This guide offers much of the information you will need to get started in your family child care business in Illinois. There are sections about planning for your business, preparing your home, creating a contract, planning meals, and much more. This overview of the process is a helpful resource for understanding the steps in becoming a licensed family child care home.
The Illinois Department of Human Services offers an eligibility calculator that can help determine the amount of assistance for child care that a family may qualify for through the local child care resource and referral agency. You can access the CCAP eligibility calculator here.
“Voices for Illinois Children is a statewide, nonpartisan, multi-issue advocacy organization that is committed to building better lives for children. They engage in a range of activities — including policy research and analysis, policy advocacy, strategic communications, and community engagement — all in support of policies and programs that enhance the well-being of children, families, and communities in Illinois.”
This site has information regarding advocacy for anyone who works with children or wants to be an advocate for educational opportunity, health and well-being. They offer fact sheets including “We Are a Stronger IL When We Invest in High-Quality Preschool” and “We Are a Stronger IL When Families Can Afford Quality Child Care”.
For more information go to Voices for Illinois Children.
If you are a license-exempt provider, Illinois Action for Children provides Child Care Resource Facilitators to help you access resources. They also offers services such as welcome visits, literacy visits, and field trips brought to your home via the “Fun on Wheels” RV if you are a license-exempt provider. Check out more information about these services at Illinois Action for Children.
The Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition (ICTC) brings together many organizations to work on educating the community about the effects of childhood trauma and create programs and systems that prevent trauma and support the needs of children and families.
Town Square has joined Myrtle’s Club as a resource to support child care providers.
“Myrtle’s Club™ was designed to support child care providers by making available high quality training opportunities on topics ranging from curriculum to business basics, services that support the business side of child care, and to increase the purchasing power for our providers. By assisting child care providers in this way, the YWCA is helping support providers on the path to improving quality and educational programs for their students.”
As a provider who is a member of the Myrtle’s Club network, you can access training, professional development, business support services, as well as materials and resources that help you maintain your licensing and enhance your work at a discount. Check out what is available and the membership levels at: YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago: Myrtle’s Club.
The Illinois Child Care Bureau (ICCB) sponsors reimbursement for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a program funded by the US Department of Agriculture that provides partial reimbursement for providing healthy meals and snacks to the children in your care. The site includes free training for FCC professionals to qualify for the CACFP program and offers menus, recipes, and directions for reimbursement.
(*Site available in Spanish)
You play an important role in ensuring that children in your care receive developmental screenings and that families have access to resources for screenings and support. The screening process can often seem overwhelming, but these resources from ExceleRate Illinois can help you and parents figure it out.
The Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership (ICMHP) includes members, staff and volunteers that work on many initiatives and committees to advocate and provide consultation for mental health for young children in IL. ICMHP was created through the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003.
To find out more about how to support children’s mental health click here
Keeping track of the required Illinois DCFS forms can help your business run more smoothly and make maintaining your license easier. The following are forms that you are most likely to use in your licensed family child care home. Always be sure to check the DCFS website under Forms for the most updated version of the forms.
These forms are likely the ones that you will need when new families are starting in your family child care home:
Depending upon the type of licensing your home has you will also need one of the following summaries. Parents should receive a copy and sign the verification of receipt of the summary.
You may need to use the following form if you have an assistant who works in your family child care business or for other adults in your home:
*Note that this form was updated March 2016.
Be sure to check the policy section of the DCFS website for any new policy updates. New for 2016 include changes regarding food handling training and staff immunizations.