Skip over navigation
Early Childhood Banner
Promoting Professional Development and High Quality Early Childhood and School-Age Programmes


View another position

Position 7: Family Child Care Provider (Preparation Level 1), Family Child Care Alternate (Preparation Level 1), Group Family Child Care Assistant (Preparation Level 1)


Family Child Care Provider - A person who operates a registered family or a licensed group family child day care business in a private residence.

Family Child Care Alternate Provider - The pre-approved substitute for the Family Child Care Provider who works in the licensed provider's home.

Group Family Child Care Assistant - The assistant who is an employee and works in the residence of the owner/provider. (See ASSISTANT TO HEAD OF GROUP - POSITION 3.)

Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions: The family child care provider has knowledge of child development, health, safety and nutrition. The provider uses good speaking and listening skills to communicate with children and their families. The provider plans routines and activities that contribute to each child's physical, intellectual, emotional, and social well-being. Critical thinking, problem solving and techniques of child management are important skills for the family child care provider. This position requires skills in working with young children, an appreciation for all kinds of families and cultures, a respect for the family as the child's first teacher and the willingness to work as a partner with the family.

Employment Settings: Family and Group Family Child Care is offered in the provider's own residence or in an approved residential home. In the case of the Alternate or Assistant, the employment setting is the home of the registered/licensed provider.

Required Qualifications: Eighteen years of age, minimum of two years experience caring for children under six years of age or one year of experience caring for children under six years of age plus six hours of training or education in early childhood development, and three references. (NYSOCFS 417.13 (a) and 416.13(a)). All persons holding this position must be cleared through the NYS Central Registry of Child Abuse and fingerprints submitted to required authorities.

Preparation: This is an entry-level position with minimal preparation required. Some people take early childhood courses in high school and/or college as preparation for employment. All new providers are required to take the NYS OCFS approved 15 hour health and safety training prior to registration or licensing.

Continuing Education: Thirty hours of training completed every two years of the registration or licensing period which consists of:

  • Principles of childhood development, including the appropriate supervision of children, meeting the needs of children enrolled in the program with physical or emotional challenges and behavior management and discipline
  • Nutrition and health needs of children
  • Child day care program development
  • Safety and security procedures, including communication between parents and staff
  • Business record maintenance and management
  • Child abuse and maltreatment identification and prevention
  • Statutes and regulations pertaining to child day care
  • Statutes and regulations pertaining to child abuse and maltreatment

Alternate Pathways: People may move from a position in center-based child care operations to a family child care business of their own or they may move from being an assistant to having their own program.

Job Outlook: More children are cared for in family child care homes than in any other form of non-relative care. Many people prefer a home setting for their child rather than a school-like setting, especially for infants and toddlers. The demand for this kind of care is expected to continue.

Earnings: A group or family care provider's earnings are dependent upon management practices, demand for service and level of quality. It is up to the provider to make this business successful.

Opportunity for Advancement: The family child care provider is self-employed. The provider may expand the business to group family child care by applying for a group family child care license and hiring assistant providers to maintain adult/child ratios with larger numbers of children.

Related Careers:

Serving Children Directly – In-home child care, center-based child care, and other early childhood positions

Serving Families Directly – Referral service for helping families find child care

Providing Information Goods and Services – Providing substitutes for group family providers, networking providers for sharing resources and services, organizing bulk purchases for providers, writing a newsletter for family child care providers, sales of products and equipment, and bookkeeping services, Child and Adult Care Food Program, field representative for a child care resource and referral agency