Step 1: Apply to Become a Provider

There are three types of Child Care Opportunities. If you want to provide child care services to families that are eligible for the publicly-funded child care program, you must be licensed. If you want to care for children not participating in this program, there is no need to become licensed.

Applications to become a Family Child Care provider in the State of Ohio are submitted to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.  Complete applications are forwarded to the county of residence for processing and licensing recommendation.  To apply to be a Family Child Care provider, please contact the Child Care Policy Help Desk at 1-877-302-2347, option 4.

Family Child Care rules align Type A and Type B provider requirements effective 12/31/16.  To view the rules, please click here.

For additional resources and information, please visit the ODJFS Child Care page here.

Step 2: Register a child for your care

Once approved, a provider can start registering children receiving publicly-funded child care. Before the provider accepts children into care, the provider or parent MUST report that the child plans to attend to HCJFS through a “Child Care Connection.” This connection authorizes the child to the provider.

Once you have reported a “child care connection”, you will also be scheduled for a “point of service” device installation and the caretaker (parent) will be mailed an Ohio ECC swipe card 7 to 10 business days after HCJFS approves the connection.

Step 3: Decide the Days and Hours you will care for each child

Caretakers (parents) are approved for categories of care:

  • Hourly – 0 to 7 hours
  • Part-time – 7 to 24.9 hours
  • Full-time – 25 to 60 hours
  • Full-time plus – more than 60 hours

The days and hours used by the caretaker (parent) for care is between the provider and caretaker (parent). Caretakers (parents) do not have to use hours specifically tied to their work, school or training activity. They may not use more hours than the category allows, but the specific days and times are now up to the caretaker (parent) and provider. All providers are still held to their certification or licensing limitations (staffing ratios, etc.).

Step 4: Start utilizing the Ohio ECC swipe card and Point of Service Device to Receive Payment

The provider will receive payment from two sources:

1. Publicly-Funded Child Care

New providers will be shipped a “Point of Service” device to track attendance. All families receiving publicly-funded child care will have an Ohio ECC swipe card that they use to to swipe the child in and out of care each day. By swiping the card through the point of service device, providers will be able to record a child’s attendance and will be paid accordingly. Providers can also view transactions and reports in the online system: ECC Provider Web. It is important to note that the provider is not allowed to store or use the Ohio ECC card. Doing so can result in penalties and sanctions.

2. Family Co-payments

As a provider, you will receive a notice of the state-determined co-payment for each family. Providers may collect the fee on a weekly or monthly basis, but the amount displayed for the provider in the Provider Web is a weekly amount.

Providers will be paid weekly for services delivered and recorded on the swipe card three weeks prior. During this three week window providers should review the ECC transactions to ensure accuracy for proper payment. View the payment schedule here.