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Starting a Home-Based Child Care Business

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There are two types of family child care providers in Ohio.

Type A Family Child Care Home: These homes must be licensed through the state of Ohio to care for 7-12 children in a provider’s home with 2 caregivers.

Type B Family Child Care Home: These homes are not currently licensed; however, by Ohio law, the provider can care for up to 6 children at one time with no more than 3 children under the age of 2 years. The provider’s own children count in the ratio if they are under 6 years old. All non relative children count until they are 15 years old.

Providers who are registered with Action for Children or certified with county departments of Job & Family Services are Type B homes.

Action for Children offers a registration program to potential family child care providers in Franklin, Delaware, Madison, and Union counties in Ohio.

By registering with Action for Children, you will be connected to:

  • Free referrals to parents looking for care
  • Resources to help build your child care business
  • Reimbursement through the Child & Adult Care Food Program
  • Access to professional development workshops

Application Process

To become a registered provider with Action for Children, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Complete a physical which includes a TB test
  • You and anyone 18 years or older living in your home needs to complete a Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation check (BCII)

Those who have not lived in Ohio for the past 5 consecutive years must also complete a FBI record check

  • County Sheriff’s record check
  • Children Services background check
  • Complete fire & health department inspections

BCI and FBI fingerprint and background checks are available at Action for Children's Columbus offices and also available at other locations. Click here for more information.

To get details on becoming a registered family child care provider, contact us at

You may also phone our offices:
Franklin County: 614-224 0222
Delaware County: 740-369 0649
Union County: 937-645 2017
Madison County: 740-852-0975, ext. 15
TTD/Ohio Relay Services: 800-750 0750

You will be sent a cover letter and an application form with a return envelope.

Once you have completed the application and submitted it to Action for Children, a recruitment specialist will contact you to schedule a visit with you in your home.
At this visit, you will learn more about the steps for completing the registration process and  you will receive all necessary forms.

Thank you for you interest in Action for Children! We look forward to working with you in setting up the business of child care in your home.

Business Considerations for Start-ups

As a family child care provider, the keys to success include organization, consistency, communication, reliability, and professionalism. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider the size of the space you plan to use and the ages of the children you wish to care for do they match?
  • To help the day run smoothly, a daily schedule is a must. Children need to know what is going to happen next.
  • Encourage open communication with the parents.
  • When arranging your space, keep in mind the safety of the children. Also, can they reach items on their own; are there enough materials for everyone; how will you integrate your own household items?
  • Stick to the rules and policies you set for parents and children.

Web-based resources for home child care providers:

National Network for Child Care

Red Leaf Press

National Association for Family Child Care Accreditation


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