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:
Once you have looked at the different types of family child cares you can open in New Jersey, you are ready to get started on the licensing process. There are many pieces to the licensing process and it will likely take some months to get a license. Here we break down what that process looks like so you can get started becoming an in-home child care provider. Below are some important steps you must take:
Family child care or FFN application
Submit an application to the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency for your county. This is what you’ll need to fill out the application:
- Provider’s contact information: The provider applicant’s name, address and telephone number;
- Age: A statement indicating that the provider applicant, the alternate provider, if any, and the substitute provider are at least 18 years of age and the provider assistant, if any, is at least 14 years of age;
- Residents in provider’s household: A list of all adults residing in the provider applicant’s household and the number and ages of all children under 18 years of age residing in the provider applicant’s household;
- Hours of operation: The hours in which the provider applicant plans to provide child care;
- Staff contact information: The name, address and telephone number of the provider assistant and the alternate provider, if any, and the substitute provider;
- Pets: A statement from the provider applicant indicating that all pets are domesticated, free from disease, non-aggressive and meet all applicable state and local codes or ordinances pertaining to the keeping of pets. All household pets shall be vaccinated and proof of current vaccination(s) as documented by a veterinarian shall be kept on the premises;
- Listings: An indication as to whether the provider applicant wishes to be listed with either the New Jersey Child Care Resource and Referral System and/or a list of registered providers that is available to the public through the Office of Licensing.
Additional application materials
You will need to submit the complete application form to the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency along with:
- Two character references
- Either 2 letters of reference, dated within 3 years immediately preceding the submission of the application, including at least one from a person who can attest to the individual’s character, reputation, and suitability to work with children
- OR the names, addresses and telephone numbers of at least 2 persons who can provide letters of reference upon request (required for both the applicant and the alternate provider if any).
- Results of a medical examination and tuberculin Mantoux test
- Healthcare Provider’s Statement: A health care provider’s statement(s) for the applicant, each employee, and household member(s) who are present during the care of enrolled children, verifying all child care providers, assistants, and household members are in good health, free from communicable disease, and able to care for children. Such statement(s) shall be based on a medical examination conducted within the 6 months immediately preceding the submission of the application.
- Mantoux tuberculin skin test or a chest x-ray: Submit a written proof of the results of a Mantoux tuberculin skin test with five TU (tuberculin units) of PPD tuberculin, conducted within the 6 months immediately preceding the submission of the application or a chest x-ray if the individual has had a previous positive Mantoux tuberculin test or has a medical contraindication that precludes a Mantoux test.
- Additional tests: Obtain additional Mantoux tests when required by the Office of Licensing based on a recommendation by the New Jersey Department of Health.
- Previous Family Child Care Provider License/Registration: A disclosure of information about and circumstances surrounding any previous denial, suspension, revocation or nonrenewal of a Certificate of Registration as a family child care provider in New Jersey or of a license, certificate or other approval as a family child care provider in any other state; and
- Criminal Convictions: A disclosure of the presence or absence of criminal convictions by the provider applicant, the substitute provider, all members of the provider’s household, and any individual who frequents the home on an intermittent basis, who are at least 14 years old, and the alternate provider and the provider assistant, if any, and any individual who expects to remain in the home longer than 15 consecutive days, or on a frequent intermittent basis.
- Background Checks: Consent forms for Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background checks for everyone living or working in your home who is 14 years or older.
- Comprehensive Criminal Background Checks (must be completed by November 19, 2017). To comply with a federal law that takes effect October 1, 2017, Under the law, all staff must undergo a comprehensive criminal background check, which includes:
- Search of the state criminal and sex offender registry in the state where the staff member resides and each state where the staff member has resided for the past five years;
- Search of the state child abuse and neglect registry in the state where the staff member resides and each state where the staff member has resided for the past five years;
- Search of the National Crime Information Center;
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint check using the Next Generation Identification (which replaced the former Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System); and
- Search of the National Sex Offender Registry.
- Child care providers must apply for the background checks by October 1, 2017, to meet this deadline because they take about six weeks to process.
- Training: Attend pre-service training sponsored by DFD or your CCR&R. During pre-service training, you will also be provided with other important topics to help guide you through the registration process, as well as inform you about important regulations and policies. The training will cover important health and safety topics, such as:
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- First Aid
- Prevention of Infectious Diseases
- Child Abuse and Neglect, Discipline
- Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome and Abusive Head Trauma
- Prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Safe Sleeping Practices
- Administration of Medication
- Building and Physical Premises Safety
- Handling and Storage of Hazardous Materials
- Precautions in Transporting Children (who transport children)
- Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Prevention of and Response to Emergencies Due to Food and Allergic Reactions
- Child Growth and Development
- Inspections: In addition to pre-service training, the CCR&R will inspect your home to ensure your home complies with local, state and federal requirements for health, fire and building codes; as well as meets all Family Child Care Registration program or Family, Friend, Neighbor (FFN) requirements and DHS/DFD child care subsidy program requirements.
- Child care programs will undergo an unannounced inspection every year to see if you are complying with CCDBG requirements as well as state health, safety, and fire standards. The provider applicant shall permit and participate in an announced or unannounced evaluation of the applicant’s home by the sponsoring organization.
- The evaluation shall include inspection of all rooms, furniture and equipment in areas designated for use by enrolled children; and access to all areas on the premises not designated for use by enrolled children, to observe whether any hazards to children exist, including, but not limited to, the basement, the attic (if accessible), the storage shed, garage, and carport.
- Registration Fees: A registration fee of $25 paid to the CCR&R is required upon issuance of a Certificate of Registration.
For more information, please contact the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency for your county.
- State of New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development: How to become a Provider
- Chapter 54 Manual of Requirements for Family Child Care Registration
- State of New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development: Important Information About Changes to Child Care Provider Eligibility Requirements