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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Considering Licensed Home Daycare Illinois...
Evolily 09:50 PM 11-19-2015
I am strongly considering starting a home daycare after I move. I've provided nanny type care in the past for family. I have read (most) of the regulations, and I have a few (well a lot) of questions before I get any more invested in this concept, heh. I'm in Illinois.

First, if I am licensed from, say, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., does that mean I can provide no childcare outside of those hours? Or can I provide care as long as it falls within the unlicensed limits (3 kids, one family group, or all related to me?) I don't want to get in trouble if I, say, keep a friend's child overnight or even for a couple days while she's on vacation. This may be a deal breaker, to be honest.

Second, in buying a home for home daycare, is there anything that stands out as important to look for? Outside of lots of space, lol. I am early in the process and we don't want to move until spring, so I'm mostly just "window shopping", but I am afraid that I'll end up with a house that would either need very expensive upgrades or just not be compatible.

And third, if I'm reading correctly, you can't have a joint license and have one person work during childcare hours, unless married, correct? I am buying the house with my mother, who is a special education teacher and works during the week, it would be nice to have a joint license with her so she could more easily substitute (Illinois seems to only allow 25 hours of substitute care a month?) and provide school aged care during breaks if she wanted, but far from a deal breaker. I can always hire her as a substitute/assistant, too.

Sorry, that was long!
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Michael 04:36 AM 11-20-2015
Welcome to the forum! Here are your state licensing standards: https://www.daycare.com/illinois/

Some more great information on starting a daycare: https://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31166
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DaveA 04:54 AM 11-20-2015
Originally Posted by Evolily:
I am strongly considering starting a home daycare after I move. I've provided nanny type care in the past for family. I have read (most) of the regulations, and I have a few (well a lot) of questions before I get any more invested in this concept, heh. I'm in Illinois.

First, if I am licensed from, say, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., does that mean I can provide no childcare outside of those hours? Or can I provide care as long as it falls within the unlicensed limits (3 kids, one family group, or all related to me?) I don't want to get in trouble if I, say, keep a friend's child overnight or even for a couple days while she's on vacation. This may be a deal breaker, to be honest.

For the most part it is daycare children in your house only during daycare hours. As for children not in your daycare (family, friend's kids) at your house off hours it really isn't' a concern to reps. What you may encounter is being told to keep non DCK children out of daycare space while providing care.


Second, in buying a home for home daycare, is there anything that stands out as important to look for? Outside of lots of space, lol. I am early in the process and we don't want to move until spring, so I'm mostly just "window shopping", but I am afraid that I'll end up with a house that would either need very expensive upgrades or just not be compatible.

As for location: safe neighborhood and easy to drive to your house. As for the house, a dedicated space that you can use just for daycare is a huge plus. Open floor plan, near a bathroom and kitchen/ kitchenette, good outdoor play area is a plus (fenced is ideal but not a deal breaker), and nothing that you would have to block off to operate (such as a raised brick fireplace). One thing to consider is IL will probably not license a basement space (even one finished one) unless it is a true walkout.

And third, if I'm reading correctly, you can't have a joint license and have one person work during childcare hours, unless married, correct? I am buying the house with my mother, who is a special education teacher and works during the week, it would be nice to have a joint license with her so she could more easily substitute (Illinois seems to only allow 25 hours of substitute care a month?) and provide school aged care during breaks if she wanted, but far from a deal breaker. I can always hire her as a substitute/assistant, too.

Yes if her name is on the license she has to be there during daycare hours. In my case the license is in my name only. My wife has to do all the background checks/ physicals as a member of the household, so she is able to be my sub/ assistant regardless. In practicality the 25 hour thing isn't strictly enforced. It's designed to make sure someone doesn't get a license for someone who couldn't and not be there. As long as you are the primary provider you really won't have an issue with someone who lives with you being very involved in operations.

Sorry, that was long!
Don't worry- if your just starting it will be the first of many question. Good Luck!!!
My answers in blue
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Evolily 02:07 PM 11-20-2015
Thank you so much! Good to know the 25 hour rule isn't stringently enforced. I did read that there were exceptions for illness, but it is overwhelming to think I can only ever take 25 hours off, unless I cancel on families. I would hate to build up a pool of clients and then lose them because I had to close, especially if I could easily manage substitute care.

I am very wary of providing care in a finished basement, just the flooding potential and mold potential is a turn off, never mind the logistics of evacuating with infants and toddlers in a fire. I would like a decent basement space for tornado warnings (I am guessing that unlicensed basement spaces are fine in this case?), but otherwise I'd rather stick to care on the first floor.

A lot of homes here have been essentially converted into two flats (first and 2nd floor kitchens, etc), many are still technically zoned single family, which might work without having the issues involved with trying to use a basement? I guess I could even do an official two flat as long as I lived on the first floor.

I have a couple more random questions-

Are the capacity numbers the number of children in the house at any one point, or the number of children who are allowed in day? Like, if I was licensed for 6 kids, had 6 children in the morning, one left at noon, could I have another in the afternoon?

I read something by Illinois CCRR that suggested the provider must have a vehicle in case of emergency. I think it was outdated or inaccurate? I know you need emergency plans, and maybe emergency evacuation plans? My vehicle wouldn't be appropriate and tends towards being very unreliable. If there was an emergency evacuation I would definitely request help from first responders or neighbors before attempting to evacuate. I have absolutely no interest in transporting daycare children.

I know I'm over thinking this. I do really want to make sure I am completely prepared before committing to anything, though, so I think some over thinking is helpful.
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DaveA 02:42 PM 11-20-2015
Originally Posted by Evolily:
Thank you so much! Good to know the 25 hour rule isn't stringently enforced. I did read that there were exceptions for illness, but it is overwhelming to think I can only ever take 25 hours off, unless I cancel on families. I would hate to build up a pool of clients and then lose them because I had to close, especially if I could easily manage substitute care.

I am very wary of providing care in a finished basement, just the flooding potential and mold potential is a turn off, never mind the logistics of evacuating with infants and toddlers in a fire. I would like a decent basement space for tornado warnings (I am guessing that unlicensed basement spaces are fine in this case?), but otherwise I'd rather stick to care on the first floor.

Basement as emergency shelter is allowed even if space isn't licensed.

A lot of homes here have been essentially converted into two flats (first and 2nd floor kitchens, etc), many are still technically zoned single family, which might work without having the issues involved with trying to use a basement? I guess I could even do an official two flat as long as I lived on the first floor.

I have a couple more random questions-

Are the capacity numbers the number of children in the house at any one point, or the number of children who are allowed in day? Like, if I was licensed for 6 kids, had 6 children in the morning, one left at noon, could I have another in the afternoon?

They mean the total # of children in your care at one time. So that situation would be OK by licensing.
I read something by Illinois CCRR that suggested the provider must have a vehicle in case of emergency. I think it was outdated or inaccurate? I know you need emergency plans, and maybe emergency evacuation plans? My vehicle wouldn't be appropriate and tends towards being very unreliable. If there was an emergency evacuation I would definitely request help from first responders or neighbors before attempting to evacuate. I have absolutely no interest in transporting daycare children.

Don't know that one- that's probably one for licensing in your area. I'm thinking you can get around it in areas that have access to public transportation, but I wouldn't quote me on that.

I know I'm over thinking this. I do really want to make sure I am completely prepared before committing to anything, though, so I think some over thinking is helpful.
hope that helps
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Evolily 02:57 PM 11-20-2015
We do have public transit, and taxi service.
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sahm1225 03:29 AM 11-21-2015
Originally Posted by Evolily:
Thank you so much! Good to know the 25 hour rule isn't stringently enforced. I did read that there were exceptions for illness, but it is overwhelming to think I can only ever take 25 hours off, unless I cancel on families. I would hate to build up a pool of clients and then lose them because I had to close, especially if I could easily manage substitute care.

I am very wary of providing care in a finished basement, just the flooding potential and mold potential is a turn off, never mind the logistics of evacuating with infants and toddlers in a fire. I would like a decent basement space for tornado warnings (I am guessing that unlicensed basement spaces are fine in this case?), but otherwise I'd rather stick to care on the first floor.

A lot of homes here have been essentially converted into two flats (first and 2nd floor kitchens, etc), many are still technically zoned single family, which might work without having the issues involved with trying to use a basement? I guess I could even do an official two flat as long and s I lived on the first floor.

I have a couple more random questions-

Are the capacity numbers the number of children in the house at any one point, or the number of children who are allowed in day? Like, if I was licensed for 6 kids, had 6 children in the morning, one left at noon, could I have another in the afternoon?

I read something by Illinois CCRR that suggested the provider must have a vehicle in case of emergency. I think it was outdated or inaccurate? I know you need emergency plans, and maybe emergency evacuation plans? My vehicle wouldn't be appropriate and tends towards being very unreliable. If there was an emergency evacuation I would definitely request help from first responders or neighbors before attempting to evacuate. I have absolutely no interest in transporting daycare children.

I know I'm over thinking this. I do really want to make sure I am completely prepared before committing to anything, though, so I think some over thinking is helpful.
Just wanted to chime in that according to my licensor, you can NOT do childcare out of a two flat unless you are doing it out of your own apartment. So you can't own the building and live on the 2nd floor and have the 1st as a daycare.

Never heard anything about having a vehicle to transport children as a requirement.

I actually use my full Finished walk out basement as a daycare. We have invested into preventing flooding. I would think if you had mold in the house it would be dangerous regardless what level you are in?

I didn't know you could do a joint license so I can't comment on that. I was under the impression that it had to be one person who lived in the house.

Good luck!
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