Understanding Home Child Care Regulations

By Renee Gerber , last updated July 6, 2011

If you are fond of children and want to work to help care for them you might want to consider opening your own child care facility, but you need to know all about the requirements that go along with such a career choice first. Child care providers are very highly in need and there never seems to be a lack of demand for these individuals. Therefore, in the faltering economy of the past few years, it is a great field to get involved in.

First and foremost, you should realize that, in order to be a legitimate child care provider, you must obtain a license certifying you as such. You will also have to learn all about the rules and regulations that go into the field. These may vary from state to state, but are also enforced by the federal government on a countrywide basis as well.

The only child care programs that will have you exempt from regulations are special activities, such as artistic classes and athetics, including activities such as dance and horseback riding. Boy and Girl Scouts clubs are also exempt from such regulations. However, when you run a day care center, for instance, you must adhere to certain rules and regulations as determined by your particular state.

Child care programs that involve licensing requirements beforehand are related to the supervision of children -- in a capacity that is far deeper than merely serving as a babysitter. Equipment and materials available for children, discipline of a child, number of children versus the number of qualified and licensed staff, sanitation and the education and training development of staff all are aspects where regulations are required. The building in which you have your day care center will also have to meet certain standards of safety from fire and other matters as determined by state agencies.

In the case of a child care provider individually, a state regulator may be required to visit the premises and inquire. This is especially possible if there is a process of licensing for the institution of new programs at the facilities, if technical assistance is required, if a provider's license requires evaluation and especially if there is a complaint or allegation of neglect or abuse to a child in that person's care. Follow-up visits can also be expected, as well. All of these instances are essentially for the benefit and welfare of the children in the care of the day care facility.

As a home child care provider, you will definitely be subjected to a thorough background check. This is highly necessary due to the welfare of children, as well, since there is always a risk when it comes to a child. It is important for parents to be assured that their children are in the care of reputable and highly-qualified individuals who will not pose a threat to the overall wellbeing of their children, whether in a physical or mental manner.

The building in which you have your day care and all equipment within must reach certain standards of safety and cleanliness. Children are very susceptible to illness and other problems, so it is imperative that they are kept in appropriate conditions. You will also be required to have adequate evacuation sources in case of a fire, as well as working fire extinguishers at the facility. Objects in the home, including furniture and other things, must meet regulations to be deemed as safe, or child-proof. This includes the area outside the house as well. A lot goes into this job, so be prepared to follow the laws completely if you want to pursue a career in home child care.

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