There are many things you cannot do without first applying for a license, which is a form of government permission to carry out an activity. Licenses are required to drive cars, to open a vet clinic, and to work in close proximity with vulnerable children in a day care center environment. If you're thinking about opening your own day care, read on for more information on getting your license.
Who Needs a License?
Anyone who intends to care for 6 or more preschool or 8 or more school age children needs a license. If you're looking after your own child at the same time, that child counts as part of the total. Anyone who is providing care for fewer than that number can operate without a license, however it is still recommended that you get one as even parents who live on your block and see you every day will be wary of trusting anyone who has not been vetted.
How to Get a License
Before you start looking in the real estate listings for suitable properties, child proofing the area of your home where the day care will be, or contacting commercial mortgage brokers for their help with your business loans, you will need to create a proposal to operate a child care facility and submit it to the provincial government. Guides on how to start a child care business and how to write up your proposal are available on the government website. Once it has been received, an early childcare development consultant will arrive. If you meet the province's day care, fire, and medical regulations, your license will be granted.
Day Care Regulations
The government doesn't get involved in details such as what brand of diapers you buy, but it does want to ensure children are safe. Therefore all day cares shall have programs that stimulate children's intellectual, emotional, physical, and social skills. They shall also maintain records or regular and irregular occurrences and make them available to parents. They shall not make use of corporal punishment, belittlement, or deprivation of food or shelter as punishments. There should also be adequate indoor and outdoor play areas and nutritious, healthy meals. The staff should be trained in first aid and CPR and at least 2/3 of them should be graduates of an early childhood education program.
If you don't have the money to start up, there are grant programs available to provide capital for the start up and renovation of day cares. If you live in Ontario and want to start up and operate a daycare, you can start here and here.