What is a Family Child Care Home?


A family child care home is any occupied residence in which child care is regularly provided for children unrelated to the operator and where a payment/fee is received for any of the children in care. The number of preschool and school age children is limited by the County ordinance regulating family child care homes.

The Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing Office provides licensing information and technical assistance to all family child care homes in the county, including the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City.

How long does licensing take?

The average time for family child care licensing is 90 days, but some take longer. You can work at your own pace. You have up to a year from the date we receive your pre-application to get licensed.

How many children can I have with a family child care home?

The capacity of a family child care home applies to all children under 13 years of age who are related to the caregiver or who live in the home. You would choose one of the following scenarios:

  • A maximum of four children from birth to 12 months of age
  • A maximum of six children, if no more than three are birth to 12 months
  • A maximum of 10 children, if no more than five are preschool age and, of those five, no more than two are under 12 months of age

Family Child Care Home Licensing Requirements

The following are highlights of licensing requirements that must be completed before you can be licensed. All the requirements are listed in the Hillsborough County Ordinance, Rules and Regulations (Child Care Licensing Program Ordinance - Spanish).

  • You and everyone 18 years of age or older in your household must have a background screening. This consists of a local law enforcement check, a state criminal record check and a national check through the FBI. The cost varies depending on the Livescan vendor. You may not be eligible for licensing if you or anyone in your household pleaded guilty, nolo contendere, or was found guilty of disqualifying offenses. You must complete a juvenile delinquent check on everyone in your household 13 years through 17 years of age. The cost is $8 each.
  • You must complete a first aid class and an infant / child CPR class. The cost varies.
  • You must complete the 30-clock-hour Family Child Care Course. The cost in the classroom with a book varies. The cost online with a book is $79. Online without a book is $50. For online training, consult our child care training website for training locations.
  • You must have a fenced outside play area that is a minimum of 500 square feet. The fence must be a minimum of 4 feet in height.
  • You must have sufficient toys and equipment for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and after-schoolers.
  • Your home must be clean, safe, sanitary, and in good repair.
  • You must have a satisfactory fire inspection. The cost varies depending on your location.
  • If you have a pool, spa, or water hazard, it must be fenced, enclosed, and / or locked with a 4-foot or taller barrier, to prevent children from accessing the area.
  • If you have well water, you will need a Family Child Care Home well water permit from the Health Department. Call (813) 307-8019, ext. 5982 for more information. The cost of an initial well water permit is $125, with a $65 annual renewal fee, plus the cost of quarterly well water testing.