This post is part of our series on New Jersey family child care licensing. For more on licensing in New Jersey, see the following posts:
New Jersey Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
The Licensing Process
There are two different types of in-home child care licenses in New Jersey:
- Family Child Care (FCC)
- Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) child care
You apply for a license through the Child Care Resource and Referral Center (CCR&Rs, also referred to as a sponsoring organization) in your county. To receive a license, you must meet the basic safety and program requirements established by state law. Getting a license will also enable you to accept payments from families participating in government-subsidized child care assistance programs.
New Jersey’s Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) have trained staff who provide information to parents, the public, and providers about
- The availability of child care services provided through the New Jersey’s Child Care Subsidy Program and other programs for which the family may be eligible
- Information about the different types of providers
- Financial assistance to obtain child care services
Family Child Care (FCC)
You can get either a temporary or regular license as an FCC in New Jersey.
FCC temporary Certificate of Registration
If the sponsoring organization determines that you are in substantial compliance with the applicable requirements of the Manual of Requirements, and provided that there are no serious or imminent hazards to the health, safety, and well-being of the children, the sponsoring organization shall issue a temporary Certificate of Registration.
A temporary Certificate of Registration may be issued for up to 6 months. The sponsoring organization may issue as many temporary Certificates of Registrations as it deems necessary. However, a provider shall not operate pursuant to temporary Certificates of Registration for more than 1 year.
FCC regular Certificate of Registration
If the sponsoring organization determines that the provider or applicant is in full compliance with all applicable requirements of the Manual of Requirements, the sponsoring organization shall issue a regular Certificate of Registration. The sponsoring organization’s determination shall include a visit to the provider’s or applicant’s home when one or more enrolled children are present.
- Certificate of Registration Period: Each registration period shall be 3 years, and may include the issuance of a regular Certificate of Registration, or one or more temporary Certificates of Registration and a regular Certificate of Registration.
- Post the Certificate of Registration: The Certificate of Registration shall be posted in a prominent location within the family child care home during the hours enrolled children are in the home.
- Not transferable: The Certificate of Registration shall be issued to a specific provider at a specific location and shall not be transferable.
- Changes in information: If it is necessary to change any information noted on the application, other than a change of residence after the Certificate of Registration has been issued, the provider shall advise the sponsoring organization in writing no later than 15 calendar days after the change.
- Change of Residence: If the provider changes residence:
- The provider shall notify the sponsoring organization in advance or by no later than the beginning of the sponsoring organization’s next working day;
- The Certificate of Registration at the previous residence shall be void;
- The provider shall submit a new application for registration to the sponsoring organization;
- The provider shall permit and participate in an evaluation of the new residence; and
- A new Temporary Certificate of Registration shall be issued by the sponsoring organization if the provider is in substantial compliance with the applicable requirements of the Manual of Requirements, and provided there are no serious imminent hazards to the health, safety, and well-being of children.
- A new Regular Certificate of Registration shall be issued if the provider is in full compliance with all applicable requirements of the Manual of Requirements.
- Monitoring Inspections: The provider shall permit and participate in all monitoring inspections by the sponsoring organization and by the Office of Licensing. Monitoring inspections shall be conducted at least once every 2 years.
- Advertising: The provider shall not claim in advertising or in any written or verbal announcement to be registered with the Department of Children and Families or the State of New Jersey unless a Certificate of Registration is currently in effect
FCC ratios for children by age
Maximum number of children
- 5 children: You can’t care for more than 5 children at any one time.
- 8 children: You can care for up to 3 additional children, up to a maximum of 8 children at any one time, only if:
- The additional children reside with the provider and are below 6 years of age. Children 6 years of age or older who reside with the provider shall not be included in the limit of 8 children; or
- The additional children reside with the alternate provider, the substitute provider or the provider assistant, and receive care in the family child care home for no payment. The alternate provider, the substitute provider or the provider assistant shall be present when any child who resides with that person is present.
- Restrictions by sponsoring organization: The sponsoring organization may restrict the maximum number of children who may be in care on a specific date or time in a family child care home when:
- Indoor and outdoor space: the usable indoor and outdoor space does not permit safety and comfort;
- Equipment: There is insufficient equipment to meet the needs of the children;
- Provider’s own children: The number and ages of the provider’s own children limit the ability to provide adequate supervision;
- Additional responsibilities of the provider: There are additional responsibilities of the provider to care for another household member who may require special attention or care including, but not limited to, an elderly person or a child with a serious medical, physical, emotional or behavioral condition;
- Fire, zoning, health, environment restrictions: There are restrictions regarding the fire, zoning, health, environmental or other codes; or
- Other risk factors: Other factors that may cause a risk to a child’s health, safety or welfare, such as damage to the home, construction or renovations.
Ages of children: you can’t care for more than the following numbers of infants and toddlers unless a second caregiver is present:
- 3 children below 1 year of age;
- 4 children below 2 years of age, of whom no more than 2 shall be below 1 year of age.
- Both the provider and a second caregiver (either the alternate provider, substitute provider or provider assistant) shall be present whenever one or more children below 6 years of age are present in addition to the maximum number of infants or toddlers specified above.
- All children present who are below 6 years of age, including those who reside with the provider, alternate provider, substitute provider or provider assistant, shall be included in the provisions above for determining when a second caregiver shall be present.
Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN)
The Family, Friend, Neighbor (FFN) provider is an individual who has been evaluated and approved by the NJ Department of Human Services/Division of Family Development (DHS/DFD) or its designee Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency and serves no more than two unrelated children or up to five children who are all siblings for fewer than 24 hours of care per day.
The State of New Jersey allows relatives and non-relatives to care for the children of clients who are currently enrolled and covered under Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) or New Jersey Care for Kids (NJCK) child care programs and are receiving aid in paying for child care. Family, Friend, Neighbor (FFN), also known as Approved Homes, must be selected by a parent receiving subsidy assistance to care for his/her children in the provider’s home.
After you have been identified as the parent’s child care choice, your local CCR&R in your county will contact you to schedule a face-to-face orientation at which time you will receive the application packet and all necessary paperwork to complete. A home health and safety inspection will be scheduled at a time convenient for you.
The potential provider and all residents of the home in which care is provided, over 14 years of age or older must complete the background checks, inspections, and required training provided free of charge by CCR&R in your county. This training must include First Aid/CPR training.