Opening a Family Child Care

Individuals who are interested in or planning to open a Family Child Care, as well as, those who have a new Family Child Care (licensed for 6 months or less) are welcome to attend Maine Roads to Quality Statewide Online Community of Practice, “First Steps to Family Child Care”. This CoP meets from 6:00-8:00 pm via Zoom on the 4th Monday each month.

Register Here

The Zoom link will be emailed to people who register one week prior to the meeting and again in the afternoon on the day of the meeting. Professional growth hours will be given for the time you attend. You can reach out to Tammy Dwyer with questions at tammy.dwyer@maine.edu.


*July 2022 expansion grant funding available for new fcc providers through CEI. Post on the program and application process.


Material for this series has been pulled together from a variety of resources by members of FCCAM. We have done our best to have quality sources and valid links. Please feel free to contact us at any time with specific questions. 

Part 1: Is FCC a Good Fit and Where Do I Start the Process?

Becoming a small business owner as a family child care provider is not for everyone. When you welcome children into your home providing a nurturing, safe environment supporting their development, you are not “babysitting”.

Providing early childhood education and care in your home is an important job that many find to be a good fit for themselves and their family, a sustainable small business and a fulfilling career choice.

You need a business plan, an understanding of the regulations you need to meet on the state and local level, and an awareness of the support services available to you. As a potential family child care provider, you must apply for a license to operate your family child care. Meaning you have to comply with the Licensing Rule currently governing family child care programs.

Part 1 provides information on applying for your license, looking at policies and building your Care Agreement. FCCAM’s “Business Toolkit” provides you with information that covers the building of a “Care Agreement”.


Part 2: Business Plan

A simple business plan will help you think through what you want in your program, rather than only what you can afford. Your business plan will show that your business will generate enough revenue to cover your expenses and make a satisfactory return (your salary), develop your marketing strategy and help set long-term goals. 

Don’t let the idea of a business plan scare you. It’s really just looking at questions that pertain to what you hope your business to be and honestly answering them.


Part 3: Equipment

Every family child care is unique and thus it’s impossible to say “Here get this….” or even “You need this….”.  Deciding what equipment works for your program and space; what is really necessary; and what can be put on the future purchase list – is only a decision that you can make.

Being informed about the types of equipment that have continually shown their value in meeting the developmental needs of children will support your decision making and might surprise you with how easy it is to provide a nurturing, developmentally responsive environment for the children you are looking to provide care for. 


Tom Copeland produced a series of videos that summarize the key aspects of what it means to run a family child care business for the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance. Each stand alone video is no longer than 15 minutes and closed captioned. View in any order or pick just the one or two you have questions about.

Top Three Record Keeping Tips for Family Child Care Providers

What Are the Two Most Important Terms to Include in a Contract?

Is Your Home, Business and Vehicle Properly Insured?

What is the Best Business Structure for a Family Child Care Provider?

How Do Providers Pay Themselves?

How to Find and Choose a Tax Preparer

When is the Best Time to Start Claiming Social Security Benefits?

How Much Should You Save for Your Retirement?