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Become a Family Child Care (FCC) Provider

Introduction

As a family child care provider, you’ll give military families a quality, viable, home-based alternative to center-based child care. You will manage your own business while doing something you love and helping families who serve.

On this page, you can learn more about the benefits of becoming an FCC provider and the requirements you must meet to participate. Requirements and support services may vary by Service and installation, so contact your installation’s FCC program for more information.

The Basics

Who are FCC Providers?

FCC providers are child care professionals who are certified by their military installation to provide child care in their homes. Designed for children up to age 12, FCC offers smaller group settings and more flexible schedules than traditional child care. FCC may offer full- or part-day care, care for school age children both during the school year and summer, or 24/7 and extended care.

What is the FCC Program?

Each installation or metro area that offers family child care, has an FCC program. The FCC program is an essential part of the DoD Child and Youth Program (CYP). It supports military families by providing high-quality and affordable child care in home-based settings on or near installations in the US and abroad. As an FCC provider, you will work with your installation’s FCC program to complete the required training and set up your profile in MCC so families can request care at your home. The FCC program also provides ongoing support through home visits, mentoring, and ongoing training opportunities.

Why Become an FCC Provider with the Military?

Becoming an FCC provider for the military has many great benefits!

  • Serve military families by providing their children with educational opportunities
  • Enjoy the personal benefits of working from home
  • Care for your own children at the same time
  • Build lasting relationships with the families you serve
  • Set your own schedule including traditional or non-traditional hours such as weekend or evening care
  • Customize your program by specifying the age groups served (e.g., infant only or mixed age, including school age children)
  • Access to certified backup providers or substitutes
  • Access to resources from your installation’s lending library

As a provider, you are part of a military FCC network that can help you grow your career in many ways.

  • Obtain support such as coaching, mentoring, and on-the-job training from your FCC program
  • Reach more than 250,000 military families searching for care on MilitaryChildCare.com
  • Participate in regular training and professional development opportunities
  • Transfer your career to another installation with minimal interruption
  • Receive support to obtain national accreditation through the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) and/or CDA certification through the National Child Development Association
  • Collaborate and connect with a network of military FCC providers

Note: Service branches and installations may offer additional benefits to those listed here. Be sure to connect with your installation’s FCC program for details.

Provider Requirements

The DoD is committed to providing affordable, quality child and youth care in a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment. To do that, all DoD programs must meet strict quality standards. To learn more, read about the quality standards FCC providers meet.

Quality Standards for Family Child Care

All military certified family child care providers are certified professionals who are licensed, have obtained favorable background checks, and maintain a DoD Certificate to Operate. Each installation’s FCC program ensures all providers complete a comprehensive training program that promotes developmentally appropriate intellectual, social, emotional, and physical learning.

Minimum Requirements

At a minimum, a provider must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED

DoD Certification

Prior to opening an FCC home, providers are required to become DoD certified. The certification process ensures that:

  • Providers are held to the same high standard as other CYP professionals
  • Regulations limit the number of children in care
  • Children are actively engaged in developmentally appropriate activities
  • Activities focus on school-readiness as well as social and emotional development
  • The program operates in a safe, warm home environment

Screenings, Inspections, and Checks

DoD FCC programs follow some of the highest standards for care in the nation. Standards are typically more stringent than State standards, making it easier for applicants who are required to be both State and military certified. Required screenings, inspections, and checks include:

  • Criminal history background checks for the applicant and all residents over 18 years old
  • Health screening and proof of immunizations for the provider and residents
  • Home inspections for fire, safety, sanitation, and preventative medicine
  • Monthly visits by an FCC staff member to observe, mentor and provide support
  • Pet certificate if the provider has a pet to show that it has the appropriate vaccinations and is safe to be around children
  • Proof of liability insurance

Note: If a provider is located off base, the state may require additional licensing, registration, or inspections in addition to those required by the DoD. To check your state’s requirements, visit the National Database of Child Care Licensing.

Next Steps

Think this career is right for you? Contact your installation’s FCC program for more details and get started today! 

To contact your installation’s FCC program, access the MCC Search for Care feature available at the top of the page, enter your installation’s name, and select Go. If there is an FCC Program, it will be displayed in the search results with phone and email contact information. If your installation does not have an FCC program, contact your Child and Youth Program Office about how to get started.