In the state of California, there are 30,701 in-home child care facilities and only 11,230 center-based child care facilities. This is a 63% difference. The laws and regulations for child care facilities run from a home differ from those placed on center-based facilities and vary state to state.
One of the major obstacles is ensuring the home meets the state regulations and can pass a safety inspection. The inspector will ensure play areas and pools are fenced off and that there are not any fire or poison hazards. Aside from this, every adult in the home and especially the person who will run and operate the business are required to submit fingerprints and pass background checks. The owner has to be at least 18 years old to obtain child care licensing.
There’s a great deal of training required to operate home-based child care in California, such as health training, food sanitation, nutrition, emergency preparedness, and the obligations of being a mandated abuse reporter.
Once the licensee ensures the home and operators are up to code, there are regulations that govern how the center can be run. California divides the home child care centers into two types: a Small Family Child Care Home and a Large Family Child Care Home. A Small Family center can only have a total of four infants, or six children (not more than three can be infants), or six to eight children provided at least one child is attending kindergarten or elementary school, and another is at least six years old. Additionally, no more than two infants can be attending if there are more than six children. These numbers include any children living in the home who are under the age of ten.
A Large Family Child Care Home must have an assistant child care provider and may have twelve children at one time, provided no more than four are infants, or between twelve and fourteen children if at least one is attending kindergarten or elementary school, and another is at least six years old, and there are no more than three infants also being cared for. This too includes children under the age of ten living in the home.
Safe sleep regulations for infants, in particular, are an important part of licensed facilities, due to the 13 sleep-related deaths of infants in a child care facility just last year. These can be found on the Office of Administrative Law page in ca.gov.
To obtain a license as a home-based daycare provider in the state of California, preparedness is key. Stay on top of the state’s policies and regulations to simplify the process.