In the state of Florida, any individual who is paid to care for children in their home on a regular basis can choose to be either registered or licensed, depending on the requirements of the county where they reside.
In addition, child care programs that serve more than 10 children must be licensed as a child care center and cannot be located in a private residence. Some programs may be eligible to operate as preschool or licensed-exempt programs.
Why Should You Be Licensed?
Operating a family child care center without a license can compromise the quality of your services. Without a license, you also miss out on the following benefits:
- Opportunities to expand your skills and knowledge at local workshops, most of which are free of charge.
- Participation in the Child Care Food Program.
- Client Referrals from Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) cuts down on your vacancies.
- Access to resources and services from CCR&R.
- Opportunities for assistance in becoming accredited by the National Family Child Care Association or one of many other nationally recognized organizations, including the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
- Business deductions from your income taxes.
- Liability insurance on your business.
- Program evaluation and improvement opportunities, which might include: assistance with accreditation, purchase of needed equipment and program supplies, or scholarship grants to pursue the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential.
Contact Episcopal Children’s Services for a packet that includes materials and checklists that will assist you in the step-by-step process to getting licensed.
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Effective January 1, 2008, pneumonia vaccine is required for children in child care ages 2-24 months. For more information, please visit www.ImmunizeFlorida.org.
Effective April 2007, the Florida Director Credential terminology and requirements have been redefined in an effort to consolidate and streamline the program. Changes include revised program titles (“Level I”, “Level II”, and “Advanced”) and consolidation of programmatic requirements. Director Credential certificates stating “Foundational”, “Temporary”, and “Permanent” are still valid for licensing purposes. The new terminology will be reflected on the DCF training transcript. Upon renewal, the new terminology will be reflected on the certificate. To review requirements or download the application, please visit www.myflorida.com/childcare. Click on “Training” and then “Director Credential”.
Effective April 2007, DCF has made extensive revisions to the Florida Administrative Code in an effort to streamline the credentialing process and to enhance the programs by raising and changing requirements to model national standards. These changes affect programmatic requirements and the names of the continuing education programs that are accepted as meeting the Department’s Staff Credential requirements. For a complete copy of these changes, please visit http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care.
Effective July 1, 2005, the DCF Child Care Training Information Center (CCTIC) was launched. A team of CCTIC Specialists are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to answer questions about state-mandated training, educational exemptions, and staff training requirements (CDA, CDAE, Director’s Credentials, VPK, etc.). CCTIC is also responsible for processing staff credential verifications and updating/creating training transcripts. Contact CCTIC at 1-888-352-2842 or CCTIC@thechildrensforum.com.
To receive a free copy of “Family Child Care: A Guide for Providers,” or other helpful information on becoming a licensed provider in your area, call us today at 904-726-1500.