment opportunities, training and advancement options, earnings, and other information is available in the Child Day Care Services publication.

Preparing Your Program for Emergencies

The Office of Child Care also has a variety of materials related to emergency preparedness for grantees and providers, and the Resource Guide: Emergency Preparedness and Response Resources for Child Care Programs document includes information about resources in your state or community, publications with emergency preparedness information, and links to useful resources on the web. The resource guide also addresses how to develop emergency plans and steps to take before, during, and after a disaster or emergency.

Determining What to Charge for Child Care

Child care costs and child care provider fees vary by community and by state, as well as by the type of care. For example, center-based care tends to cost more than family child care. The age of the child also has an impact on the cost. A child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency can provide information about costs in a community. CCR&R agencies collect information about the supply and demand of child care in a local community; provide information about current rates that providers in a community charge, and link providers with training opportunities and other resources. Child Care Aware offers a child care finder tool that provides contact information for all state and local CCR&R agencies.

Deciding What Insurance Coverage to Obtain

Liability insurance is a standard consideration for any business. It covers the center or family child care home when an injury occurs. Comprehensive general liability insurance covers expenses due to bodily injury, damage to property, medical emergencies, and legal costs. Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance on the provider’s home does not provide liability coverage for a family child care business. If the provider rents the home, the landlord may need to be listed on the family child care business liability policy. Contact an insurance provider for more information.

Insurance requirements vary across states. Some states require child care centers and family child care homes to have some form of insurance. Other states either require providers to carry insurance or to notify parents if they do not carry insurance. To find the specific insurance requirements in your state, contact your state child care licensing agency. The National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations contains direct website links to state child care licensing regulations documents and licensing agency contact information. Users can access, download, and search state child care licensing regulations that apply to child care centers, family child care homes, and other licensed child care programs.

To learn more, see the Resource Guide: Starting and Operating a Child Care Business document, which includes information about resources in your state and community, publications with startup information, and links to useful resources on the web. It also includes a list of national organizations with information about child care issues, including startup costs, budgeting, program development, regulations and standards, funding, and staffing. This information may be useful when considering calculating your fees and determining the type of insurance to obtain.

Meeting Licensing Requirements

Licensing is a process administered by state governments that sets a baseline of requirements below which it is illegal for facilities to operate, unless the facility is legally exempt from licensing. States have regulations that include the requirements facilities must comply with and policies to support the enforcement of those regulations.

The National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations contains direct website links to state child care licensing regulations documents and licensing agency contact information. Users can access, download, and search state child care licensing regulations that apply to child care centers, family child care homes, and other licensed child care programs. Because child care licensing laws vary from state to state, you should contact your state child care licensing agency to find out more about whether your facility needs to be licensed.