Mother with Child in Living Room Preparing to Take Photo of Child

Using child care in your own home means that an individual comes to your home to care for your child or children. This may be just for an evening or as a full-time care arrangement. This type of care is not regulated by states. However, in some states, families who choose care in their own homes may be eligible for financial assistance through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). If a child receives financial assistance, there will be requirements for the child care provider. Check with your state child care assistance agency to find out whether you are eligible for financial assistance and whether there are any requirements providers must follow.

Tips for Choosing This Type of Care

  • It is very important to check your provider’s references, training, and experience. Make sure your provider is trained in first aid and CPR. You will also want to make sure your caregiver is trained in safe sleep, giving children medication, and child development. Learn more about the 12 health and safety trainings that all adults caring for children should have.

  • Perform a background check on your potential provider. Contact your state police for more information about how to do this.

  • Be sure to discuss your desires and beliefs about nutrition, discipline, safe sleep, screen time, and activities with your provider to make sure you agree on how your child will be cared for when you are not there.

  • Discuss how, together, you and your child’s caregiver can support your child’s learning. Work together to plan and provide learning activities.

  • It is best to have a written contract with your provider. This document should cover important topics, including hours that care will be provided, rates, fees, and illness policies. Also include any other work that the provider will be expected to do, such as light housekeeping. Read more about recommended items that should be included in a child care contract.

Why Families Choose This Type of Care Boy and girl playing with puzzle on floor

Families may choose to use care in their own home because they believe their children will feel more secure in their own home. Some families find this type of care more convenient, especially if parents are working different hours such as second or third shift or have to be at work before other types of care settings open.

This type of care may be more flexible and may be a good fit for families that don’t need child care on a full-time or regular basis.

If there are several children in the family, this type of child care may be more affordable than other types of care.


This text has been adapted from content originally created by Child Care Aware of America Grant #90LH002 for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Child Care (OCC).