Family Child Care
Some families choose for their child to be cared for in a home-like setting. Family child care providers fulfill this need by offering care for children in their homes.
Licensed Family Child Care providers* may care for up to eight children (including their own), or up to 12 children with an assistant.
Licensed Family Child Care Group Home providers* may care for up to 16 children (including their own) with the help of a full-time assistant.
License-Exempt Family Child Care providers (such as Family, Friend and Neighbor care) may care for three or fewer children (including their own), or children from one family.
*Licensed family child care providers, and licensed family child care group home providers must meet Illinois Department of Children and Family Services standards for health and safety including, child to staff ratios and required space per child.
Child Care Centers
Child Care Centers provide care for groups of children outside of a residential setting. Children are usually grouped by age. Types of centers include: child care, Early Head Start/Head Start, State pre-kindergarten, preschools, school-age programs, and summer programs.
Licensed Child Care Centers must meet Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) standards for health and safety including child to staff ratios and required space per child. For licensed centers the following staff to child ratios and maximum group sizes are set by DCFS.
Licensed-Exempt Child Care Centers are also recognized by Illinois, such as those serving children 3 years and older and operated by public or private elementary or secondary schools, faith based organizations, institutions of higher education of other accredited schools registered with the Illinois State Board of Education. Since these settings are not licensed they are not held to standards for health and safety, staff to child ratios or maximum group size set by DCFS.