In October 2013, our favourite parenting magazine Today’s Parent released an article all about Melissa Huff. We encourage you to check out the full article and learn the ins and outs of home child care.
Melissa is like any mom – she loved spending time at home with her baby. She began to wonder about the various ways that she could go about leaving behind her typical nine-to-five lifestyle behind. She wanted to be there for all of her child’s milestones, and considered the fact that she had always wanted to work with kids and help them reach their milestones too! If she opened her own home daycare she could have an income, work with children, and have the flexibility and freedom that comes with self -employment. Before she could get started, though, she had a few things to consider.
Would she be part of a licensed agency, or operate an unlicensed home child care?
In Ontario, unlicensed means that you are able to care for up to 5 children, with your own children included in this number. Apart from maintaining appropriate ratios, the unlicensed child care provider must provide the parents with a written statement that they are not licensed by the province of Ontario. They must also provide receipts for all payment received and allow parents onto their premises at any time.
Being an unlicensed provider also means that you operate your home child care entirely on your own. This means that you must ensure that your home is up to provincial child care standards, manage the payments given to you by your parents (and sometimes, unfortunately, the lack of payment) and if anything goes wrong, it is up to you to find your own legal representation. These can be costly, time consuming and stressful processes that you must follow through with as an unlicensed provider.
Doesn’t this seem like a lot to go through all on your own? We think so! That’s why Licensed Agencies like Today’s Family exist – so you can have someone in your corner to help you with all the processes and legalities so you can do what you do best; caring for children!
Licensed homes may have up to 6 children, again with your own children included. They also must comply with many rules which dictate the size of physical space, number of meals and snacks served, and how to proceed in the event of a cancellation or sick day. It seems like a lot of work, but these rules and regulations are put in place to not only protect the safety and well-being of children, but to protect you too!
If you decide to become part of licensed home child care with the help of an agency, like Today’s Family, we can help you set up your business, stick to ministry regulations, help to fill all the available spaces for children, and manage your relationships with parents. Overall, we make the process a lot easier for you!
When you sign up to be contracted by Today’s Family, you will be assigned a Home Visitor. These Visitors will come to your home regularly to ensure that everything in your home day care is as it should be – a healthy, safe, educational space for children. They will help you ensure that all your paperwork is completed properly, and that you receive your payments from the parents who come to you through us. Most of all, we share risks and responsibilities in your time as a Licensed Home Child Care Provider!
What about operating a business from your residence?
Melissa needed to check her local zoning bylaws. Federally, there are tax rules and regulations to become acquainted with. Because Melissa would be self-employed, she needs to declare her earnings and deduct business expenses. She can deduct the costs of running her home business – like utilities, property tax and mortgage interest. Insurance is also important!
Melissa needs to find a supportive network
At Today’s Family, we are your supportive network; A team of registered ECE’s who are ready to help you with any questions, comments or concerns whenever you need! Facebook groups are a good option too!
Of course, making the adjustment as a family when it comes to converting your home into a business can be stressful. Make sure that your family is ready for such a change, and that they support you in your decision. If your family is having trouble making the transition, we at Today’s Family are here to help.
To read the full article as printed in Today’s Parent Magazine and to see the rest of Melissa’s to-do list before opening her own day care, click here.
Special thanks to Today’s Parent to continually publishing useful, informative articles for parents and professionals alike!
– Today’s Family
** Please note that the picture attached to this article is not the aforementioned Melissa Huff. It is a photo from our Today’s Family archive and is for illustrative purposes only.