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Day Care Providers

There are different types of child day care providers that parents may choose from. They include:

  • Licensed child care providers
  • Registered providers
  • Legally-exempt providers

Licensed Providers:

All licensed child day care providers in Erie County must meet standards established by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services [OCFS]. Examples include:

  • Day Care Centers: facilities [not homes] that provide child care for more than 3 hours per day.
  • Group Family Day Care: is care provided in a home for no more than 7-14 children, by a caregiver with an assistant, for more than 3 hours per day.

Registered Providers:

All registered child day care providers must meet the requirements set by the NYS-OCFS and be registered by the NYS-OCFS.

  • Family Day Care: is day care provided for 3 to 6 children and 2 school-age children in the provider's home.
  • School-Age Child Care: is a day care program conducted in a facility for 7 or more school-age children.

Legally Exempt Providers:

All legally exempt providers must be enrolled with the Child Care Resource Network and comply with New York States established basic health and safety requirements. There are three types:

  • Family Child Care:
    Care provided for 1 or 2 children outside the child's home in a caregivers residence who is at least 18 years of age;


    Care provided by a relative; grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, or first cousin of the child.

  • In-Home Child Care:
    Care in the child's own home by a provider chosen and monitored by the child's parent or guardian.
  • Group Child Care:
    Provided by caregivers meeting state requirements but not required to be licensed by, or registered with New York State. Examples include:
    • Pre-Kindergarten Programs
    • Nursery Schools
    • Summer Day Camps

If you are interested in becoming a registered child care provider in Erie County, or have questions regarding licensing or licensed child care, please contact the NYS Bureau of Early Childhood Services at (716) 847-3828.


Referral Services:

The Day Care Unit provides integral referrals and information to all families, service providers, community-based organizations and divisions with the Erie County Department of Social Services. Referrals are provided to clients after determining the most effective level of services available.

For more complete information about referrals for comprehensive day care services, please call [716] 858-TYKE [858-8953] for assistance.