This post is a part of our series on Illinois family child care licensing. For more on licensing in Illinois, see the following posts:

Illinois Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
The Licensing Process
Eligibility
Training Requirements
Home Requirements

There two different types of licenses for in-home child care in Illinois. You can apply to become either a Day Care Home or a Group Day Care Home depending on your capacity goals and eligibility. Both Day Care Homes and Group Day Care Homes require a license and are inspected annually by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

In general, if you plan to care for more than three children, including your own you must be licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to legally operate your in-home preschool or child care.

Here’s the breakdown on the differences between the two types of family child care licenses in Illinois:

Day Care Home license

In a Day Care Home, you may not care for more than twelve children, including your own children under age 12. The capacity of your home child care will depend on the ages of the children and if you have an assistant or not. If you don’t have any assistants, you can care for up to eight children under age 12 including your own children.

A caregiver alone may care for:

  • Up to eight children under 12 years of age, with no more than six children under 5 years and no more than two children under 30 months; OR
  • Up to eight school age children.
  • An additional four school-age children may be cared for with a part-time assistant.

A caregiver and full-time assistant may care for:

  • If the assistant is under 18: Up to eight children under 5 years of age, with no more than five children under 24 months.
  • If the assistant is 18 or older: Up to eight children under 5 years old, with no more than five children under 24 months old, plus four additional children who are attending school full-time.
  • Extended capacity: With extended capacity written approval the caregiver’s own school age children may be counted in the additional four children when there is a qualified assistant present in the home during the day.

Group Day Care Home license

In a Group Day Care Home, you may care for up to sixteen children, including your own children under age 12. Again, the capacity of your home program will depend on the ages of the children and if you have assistants helping out or not.

A caregiver alone may care for:

  • Up to eight children under 12 years of age, with no more than five under 5 years old and no more than three under 24 months; or
  • Up to eight children under 12 years of age, with no more than six under 5 years and no more than two under 30 months, or
  • Up to eight pre-school children if no child is under age 3; or
  • Up to twelve school-age children.
  • An additional four school-age children may be cared for with a part-time assistant.

A caregiver and full-time assistant (of 18 years or older as required for this license) may care for:

  • Up to a total of 12 children between three and six years of age, or
  • Up to a total of 12 children under six years of age, with no more than six under 30 months and no more than four under 15 months.
  • Extended Capacity: A caregiver, an assistant, and a part-time assistant may care for four additional children who attend school full-time before and/or after-school.

Sources:


This post is a part of our series on Illinois family child care licensing. For more on licensing in Illinois, see the following posts:

Illinois Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
The Licensing Process
Eligibility
Training Requirements
Home Requirements

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