Types of Child Care

The main purpose of child care regulation is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of children receiving care.  Regulated child care includes family child care homes and centers.  Other types of care include nannies and babysitters as well as friends and family.  Click the titles below to learn more about each type of care.

Family Child Care Homes

Located within a personal residence or house, Licensed Family Child Care Homes are divided into two categories:

Licensed Day Care Home

A child care facility in which care is provided for a maximum of 10 children under 16 years of age.  This includes any children under 11 years of age related to the provider.  The total number of children in care at any one time is based on the ages of children in care.  Infants require greater supervision, therefore the more infants, the less spots for children of other ages.

Under 18 mos 18 mos to Kindergarten Kindergarten to 11 years TOTAL Max

Group Day Care Home

Increases maximum capacity to 12 children, based on child to adult ratios, and may require the presence of another qualified teacher/provider. Infants require greater supervision, therefore the more infants, the less spots for children of other ages.

Ratio of Children to Two Providers

Under 18 mos 18 mos to Kindergarten Kindergarten to 11 years TOTAL Max

Both types of Family Child Care facilities must have the minimum following requirements:

  • Annual inspection from local licensing surveyor
  • Annual fire inspection
  • Initial and ongoing training including CPR
  • Complete health records on all children and staff
  • Passed background checks for all household members
  • High school graduate or equivalent

For a full list of regulations please visit KDHE Child Care Licensing.

Child Care Centers


A child care facility in which care and educational activities are provided for 13 or more children ages two weeks to 16 years for more than three hours and less than 24 hours per day.


A child care facility which provides learning experiences for children who have not attained the age of eligibility to enter kindergarten and who are 30 months of age or older; which conducts sessions not exceeding three hours per session.

Head Start/Early Head Start

Free programs for eligible families that provide services for parents and children age 0 to 5. Child Start is the umbrella agency for both programs locally. Click here for more information about Head Start & Early Head Start.

Before/After School Programs

A facility that provides care to school-age children before and after school.

Pre-K Programs

A half-day program operated by school districts in collaboration with private community-based programs.  Eligibility is based on a variety of risk factors, including free-lunch eligibility, developmental delay, English language-learner or migrant status, single or teen parent homes, or low parental educational attainment. 

For a full list of regulations for each type of child care center please visit KDHE Child Care Licensing.

Relative Care Providers & Friends and Neighbors watching children

Relative care providers are friends, family, neighbors, and more. Caregivers who are blood related may be able to accept DCF payments for families receiving assistance if they meet the criterion.

In Kansas, providing out of home care to more than two children requires a license. If providing care for one or two children, licensure or certification is required if the combined hours for all children in care is more than 20 hours per week. For example, if a provider cares for two children, Child A and Child B, and she takes care of Child A for 10 hours per week and Child B for 11 hours per week for a total of 21 hours per week, a license or certificate is required.

Nannies & Babysitters

Generally nannies and babysitters provide care within the parents’ homes. Often, nannies will live in the home and provide additional household duties. Kansas does not have a regulation on the minimum age of a babysitter, but the individual should be capable of supervising a child without supervision themselves and able to take appropriate safety measures in cases of emergency.

Did you know?

Child Start offers an opportunity for pre-teens to learn all about caring for children through Babysitter Academy! To learn more contact us!

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