Dreaming of opening up your own in-home preschool or child care but not sure where to start? Chances are, you will need a license to operate your childcare or school and each state has its own licensing process to become an in-home child care provider.

In Illinois, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is responsible for protecting the health, safety, and well-being of children who attend or reside in regulated childcare operations.

The DCFS grants licenses to child care operators to open their own programs. 

In this series of posts, we’ll help you understand what you’ll need to do to open your own home preschool or child care in Illinois.

In Illinois, there are two types of licenses for family child care:

  • Day Care Home Licenses
  • Group Day Care Home Licenses

Learn more about the Types of Licenses here.

To apply for a license, you’ll have to go through an orientation. The application will then require certain inspections and safety regulations. Read more about the in-depth Licensing Process here.

To be eligible for a license, you must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate, a certain number of years and type of experience and training depending on the age of the children you’ll care for, pass a background check, and more. Read more about License Eligibility.

There are certain annual training requirements you will have to meet in your first year of employment. To learn more about Training Requirements for Licensing, click here.

Lastly, your home will have to meet certain indoor and outdoor requirements for you to receive a family child care license in Illinois. Learn more about the Home Requirements for Licensing.

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