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becoming a provider

Are You Thinking About Becoming a Licensed Family Child Care Provider?

Licensed family child care providers in Marin are a dynamic set of dedicated and caring professionals who are vital in the daily lives of many families. They provide a safe, nurturing environment, educational experiences that support a healthy child development, meals and much more. Each day they demonstrate the commitment and responsibility it takes to provide quality child care in a home setting.

Marin Child Care Council assists prospective child care providers in becoming licensed by: providing ongoing support, technical assistance and a variety of trainings and workshops to help you with all aspects of your business. This information page will guide you through the steps to getting licensed.

Family Childcare Homes

Family Child Care Homes are licensed by the state of California, Department of Social Services, and Community Care Licensing (CCL) Division. They are governed by the state “Title 22” rules and regulations of the Health and Safety Code. A Family Child Care Home must be in the licensee's own home and reflects a home-like environment where non-medical care and supervision is provided for periods of less than 24 hours. There are Small Family Child Care Homes (providing care to no more than 8 children) and Large Family Child Care Homes (providing care to no more than 14 children).


Some things to consider before moving forward:

  • Applicants must complete an orientation (conducted by Community Care Licensing) either in-person or online

  • The orientation has a fee for each person attending

  • You must live in the home where you want to do child care

  • You may have to make some modifications to your home, particularly if you have a pool or hot tub

  •  You will have to take 16 hours of preventive health and safety training (EMSA—includes CPR, first Aid and more)

  • You and any adult in your home age 18 and older will have to get a TB test and submit fingerprints for a criminal record check and Child Abuse index check

  • You must have a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher (2A10BC or larger)

  • You will have to keep records on the children you care for and you will have periodic visits from licensing to review your home and records

The first step in licensing

The first step is to attend a licensing orientation—either online at or in person at one of the licensing offices listed below (call for schedule and availability of other languages). There is a fee for the orientation, which must be paid before you can begin.


For Marin County the nearest locations are San Bruno (CCL office that monitors Marin County), Rohnert Park and Oakland. Please check below for contact information:


Peninsula Regional Office

801 Traeger Ave., Suite 100

San Bruno, CA 94066

Phone: (650) 266-8800

Fax: (650) 266-8847


Rohnert Park Local Unit

101 Golf Course Dr., Suite A-230

Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Phone: (707) 588-5026

Fax: (707) 588-5099


Bay Area Regional Office

1515 Clay St., Suite 1102

Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: (510) 622-2602

Fax: (510) 622-2641


If you are attending a live orientation, you must download the required materials from the community care licensing website and bring them with you to the orientation. When you attend the orientation you must present a Government-issued photo ID.  Please note that the live orientation meetings begin promptly and once the class has begun you will not be let in. You MUST call the individual office for dates, times and to RSVP.  Children are not allowed at licensing orientation meetings. Please arrange child care in advance.

Refer to Title 22 regulations for more information on licensing requirements, safety measures in the home, ratio of children in care, and small vs. large family childcare environments/requirements.

Important contacts

General Information, Health and Saftey Training, and other resources:

Marin Child Care Council    415-472-1092

General information, application assistance, and for questions/concerns

Child and Adult Food Program Information:

4C's of Sonoma County (Serves Marin County) | 1-800-977-5437

Child and Family Services Agency (formerly CPS) | 415-499-7153


Emergency Relocation Services:

Marin County Office of Emergency Services (OES) | 415-499-6584

Poison Control Services:

Poison Control | 1-800-846-4766

Getting Started

When you open your newly licensed childcare business, getting started with your first families can take some time. Remember: You are not able to advertise as a licensed family child care until you receive your license number from the state. This is per Title 22 Code of Regulations.


Over time, word of mouth will be the best source of advertisement. Families who use your service and are happy with the quality of care you provide will be your best reference. Don’t hesitate to ask parents for a brief letter of recommendation and keep them on file for future use.


Do not depend upon one source to get referrals. Be sure to notify Marin Child Care Council first so that you can be included in the Resource and Referral database. Some other resources to advertise your program include:


  • Websites 

  • Local Mothers Clubs

  • Neighborhood Schools

  • Religious Organizations

  • Children's Boutiques

  • Libraries

  • Community centers​

Download our Guide on: 

How to Become a Licensed Child Care Provider

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