Starting a Child Care or School Age Program

If you are interested in establishing a new child care center, home-based child care business, or school-aged program, we want to help you.

First, it’s important to understand that many existing child care programs and providers have openings, and are finding it difficult to enroll children. So, for you to succeed, you will need a complete understanding of business principles, including finances; New York State regulations; and marketing, in addition to the programmatic side of the business.

We urge you to review all of the related information in our website, and ask Council staff any additional questions you may have, before you attend the mandatory NYS information session or the Council’s optional one. Start here.

Mandatory Info Session For Family, Group/Family, Center, and School Age Child Care
If you intend to open a child care center, family child care program, group family child care program, or school age child care program, you must take an online or attend a mandatory start-up information session hosted by the New York State Office for Children and Family Services. For information and to watch the orientation video, go to The Child Day Care Center orientation is only available online.

The Council hosts the sessions for family child care programs and school age child care programs. There is no charge to attend.

Optional Business Info Session for Child Care Centers
The Child Care Council offers an additional non-mandatory information session to introduce you to the critical business-related aspects of starting a child care center, including the need for care in the area, budgeting, quality programming, developing a program philosophy, staff requirements, and regulations.
Cost for session: $85
One-on-One professional assistance is also available for a fee of $75/hour.
Contact Idie Benjamin, Director of Professional Development, at (914) 761-3456 x 108 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Any child care program that serves 3 or more non-related children for more than 3 hours a day on a regular basis must obtain a license or registration from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). To obtain either a license or registration, the applicant must show that the child care program meets requirements that the state has established to help ensure the health and safety of children in care.

external link icon Click here to read the New York State OCFS regulations for centers, school age programs, family and group family providers.

The Council offers regular training sessions on child care program regulations.


Contact Us

Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc.

313 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, New York 10583

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Child Care Specialists extended hours are available on Tuesdays until 7pm to help you make an informed decision about child care.

Phone: (914) 761-3456
Toll-Free: 1 (844) 387-7525

Fax: (914) 761-1957

Email us

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