Is Opening a Home Child Care Program Right for Me?

Become a Licensed Child Care Provider

Do you love working with children? Does it excite you to see the “ah-ha” moment when a child learns something new?  Have you been told you are great working with children?


Montana's child care system recognizes four types of child care, and requires that anyone caring for more than 2 unrelated children on a regular basis become registered by the state.


  • A Family Child Care Home has one child care provider with a total of six children, three of whom can be under the age of two.

  • A Group Child Care has two child care providers with a total of twelve children, six of whom can be under the age of two.

  • A Child Care Center has 13 or more children depending on facility size, with child-to-adult ratios varying on age of children.

  • A Family, Friend, and Neighbor or Relative Caregiver is a family member or friend who cares for ONLY two children, OR siblings, for state payment purposes. Care may be provided in the child's home in certain circumstances.


Becoming a child care provider is not for everyone. It is not an easy job. When caring for children you are providing a nurturing, safe environment supporting their development, you are not “babysitting,” you are providing early childhood education. Providing early childhood education is a very important job and can be a fulfilling career choice.


Raise Montana and your local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency offers information and resources designed to help you think through the process and open a successful child care program.


Learn More about Opening Your own Homebased Child Care by accessing our toolkit

Connect to your local Child Care Business Experts

Check out the ECE Professional Job Board