What are the laws for babysitting without a license?

Answer

Each state has laws regarding the regulation of childcare. Unlicensed providers are subject to immediate shutdown upon discovery. Persons providing any type of childcare without a license are subject to legal penalties. Many states stipulate a threshold on the number of nonrelated children a person can care for without needing a license. For example, the Illinois threshold is three, and this number includes the biological children of the babysitter.

Penalties vary from state to state. In California, penalties for unlicensed childcare include a monetary fine of up to $1,000. Violators might also be sentenced to jail for up to 180 days. In addition to legal penalties, California allows for civil penalties of $200 per day. This means if a child is injured while in the care of an unlicensed person or facility, the parents can file a civil suit for quite a bit of money.

Safety is a major reason why states require licensing of childcare providers. Licensed childcare providers are subject to periodic state health inspections to ensure there are no safety violations. The home or facility must be childproof. For example, a home must have protective covers over all electrical outlets. First-aid supplies should also be on hand.

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