Legally Exempt Child Care

Helping legally exempt childcare providers navigate laws and regulations

A Legally Exempt provider is an unlicensed, informal child care provider who cares for up to 2 children and receives payment from the Department of Social Services.

For payment information, please call the Department of Social Services.

  •   Broome County: (607) 778-2628  
  •   Chenango County: (607) 337-1553
  •   Tioga County: (607) 687-8500


Eligibility is based upon the parent's eligibility to receive subsidy services and the provider's ability to meet certain criteria.  For more information on the criteria, please see the enrollment application or speak with a Legally Exempt Specialist.

Program FAQ

Family Enrichment Network is only the enrollment agency and does not make payments or payment decisions. You must contact your local Department of Social Services for any questions about payment. In Broome County, contact 778-2628. In Chenango County, contact 337-1500. In Tioga County, contact 687-8500.

This depends upon how complete the paperwork you submitted is. Once the paperwork is complete, in most cases, you will be approved within 45 days. In many cases, it only takes a couple of weeks.

Legally Exempt providers must renew or "re-enroll" once a year. Unless you have changes to the care you provide, such as the location of care, changes in the adults living in the home, new criminal convictions, etc., you do not have to fill out the enrollment form more than once a year. If in doubt, please call the Family Enrichment Network Legally Exempt Specialist.

Yes, you have to pay taxes on income earned in New York State. The term "Legally Exempt" refers to being legally exempt from child care regulations, not being tax exempt.

You can provide care in your home for up to 2 non-related children fulltime. If you wish to provide care for more than 2 children, you must first become a registered or licensed family child care provider. As a family child care provider, you can have up to 6 children under the age of 5 and 2 additional school age children.  As a group family child care provider, you can have up to 12 children under the age of 5 and 4 additional school age children.  Please call a Child Care Specialist or your OCFS licensor to review the regulations.

You can do childcare in your home, the parents home, or another location (with written statement as to why you are providing care at another location). You can provide care in only one location. You cannot go between two different homes.