The Business of Family Child Care
There is always a need for quality child care. In the rural areas of West Central Illinois, there are few child care centers so for many parents the only option for child care is the family child care setting. Family child care offers a blending of ages and each child has the opportunity to relate to a few other children of different ages. A family child care provider is often someone in the neighborhood and may be able to make flexible arrangements with the working parent. Some of these providers are available to care for children whose parents work at night or on weekends when centers are not usually open.
Just as each child is unique, so is each family child care program. In Illinois, licensing standards for basic health and safety, as well as, business practice is set by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). These standards also address the learning environment for children and on-going training for child care providers. In order to start the licensing process, contact DCFS and request a licensing packet. Adams & Hancock counties call 221-2525 or Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Green, Jersey, Pike & Schuyler counties call 217-479-4800.
West Central Child Care Connection offers:
- An Orientation Booklet packed with an array of Start-up information
- Assistance to providers on parent / provider relationships, business topics and much more
- Referrals for parents to child care programs in requested areas
- Trainings for child care providers on many relevant early care and education topics
- Illinois Child Care: A Guide for Family Home Providers
Training Hours required by DCFS before applying for licensing:
- Effective 1-1-2011 individuals applying to become licensed through DCFS must complete 15 hours of approved training prior to submitting their application.
- DCFS requires three specific trainings: Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse:Training for Mandated Reporters, SIDS/SUIDS/Safe Baby and Shaken Baby Syndrome be included in the 15 hours.
- The only approved mandated reporter training is online at https://www.dcfstraining.org/manrep/index.jsp.
SIDS/SUID/Safe Sleep and SBS/Traumatic Brain Injury may also be done online at the following links:
Click here to join the Gateways Registry and start taking the online trainings.
- The remaining hours can be taken in any trainings that are approved child development related topics in which a certificate of attendance is received. Listed below are some optional free online training opportunities or access our training calendar.
For an opportunity to meet the DCFS requirement for completing a training on special care inclusion you can take a free online training from ilearning at the following link:
- Welcoming Each and Every Child
For more information on becoming a licensed family child care business you can take a free online training created by DCFS at the following link:
- Licensed Family Child Care Orientation
For more information on the Food Handler Class through DCFS
Food Handlers Course – This food handler course will take you through the fundamentals of food safety for your food handler training certificate which is sometimes confused with a permit, license, card or certification. Once the course has been completed, you should have a good understanding of what foodborne illness is, how it is caused, and what you can do to help prevent it from occurring.
Once the course is successfully taken, you will be able to immediately print a certificate for your records.
For more information on the registry requirement for all newly licensed programs you can take a free online training from ilearning.
- Gateways Registry Membership “Are You Lost in the Missing Zone?” Online Training
The Gateways Registry online course, “Are You Lost in the Missing Zone?,” is presented by INCCRRA trainer, Mark Obuchowski.
The Gateways Registry is a powerful tool to help you stay organized and on track with all of your career professional development attainments. Registry membership has important benefits. Your individual Professional Development Record (PDR) is the most valuable benefit to you. This course will explain what a PDR is, how to develop your own Gateways PDR and how to access it online once you are a Registry member. Your PDR is accepted by DCFS as documentation for attending trainings, conferences and workshops as required by DCFS for licensing new programs and renewing your current licensed programs. Also learn how to use your PDR as a marketing tool!
Registration is required to access the online learning site (elearning.ilgateways.com). If you have taken other Gateways online trainings, just log in and start the training. If you are a newcomer to Gateways online trainings, just follow the instructions for creating a new account. (Note: This is not the same account as your Gateways Registry Membership account.)
Content Hours: 2
Enrollment: Open to all Gateways to Opportunity Registry members
For more information on starting your own family child care business, receiving a free orientation booklet or the required 15 hours of training, call Barb at West Central Child Care Connection at (217)222-2550 or email us at BSchaller@wcccc.com.