Here are the four key organizations that every family child care provider should be connected to:

Child Care Resource and Referral agencies – These non-profit organizations (many are now called Child Care Aware) refer parents to local child care providers. They offer training, technical assistance, information about grants and loans, and many other services. You can also call this number to find your local agency: 800-424-2246.

Family Child Care Associations – The national organization is the National Association for Family Child Care. Some states have state associations and there are numerous local associations.

Family Child Care Licensing agencies – Each state has its own rules about when family child care providers must be licensed or regulated. This is a link to the state agencies where you can find out how to contact your local county agency. There is also a link here to state licensing regulations.

Food Program Sponsors – All regulated family child care providers are eligible to join the Food Program. You will receive reimbursements for each nutritious meal you serve. Providers can expect to get about $560 or $1,170 per child per year for serving a breakfast, lunch and snack. You are always better off financially if you join.

Here are some additional resources that can help you be more successful as a business:

Child Care Law Center – This California organization offers a number of free downloadable publications on the Americans with Disability Act as well as publications for providers in California on insurance, ADA, and license-exempt care. – This is the official source for information on child care from the U.S. government. It contains business information under “Business Startup and Operation.” Although some of the information is geared towards child care centers, it does contain some useful information for providers.

North Dakota Child Care Resource and Referral – Click on “Search for Training” for five self-paced on line classes (written by Tom Copeland) on Taxes and Record Keeping, Contracts and Policies, Marketing, Legal and Insurance Issues, and Money Management and Retirement Planning. These classes are free and contain only a few citations to North Dakota rules. This site also contains numerous articles and resources on the business of family child care.

Quality Rating & Improvement System (QRIS) – This is a state by state program that rates family child care providers who meet a set of defined quality standards that are higher than state licensing standards. This site contains contact information for the more than 20 states that offer this program. Here’s an article I wrote about QRIS.

Update: Here’s a new link to the Michigan QRIS program.

United States Small Business Administration Within the SBA is the Office of Women’s Business Ownership that oversees a network of Women’s Business Centers. These Centers offer business training, counseling and other resources to help women grow their business. Some of these local organizations help family child care providers. The direct link to the Women’s Business Centers in your state can be found here.

Family child care websites – There are thousands of family child care providers who have created their own website. These websites contain a wealth of information for providers looking for sample contracts, marketing ideas, program activities, and links to other resources on the Internet. To find these websites you can Google “family child care websites”.

Here are some websites that offer free sample contracts and policies and other forms: website also offers tax and record keeping information

20 replies

  1. Do you have a list of companies that will insurance group child homes? If so can you send it to me? This is a big problem in my area. thanks.

  2. Do you have any recommendations for homeowners insurance companies that have a rider for daycare insurance

  3. Do you have any free online trainings?

  4. Any insight on “paying” my children for helping with daycare. I have an 11, 9 and 7 yr old and they help with the disinfecting of toys, helping get lessons plans together, my 11 yr old is also starting to change diapers, feed babies their bottle etc.

    I have heard about paying them – but curious if I put the money into their savings? Into some college savings 529 plan?

    How can I make this work best for myself, but more importantly, my children?

    Much Thanks


  5. Tom I am a home day care provider have not cared for kids for about 1 year or so but still licensed. I just started up in Dec of 2016 the family has resourse and Refferal that is paying for there child care, then I just heard that the rate for pay from the program went up considerly since I changed my rates. Resourse and referral is saying they can not up my pay rate until I renew with them in 1 year said why didn’t you let me know this when you sighed me up by dome in Dec 2016 cause the new rates start in Jan 2017. What can I do ?

    • If they are saying you can’t raise your rates for one year, ask to see this rule in writing. Maybe the rule doesn’t say that. If you =are only caring for children who are on the subsidy program the rules might be different than those who care for subsidy and nonsubsidized children. When you see the rule in writing and if you aren’t sure what it means, contact me again.

  6. Tom.. My private in home childcare provider informed me that she will not be claiming her income from us on her taxes. She states that her tax consultant told her since she is not a licensed provider that she did not have to turn in her income from her child care. We have paid her almost $7000.00 for the year for care and have all the cancelled checks to prove payment. Can we run into any problems if we deduct the child care payments?
    thanks, Dana

    • Your provider is required by law to report her income, despite what her tax person says. You are entitled to claim the child care tax credit for the amount you paid her. Send her a W-10 to get her Social Security number. If she refuses to fill out this form, file Form 2441 to claim the child care tax credit and attach a note that says you sent her the W-10 to try to get her number and she refused to fill it out. You will still get the credit and the IRS may audit her.

  7. I heard there is a national insurance program for in home child care providers that is a lot less premium than what your insurance agent can get. Do you know what the website is?

  8. Hi Tom
    My son has been working as my assistant and I am confused at how to take taxes, social security etc out of his paycheck. Do you recommend any accounting software that can help me. My accountant was not helpful. Thank you

  9. How do I get listed as an insurance agent in your directory? I cover 4 states MN, IA, ND and SD and have childcare insurance for in home and centers. THAnks

  10. Tom- Do you know of a good accounting/budgeting program/template to use to keep track of all my expenses,income, bills etc. Id like to be able to do so in the same place. I have the red leaf calendar, but I dont like doing it all on paper.
    I just bought a new house, and am in charge of all our household financials, so if i could get all the info in the same place it would be easier for me to keep track of everything and stay organized to submit things. With minute menu no longer being used, my time/space calculations is no longer available to me or anything.

    Thanks in advance- Kimberlee

  11. Hi, I have had a child care small in home license for 8 years. I moved to another house 2 years ago and had my license transferred to my new home,after inspection of course. My neighbor found out, now my HOA is saying I have to close due to the fact it is not allowed to have a small business in my neighborhood. I am incorporated. Am I considered a small business please?

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