All Family Child Care Homes must be registered with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
According to rules established by the Florida Administrative Code, effective January 1st, 1997, a Family Child Care Home shall be allowed to provide care for one of the following groups of children. These groups INCLUDE all children under 13 years of age who are related to the caregiver.
Approved groups of children to be cared for in a Family Child Care Home are:-
- A maximum of four (4) children from birth to 12 months of age, or
- A maximum of three (3) children from birth to 12 months of age, and other children, for a total of six (6) children, or
- A maximum of six (6) preschool children if all are older than 12 months of age, or
- A maximum of ten (10) children if no more than five (5) are preschool age and of those five, no more than two (2) are under 12 months of age.
Family Child Care Homes Must Be Registered
In a registered Family Child Care Home all household members must be screened for child abuse convictions or felony arrests. The provider must complete a 30-hour training course. A registered Family Child Care Home is NOT visited by any regulatory agency and therefore it is up to parents to play an important role in monitoring the care their child receives.
Licensed Homes may become Large Family Child Care Homes after being licensed for a year. Large Family Child Care Homes can take up to 12 children.
Family Child Care Homes May or May Not Be Licensed
A licensed Family Child Care Home meets the requirements of registration, but has taken a voluntary step further. A licensed home is inspected twice a year by a DCF Licensing representative, and is required to have all adults tested for T.B.