The Business of Child Care

Becoming a Provider

There are many things to think about before beginning the process. This guide is intended to help you determine if family child care is right for you and get you started on the path to opening a quality child care program right in your own home.

Personal considerations

  • You have a passion for helping young children and their parents.
  • You enjoy the independence and responsibility of being your own boss.
  • You have the time, knowledge, skills and motivation to make a small business succeed.
  • You have the willingness to learn the skills you need or you are willing to hire people to provide the skills you lack.
  • You are comfortable with the financial risk involved until your business gets established.

Family considerations

  • The income from a child care business can help support your family.
  • You can save on your own child care costs.
  • You can be home with and care for your own children.

 Help for parents

  • You can help parents support their families by making more quality child care slots available.
  • Parents need to know that their children are in a safe, healthy and learning environment. A quality child care program offers peace of mind to parents so they can focus on their work.
  • If your child care program offers flexible hours, you can support parents who have nontraditional work schedules.
  • If your child care program cares for mildly ill children or children with chronic health issues, parents can know their child is in good care while they are at work.

 Community need

  • You help local businesses by supporting workers who need child care.
  • Your small business supports the local economy by making purchases, buying services, paying taxes and paying salaries.
  • Your community may be lacking certain types of child care, such as care for infants and toddlers, school-age children, mildly ill children, or children with special needs.
The first step in becoming a family day care or group family day is to attend an Introduction to Family Day Care Class. For inquiries, please call (585) 268-8227 or e-mail bnorton@accordcorp.org

Provider Support

Help Paying for Training

The Educational Incentive Program (EIP) is a scholarship program funded by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (NY OCFS). Its purpose is to assist child care providers paying for professional development training and education they need to provide quality care to children. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need and can be used for workshops, conferences, credit-bearing courses and credentials within the childcare profession.

For more information on how to apply for The Educational Incentive Program (EIP), click here.


 Letters to Providers 

The Division of Child Care Services of OCFS maintains a resource page which includes recent Provider Letters for all modalities. Please click here to view Provider Letters.



Nutrition (CACFP)

CACFP provides aid  to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.

Through CACFP, more than 3.3 million children and 120,000 adults receive nutritious meals and snacks each day as part of the day care they receive.

See how CACFP can make a difference in the quality of your program! Whether you are a provider in your home, at a day care center, in an afterschool care program, you will find many useful resources for serving nutritious meals and snacks. To learn more, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp/child-and-adult-care-food-program

Other Resources


MAT Training & Health Care Consultancy

Most children in the United States younger than age 6 spend significant time in child care settings outside the home. Keeping children safe and healthy is the goal of the parent and the child's caretaker. Despite the best care practices, it is inevitable that children will get sick. Parents and providers must work together to prepare for illnesses ahead of time. Are you, as a provider of day care, authorized to administer medications, if needed? Does your health care plan meet the needs of the children in your care? The answers to these questions are important.

If you are a licensed or registered day care provider or a legally exempt child care provider, who provides state subsidized child care, and you choose to administer medication to children in your care you must be in compliance with the applicable child day care regulations.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) has specific regulations about giving medication to children in child day care settings. The regulations require all child day care programs that choose to administer medication, other than over-the-counter topical ointments, sunscreen and topically applied insect repellent, to meet certain conditions including having staff who are approved to give medication in a child care setting.

OCFS approved the following Medication Administration Training course for you to fulfill this requirement. To learn more about the MAT course, view the “What is MAT?” brochure / ¿Qué es Administración de Medicamento (MAT)? (PDF format).


How to verify that your health care consultant is currently licensed to practice in New York State

Health care consultants must have a valid New York State license to practice as a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse. The NYS Education Department, Office of the Professions will verify a consultant's license on line at: http://www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm or you may contact the Office of Professions at:

The Office of Professions
at New York State Education Department

Office of the Professions
Education Building - 2nd floor
Albany, NY 12234
Telephone: (518) 474-3817


MAT—Medication Administration Training Rebate

To apply for MAT rebate funds call 1-866-665-5537 or go online to: www.tsg.suny.edu and you will find a link that will be listed to click on for MAT information.

After the course is completed, participants can apply for a rebate to off set some of the registration cost.

Providers are required:

  • To have a current Infant and Adult CPR certification.
  • To have a current First Aid certification
  • Before administering medication to the children, providers must be MAT certified.


Child care centers, family child care homes and school-age child care programs may apply for and receive national accreditation from the following organizations. The accreditation guidelines vary but are generally higher than those required by local or state regulations and licensing.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

This organization has developed a set of quality standards that center-based, part-day preschools, and Head Start pre-kindergarten programs must meet to receive accreditation. Receipt of accreditation indicates that an early education program provides a high quality learning environment for children that exceeds the threshold for quality set by licensing requirements. Programs must complete a self-study, submit an application, and have ratings verified by an NAEYC validator. For more information, click here to visit the NAEYC website.

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)

This professional organization offers education and support for quality programming in family child care. It has developed a set of standards that define quality for family child care homes. To have a program accredited by NAFCC, the family child care home provider must complete a self study to rate the degree to which standards are met, submit an application to NAFCC, and have the ratings validated by an NAFCC Observer. For more information, click here to visit the NAFCC website.

National AfterSchool Association (NAA)

This professional support network promotes quality programs for children and youth in their out-of-school time. NAA accredits programs that meet these quality standards, based on a self-study and an NAA Endorser’s ratings of compliance with the standards. For more information, click here to visit the NAA website.

American Camp Association (ACA)

Summer day camps accredited by the ACA must meet up to 300 standards for health, safety, and program quality. For more information, click here to visit the ACA website

Technical Assistance

All technical assistance services are confidential and free of charge!  Whether it is a need for help in setting up your home to best meet the needs of the children in your care, assistance with organizing your paperwork, or just guidance on how to deal with a difficult behavior, we can help. 

Basic Technical Assistance (TA)

This service is provided to child care providers, trainers, community and businesses. It can be accessed through phone, email, or face to face. Basic technical assistance services occur when Child Care Services provides information and guidance on best practices for providing child care, indicators of quality child care, information on business administration practices and regulations governing program compliance issues specific to that program and training follow-up, to name a few. This service does not require a site visit and is less than one hour in duration.


Intensive Technical Assistance (ITA)

Intensive TA (on-site) occurs when Child Care Services staff provide information specific to a child care provider/program on topics including the topics mentioned for Basic TA. ITA is conducted in person and is for the duration of at least an hour. The outcome of ITA is increased program quality as evidenced through various evaluations.


Ongoing Intensive Technical Assistance Services

Ongoing Intensive Technical Assistance services are delivered face to face and consist of, but are not limited to the topics listed above and personalized on-site training.  Ongoing ITA requires an individual or program to commit to an ongoing support and monitoring agreement between the Child Care Services and the program. This form of ITA consists of multiple visits from the TA Specialist for support and guidance in addressing a TA request initiated by the child care program/provider or by a Registrar or Licenser to address regulatory issues.

Updating Your Program Information

A key to providing parents with helpful information is to have the most up-to-date information on each program.

Making it a priority to call or e-mail Child Care Services regarding changing enrollment, rates, hours of operation is a true reflection of your program and very helpful to the families that you care for. Child Care Services referral service is a wonderful way to get your detailed information out to parents. You determine what information we share with parents. It is a way to talk about your activities and what makes your program special. Plus, it is free to you and to anyone requesting a child care referral!

Update Your Information for Our Parent Referral Database

To update your information please call (585)-268-7605 ext. 1228 or email your information to bnorton@accordcorp.org



Child Care Aware of America Federal Public Policy News

Child Care Aware of America, the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, is our nation's leading voice for child care.  They work with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies nationwide.  Their public policy agenda is both grassroots-inspired and research-based. 

Parent Network of WNY is a community resource for families of individuals with special needs and for professionals who work with these families. Parent Network’s goal is to empower families to successfully advocate for their children with special needs and to see that they receive proper care and education by offering seminars, workshops, conferences, information and referral services and resources. Parent Network is designated as a Technical Assistance Parent Center by NYS Education Department and receives funding from several sources.

 Join ECLC's Parent Network