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California Department of Social Services & Child Care License

In order to become a registered child care provider in the state of California, you are required to obtain a license through the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). As a licensed Family Child Care Home provider in the state of California, you are eligible to supervise 14 or fewer children in a home or home-like environment and provide any non-medical care for the children for a maximum of 24 hours consecutively. Upon licensure, your home will be deemed as safe and satisfying basic health and safety requirements. Once you become a licensed Family Child Care Home provider, parents seeking child care providers will be referred to you through Resource & Referral (R&R) agencies. Additionally, you may be eligible for financial reimbursements for food that you provide the children, from the United States Department of Agriculture's Child & Adult Care Food Program. To learn more about licensing options, you can visit the California Department of Social Services webpage. In order to become a licensed Child Care provider, it is important to complete the following steps:

First, you need to contact a Community Care Licensing Division in order to schedule an orientation. Orientations are available at the physical office locations throughout the state, as well as through an online orientation.

Upon completion of the orientation, you should retain the following documents - the Orientation Certificate (valid for six months after completion of the orientation); the California Code of Regulations Title 22 for Family Child Care Homes; information on Resource & Referral agencies; CCLD Application Packet and Criminal Clearance information.

After the orientation, it is essential that you complete a Tuberculosis (TB) test and obtain Health and Safety CPR/First Aid certification.

As the next step, you should submit your application to the Community Care Licensing Division, where you will be matched with a Licensing Analyst.

Before your application is accepted and you are eligible for your license, you must complete the Criminal Clearance information.

As a Family Child Care Provider applicant, you must submit three criminal clearances, for the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Child Abuse Index Check. This portion of the licensing process could pose problems for any applicants with a prior criminal record. If you are concerned with how your record will affect your ability to obtain or maintain a license from the Community Care Licensing Division, or from another division of the California Department of Social Services, you should seek counsel. With extensive experience assisting child care applicants and licensees, our team of Child Care License Defense attorneys can help you to obtain or maintain your license, in order to provide child care in the state of California.

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