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We get a lot of questions about being a Pathways LA provider, so we’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions here for easy reference. For anything related to payments, visit our Provider Payments page. If you have any further questions, please contact our Resource & Referral specialists at 213-427-2700 for more help! 


How do I become a Pathways LA provider?

You can become a Pathways LA provider if a parent approved for subsidized child care services in a Pathways LA program chooses you to care for their children. You will need to complete and comply with a Provider Service Agreement, which outlines all program and agency requirements, as well as the specific documentation needed for submission (organized by provider type). All providers must be over the age of 18 and operate within the Pathways LA Service Area, which includes the following zip codes:

90004     90010     90014     90020     90027     90036     90041     90048     90068     90210
90005 90012 90017 90021 90028 90038 90042 90057 90069 90211
90006 90013 90019 90026 90029 90039 90046 90065 90071 90212

Contact us to get started! 


If I become a Pathways LA provider, am I now an employee of Pathways LA?

Pathways LA does not employ child care providers nor their staff. Child care providers are private, independent contractors. 


What is the difference between an Exempt provider and a TrustLine provider?

There are two different types of licensed-exempt child care: 

  • Licensed-Exempt Relative: Eligible License-Exempt Relatives are the grandmother, grandfather, aunt or uncle of the child by blood or by marriage. A licensed-exempt relative must provide proof of the relationship by submitting documentation for verification, such as a birth certificate or marriage license.
  • Licensed-Exempt Non-Relative (TrustLine Providers): Eligible License-Exempt Non-Relatives are adults who care for an unrelated child. The State of California does not consider siblings, great grandparents, great aunts/uncles or cousins as relatives for this purpose. These providers must register as TrustLine providers and may only provide child care services for one family.


What is the difference between a Licensed Center and Family Child Care Home?

  • Licensed Child Care Centers: Child Care Centers are licensed and overseen by the California Community Care Licensing Board (CCL). Centers offer physical, social, developmental and educational activities for groups of children of different ages. State regulations specify staff size, educational requirements, and health and safety standards. All staff must be certified free of any serious criminal history. These centers may be operated by public or private agencies, including churches.
  • Licensed Family Child Care Homes: Family Child Care Homes (FCCH) are also licensed and overseen by the CCL. They are operated in private homes and are subject to inspection. There are two license types in this provider category: Small and Large. Small FCCH may care for up to eight children. Large FCCH are required to employ a full-time assistant and may care for up to 14 children. State regulations specify health and safety standards for both the provider and the provider’s home. The provider and all persons age 18 and older in the home must be certified free of any serious criminal history.


How do I become a Licensed Child Care Provider?

In order to obtain a Family Child Care Home License you must:

  1. Attend a Family Child Care Home orientation presented by Community Care Licensing
  2. Complete the three requisite safety courses and submit the Family Child Care Home application to Community Care Licensing. Reimbursement for course fees may be available. 
  3. Submit LiveScan fingerprinting, immunizations and Tuberculosis (TB) skin test for each person over age 18 living in the home. 
  4. Pass a home inspection by Community Care Licensing.

Through the CCIP program we offer free technical assistance, including home visits, to help you prepare your home for the inspection visit. We may also be able to provide you with financial support for fees involved with licensing as well as equipment and supplies that you will need. Pathways LA can provide support every step of the way. Learn more here.


Do I have to provide my Social Security Number to become a Licensed Family Child Care Provider?

As an alternative to your Social Security Number, you can use your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead. 



Can I apply for the Family Child Care License if I live in an apartment?

Yes, California state law gives renters the right to operate a licensed family child care home. 


What services do you provide for Licensed Family Child Care Providers?

We provide free workshops on a variety of topics related to child development and learning, business management, licensing regulations, and health, safety and nutrition. We also assist providers who want to extend the capacity of their license, and provide opportunities for networking with other child care providers. Learn more here


Can you send children to my program?

When parents request child care referrals from us, we provide them with a list of providers from our Child Care Referral Database based on the parameters that they have selected. The list of referrals is randomized and automatically generated by the database system based on the zip codes requested by the parents. If you would like to be listed in our Child Care Provider Referral Database, please bring or send us a copy of your license and provide us information regarding your program. 


Where can I get information about caring for children and improving the quality of my child care?

Pathways LA offers trainings and professional development opportunities to license-exempt and licensed child care providers and their staff in our service area. Topics include child development, business development, children with special needs and more. Learn more about Pathways LA training and coaching opportunities here.