Capacity Building

Child care providers work day in and day out to nurture the development of the children in their care. Separate from their primary role caring for children, they often face barriers, such as unclear state licensing regulations, local business and zoning laws, and rental housing rules, that make it difficult for them to get licensed and keep their doors open.

The Child Care Law Center answers questions from parents and child care providers about requirements child care providers must follow, and advocates for regulations that will improve the quality of and accessibility to child care. We have also developed materials that educate child care providers about the requirements to become licensed, continuing requirements as they operate, and state laws that protect them so they can maintain a high-quality program for the families they serve.

Tenant Rights of Child Care Providers

California state law allows child care providers to operate a family child care home out of their homes. While a child care provider must give her landlord written notice that she intends to open a child care, she does not need the landlord’s permission. Landlords also cannot raise the rent or evict a child care provider just because she operates a family child care home. Despite the existence of these laws, child care providers who rent their homes do not always receive fair treatment from their landlords.

The Child Care Law Center answers child care providers’ questions about their rights as tenants, whether they need liability insurance, and how to work with their landlords to keep their family child care homes open.

Know the Law About Family Child Care in California Rental Property


Six Things California Homeowners’ Associations Should Know about Family Child Care

Video: Tenants Rights for Family Child Care Providers in California

Business Licenses and Zoning Permits

Cities and counties cannot require small family child care homes to get a business license or zoning permit. However, state law allows cities and counties to have some flexibility in regulating large family child care homes.

The Child Care Law Center helps family child care homes protect themselves from unfair city or county requirements. We help large family child care homes figure out whether the city business and zoning laws they are subject to are lawful.

City Planner Resources

Many planners are unaware that local requirements imposed on large family child care homes are unnecessary and may conflict with The California Child Day Care Facilities Act. This FAQ page helps planners understand local governments’ obligations under state law and how family child care administrative policies can be streamlined.

Child Care Licensing Requirements

Most child care providers who care for the children of more than one family at the same time must be licensed. The Child Care Law Center helps child care providers and parents by answering their questions about state licensing laws. We also give child care providers “best practice” suggestions to ensure a healthy, quality child care environment.

Health and Safety in Child Care

Child care providers must follow many legal requirements that help ensure the quality and safety of the children in their care.

We frequently help child care providers with questions such as:

We frequently help parents with questions such as:

  • Is my child care provider required to give my child medication?
  • How can I find out if my son’s provider had a background check?

License-Exempt Child Care

Child care can take many forms. People often wonder whether they need a child care license, or what employment laws apply.  The Child Care Law Center has developed materials to clarify the law about license-exempt care and provides referrals to licensing resources that may help people figure out the requirements for their situations.

Please link to the Capacity Building Resources” page for publications and resources related to the sections above.

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