Child Care Specialists are available to help families and providers

The Infant-Toddler Specialist promotes quality care for children 0-36 months and works toward creating quality child care environments by providing information, training and technical assistance on infant/toddler related issues to providers and parents.
The Quality Specialist works toward creating quality child care environments by providing information, training and technical assistance to child care providers and families related to business practice and promotes quality care for children 3 years of age and older.
The Mental Health Consultant offers consultation and technical assistance services.
  • Mental Health Consultant: Mary Kelley, LCPC (Phone: 815-289-2605)
The Child Care Referral Specialist provides customized child care referrals and resource materials.

Starting a Child Care Program

Staying close to your own children and watching the development of others’ are among the many benefits of starting your own family child care business. YWCA Child Care Solutions can guide you through the process of starting your own licensed or license-exempt child care. Our free informational meetings are a great place to get started:

Resources for Starting Your Own Child Care Program

YWCA Child Care Solutions staff is available to provide in-depth information about starting your child care business. Contact our office at 815-484-9442 ext. 218 to request a Child Care Program Start-up packet.

Additional YWCA resources include:

  • Free listing on our provider referral database
  • Information on training opportunities including workshops and seminars
  • Data on supply and demand in your zip codes
  • Information about the Quality Rating and Improvement System

Browse these downloads and partner sites for more information on starting your own child care business:

DCFS Day Care Home Licensing Online Orientation

DCFS Online Mandated Reporter Training

Start Up Checklist (Courtesy of Tom Copeland)

What’s Involved in Starting a Family Child Care Business in Illnois? (IELP)

Child Care Aware New Provider Website

Child Care Food Program

As a child care provider, you may be eligible to participate with the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This program, which is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), reimburses licensed and license-exempt child care providers for the partial cost of nutritious foods served to the children in their care.

Child and Adult Food Care Program (Centers)

New License-Exempt Centers

Have you recently opened a License Exempt Daycare Center with a Certification of Exemption from DCFS? If so, the YWCA can assist you with the next steps:

  • Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) requirements and payment options
  • Understanding health and safety training requirements
  • Completing the background check process for team members
  • Resources for providing quality care
Please contact our office at 815-484-9449 ext 222 or by emailing [email protected] for more information. If you have not received your Certification of Exemption from DCFS please contact them at 800-252-2873.

Licensing Information

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) is responsible for setting standards and licensing day care centers, homes, group homes and day care agencies in the state.

Visit the IDCFS website to learn more.

Questions? Contact us at 815-484-9442.