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Division of Child Care Services

Starting a Child Care Program

The Office of Children and Family Services also provides support for people and organizations that are interested in starting day care programs in their communities. As a general rule, any day 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 certificate. To obtain this certificate, the applicant must show that the day care program meets requirements that the state has established to help ensure the health and safety of children in care. The Office maintains a network of Regional Offices that can provide you with application materials, information about the process of starting a program, and help with understanding the legal requirements.

In addition to the Regional offices, Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCRR) provide information to new and prospective child care providers about many aspects of program start up and maintenance such as:

In addition, you may be eligible for funding to assist you in starting or expanding your child care program.

If you are interested in obtaining financial assistance to become a family day care provider, contact your local CCRR to request start-up funds.

If you would like to contact a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency in your area, use Agency Directories to locate the one closest to you. This directory will provide you with the address information for the CCRR as well as the Regional Offices, and the Local Departments of Social Services.

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Important Numbers

  • Child Care, Foster Care and Adoption:
    1-800-345-KIDS (5437)
  • Child Care Complaint Line:
    1-800-732-5207
    311 or 646-632-6101 NYC
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