Child Care Services » Types of Child Care

Types of Child Care

Types of child care programs in our referral database

Licensed child care centers and licensed family child care homes must meet health, safety, and educational standards set by the California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing.

Center-based

Infant, preschool and school-age child care centers*. Non-medical care and supervision to infants, toddlers, preschoolers and/or school-age children in a group setting for periods of less than 24 hours. Centers are often located in commercial, church or portable structures.

 

Home-based 

Family child care provided in a licensee’s own home. Non-medical care and supervision to 14 or fewer children in a home-like environment for less than 24 hours.

  • Small family child care homes provide care to 8 or fewer children, with 2 of the children being kindergarten age or above.
  • Large family child care homes provide care to 14 or fewer children, with 2 of the children being kindergarten age or above and an assistant is required. Licensed homes and facilities MUST clearly post licenses. The license states the number and ages of children legally allowed on the premises at one time.

Other types of care

The following are available, but not listed in the referral database:

  • In-home care: Friend, relative or babysitter caring for a child in the child’s home on a full-time or part-time basis. Important note: families using this type of child care must meet labor law requirements.
  • License-exempt care: Child care not legally required to hold a state license. This includes home-based care where caregivers care for one family’s child(ren) beside their own, in-home care (as noted above) and some school-age centers located on school district premises.

 

*Legally exempt child care centers are also listed in our referral database.