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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>California Daycare License Capacity Question...and Possibly More...
brittmreed 08:05 PM 11-05-2015
Hi all, I am considering getting licensed for in home care here in San Diego. I currently have my 19 month old DD, my 5 year old DS who is in Kindergarten, and I watch 2 siblings from another family during the day as well. So basically I have 3 kids, 2 of which are under the age of 2, during the day.

If I get licensed, how many more can I take? I have looked at several ratio explanations for california and I'm still a little confused.

Another question, and don't hate me for this I am honestly just curious (I fully intend on getting licensed if I ever take more kids)...Is getting licensed a huge huge deal here? It seems like an overwhelming amount of work to only take a couple more kids. I am also worried because you hear stories about how licensing regulates every little detail and makes you feel like you can't even have your best friend over without fear of being cited. I honestly have literally nothing to hide...I live in a wonderful neighborhood and have nothing on my record or anything like that. But I just get anxiety thinking about how the state could show up whenever they want and criticize me for having a messy house or something lol. Does that happen a lot? I guess I'm just nervous abou the whole process. Any input would be appreciated!
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spedmommy4 08:40 PM 11-05-2015
In California, there are two types of licenses.

For a Small Family Child Care Home, the maximum number of children cared for, including children under age 10 who live in the home, is one of the following:

* Four infants under 24 months (Total- No more kids)
or
* Six children, no more than three of whom may be infants
or
*Up to eight children when one child is at least six years of age and one child is enrolled in and attending kindergarten or elementary school and no more than two infants are in care. Parent notification and property owner
consent must be on file.

After one year in operation, you can apply for a large license.

For a Large Family Child Care Home, the maximum number of children cared for when there is an assistant provider in the home, including children under age 10 who live in the home, and the assistant providerís children under age 10, is either:

*Twelve children, no more than four of whom may be infants
*Up to 14 children when one child is at least six years of age and one child is enrolled in and attending kindergarten or elementary school, and no more than three infants are in care. Parent notification and property owner consent must be on file.

In my opinion, California's rules are fairly lax. They don't check on you very often. The licensing regulations are basic health and safety common sense things that most parents with young children would do anyway. (eg: put medicines in a high cabinet, have toys for the kids to play with)
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brittmreed 09:01 PM 11-05-2015
Thank you for your response! I guess I am having trouble understanding the "8 children" scenario. So you can have 8 children if 2 are school age...but can you have 7 kids but only one is school age (and only 2 children under 2 of course)?

If I have 4 children right now, and one is school age and only 2 are under the age of two, how many more children can I have? This is starting to sound like math class haha.
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Blackcat31 05:42 AM 11-06-2015
Originally Posted by brittmreed:
Thank you for your response! I guess I am having trouble understanding the "8 children" scenario. So you can have 8 children if 2 are school age...but can you have 7 kids but only one is school age (and only 2 children under 2 of course)?

If I have 4 children right now, and one is school age and only 2 are under the age of two, how many more children can I have? This is starting to sound like math class haha.
Yes, I have found that I actually use math a whole lot more than I ever would have thought in child care (other than counting to 10).

Here is the link for California licensing rules.
https://www.daycare.com/california/


As far as licensing being a big deal....I don't know if it's statewide or not but if I recall correctly you can be fined up to $200 per day (if not more) for each day you operate without a license in situations where you SHOULD have had a license.

It might be a pain and it might be a lot of work but if it's legally required then it's worth the trouble in the long run.
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spedmommy4 07:05 AM 11-06-2015
Originally Posted by brittmreed:
Thank you for your response! I guess I am having trouble understanding the "8 children" scenario. So you can have 8 children if 2 are school age...but can you have 7 kids but only one is school age (and only 2 children under 2 of course)?

If I have 4 children right now, and one is school age and only 2 are under the age of two, how many more children can I have? This is starting to sound like math class haha.
No more than 6 UNLESS you have school age kids. One of your kids is in Kindergarten so it is an option for you. You just have to have the parents sign a form of acknowledgement.

You have 4. You could potentially have 4 more.
One child would have to be 6.
One could be under two. (Although I don't recommend that)
The other two would have to be over two.

Hope this helps.
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Nisaryn 07:48 AM 11-06-2015
Originally Posted by brittmreed:
Hi all, I am considering getting licensed for in home care here in San Diego. I currently have my 19 month old DD, my 5 year old DS who is in Kindergarten, and I watch 2 siblings from another family during the day as well. So basically I have 3 kids, 2 of which are under the age of 2, during the day.

If I get licensed, how many more can I take? I have looked at several ratio explanations for california and I'm still a little confused.

Another question, and don't hate me for this I am honestly just curious (I fully intend on getting licensed if I ever take more kids)...Is getting licensed a huge huge deal here? It seems like an overwhelming amount of work to only take a couple more kids. I am also worried because you hear stories about how licensing regulates every little detail and makes you feel like you can't even have your best friend over without fear of being cited. I honestly have literally nothing to hide...I live in a wonderful neighborhood and have nothing on my record or anything like that. But I just get anxiety thinking about how the state could show up whenever they want and criticize me for having a messy house or something lol. Does that happen a lot? I guess I'm just nervous abou the whole process. Any input would be appreciated!
Hey there! I live in San Diego and am a military spouse, I've been licensed since June so I have up to date information. Everyone already basically explained the ratio. Like right now I have an infant son of my own and I have another infant I watch, I have the option that I could also take on 4 toddlers between 2 and 5 yrs of age, 1 kindergartener, and 1 SA. But I'm doing infant only so I can have two more infants instead.

As for the licensing process...you will need to take a First Aid/CPR class and a Health class. They are both offered by Red Cross. Your First Aid/CPR is good for 2 years and the Health class never expires so you won't have to take it again after you have completed it. You MUST have these classes first.
After you have your certificates you need to be fingerprinted at a live scan location, there is a specific form you use which is on the site that BlackCat listed. Once this is done, you send the paper confirming your scan in with your application.

They will contact you once they have filed the application and your fingerprinting is cleared, for me this took about 2 weeks. They will come and do a home inspection, for me this was another 3 weeks since here in San Diego they have only THREE people doing all inspections! You MUST HAVE YOUR HOME READY, as in ready as if you already were taking care of kids. Since you already have little children you can assume that your house is probably already sufficiently baby proofed. However, there is a lot more to it than that which will be covered in your health class that you will be taking first. I had to make all kinds of changes and purchase a variety of things but it didn't cost too much. In all my entire start up cost was just under $900 since I already had much of what I would need since my son is 9m old. Most of the stuff I bought on Amazon. My pack-n-plays are great quality but were only $30 each!

Anyway, when they do the inspection they will tell you right then and there if you pass....if you do they will email you a temporary license until your real one arrives in the mail. If you don't pass they give you 1 week to make corrections before they return. If you fail the 2nd time you have to wait to reapply after 3 to 6 months. The entire process took about 2 months was all. If you have any other questions feel free to PM me!

OH! I also I would like to note that I have not had any issues with licensing, the lady who I "work" under is wonderful and she was very helpful and very easy going. Since she is soooo freaking busy though I have only had a single inspection since I started (I passed), but she does call now and then to ask how I'm doing. Honestly, the food program people have been more picky than she is! I have family visiting during Thanksgiving and I am open for the first two days of that week...I simply called my license agent and let her know and she said that since they weren't staying longer than a week it is fine so long as the parents are aware and agree to their being over since it's a special occasion. However you cannot just let people pop in during your daycare hours, especially if they also have kids simply because of the ratio and also child safety rules and disease prevention. But they don't "rule" everything. It is strict especially with sanitation but so long as your doing things right you will be fine.
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brittmreed 08:03 AM 11-06-2015
Originally Posted by Nisaryn:
Hey there! I live in San Diego and am a military spouse, I've been licensed since June so I have up to date information. Everyone already basically explained the ratio. Like right now I have an infant son of my own and I have another infant I watch, I have the option that I could also take on 4 toddlers between 2 and 5 yrs of age, 1 kindergartener, and 1 SA. But I'm doing infant only so I can have two more infants instead.

As for the licensing process...you will need to take a First Aid/CPR class and a Health class. They are both offered by Red Cross. Your First Aid/CPR is good for 2 years and the Health class never expires so you won't have to take it again after you have completed it. You MUST have these classes first.
After you have your certificates you need to be fingerprinted at a live scan location, there is a specific form you use which is on the site that BlackCat listed. Once this is done, you send the paper confirming your scan in with your application.

They will contact you once they have filed the application and your fingerprinting is cleared, for me this took about 2 weeks. They will come and do a home inspection, for me this was another 3 weeks since here in San Diego they have only THREE people doing all inspections! You MUST HAVE YOUR HOME READY, as in ready as if you already were taking care of kids. Since you already have little children you can assume that your house is probably already sufficiently baby proofed. However, there is a lot more to it than that which will be covered in your health class that you will be taking first. I had to make all kinds of changes and purchase a variety of things but it didn't cost too much. In all my entire start up cost was just under $900 since I already had much of what I would need since my son is 9m old. Most of the stuff I bought on Amazon. My pack-n-plays are great quality but were only $30 each!

Anyway, when they do the inspection they will tell you right then and there if you pass....if you do they will email you a temporary license until your real one arrives in the mail. If you don't pass they give you 1 week to make corrections before they return. If you fail the 2nd time you have to wait to reapply after 3 to 6 months. The entire process took about 2 months was all. If you have any other questions feel free to PM me!

OH! I also I would like to note that I have not had any issues with licensing, the lady who I "work" under is wonderful and she was very helpful and very easy going. Since she is soooo freaking busy though I have only had a single inspection since I started (I passed), but she does call now and then to ask how I'm doing. Honestly, the food program people have been more picky than she is! I have family visiting during Thanksgiving and I am open for the first two days of that week...I simply called my license agent and let her know and she said that since they weren't staying longer than a week it is fine so long as the parents are aware and agree to their being over since it's a special occasion. However you cannot just let people pop in during your daycare hours, especially if they also have kids simply because of the ratio and also child safety rules and disease prevention. But they don't "rule" everything. It is strict especially with sanitation but so long as your doing things right you will be fine.
Oh my gosh thanks so much for the details! My husand is a vet, disabled, and this is going to be a way for us to have some extra money for once.

I have signed up for my classes and am scheduled to take those in December, I read that as long as you are registered for the classes you can send in your application...is that right? I guess I just want to do everything in the correct order. I am probalbly going to pm you with more questions as they come up haha!
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daycare 08:18 AM 11-06-2015
Originally Posted by brittmreed:
Oh my gosh thanks so much for the details! My husand is a vet, disabled, and this is going to be a way for us to have some extra money for once.

I have signed up for my classes and am scheduled to take those in December, I read that as long as you are registered for the classes you can send in your application...is that right? I guess I just want to do everything in the correct order. I am probalbly going to pm you with more questions as they come up haha!
its super easy, don't be afraid. when you are starting out just about everyone will be kind and willing to help you. You can submit your application at any time. I would suggest submitting that asap, getting your house ready to go, then doing your CPR/First Aid, then your Finger Prints. I did my required class last. But you can do all of that in any order.

If you get all of that going, when they come out to do your home inspection they can sign you off that very day. that is what I did.

don't stress, they are not going to sight you for anything, they will only ask you to correct it before they will license you.

BTW the fees for operating without a license here where I live is over $1000 a day and if they catch you more than once, you will never be able to get a license.

So I would make sure to get one so that you don't end up possibly getting into trouble.
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brittmreed 08:40 AM 11-06-2015
Originally Posted by daycare:
its super easy, don't be afraid. when you are starting out just about everyone will be kind and willing to help you. You can submit your application at any time. I would suggest submitting that asap, getting your house ready to go, then doing your CPR/First Aid, then your Finger Prints. I did my required class last. But you can do all of that in any order.

If you get all of that going, when they come out to do your home inspection they can sign you off that very day. that is what I did.

don't stress, they are not going to sight you for anything, they will only ask you to correct it before they will license you.

BTW the fees for operating without a license here where I live is over $1000 a day and if they catch you more than once, you will never be able to get a license.

So I would make sure to get one so that you don't end up possibly getting into trouble.
I am such a rule follower I would never operate without one, way too risky! Plus, the requirements for it seem totally normal and I'm happy to get certified in CPR etc. for the welfare of the kids.
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MarinaVanessa 09:33 AM 11-06-2015
Getting licensed isn't as hard as you think it is. Being licensed isn't either, it's pretty much common sense. It's pretty much child-proofing your house and making sure it's a safe environment. "Mess" doesn't mean you always have to have your house spick and span, only that there has to be some standard of cleanliness. Toys on the floor and dishes in the sink for example aren't a big deal ... they just want to make sure that you clean up food messes right away and there isn't grime caked onto stuff like your floor, stove, walls etc. and that you're not a "hoarder" and have stuff stacked up or constantly on the floor making it a safety and fire hazard.

As far as ratios go, I'll do my best to explain a small license:
Up to 8 kids if: 2 of them are under 2, 4 of them are over 2, 1 is at least in kindergarten and 1 is age 6 or older.
Up to 6 kids if: 3 of them are under age 2 and 3 of them are age 2 or older
Up to 4 kids if: all 4 are under 2 years old

As far as being illegally unlicensed ... if you are reported and licensing shows up they usually work with providers to get them licensed but it depends on how long you have worked illegally unlicensed and whether or not you're working safely. You will also be fined up to $200 for each day (for your first offense) that you worked illegally unlicensed. In some circumstances I have heard that people won't be able to apply for a license until they have paid the fines in full first. If your home is deemed unsafe and you are over-capacity by licensing standards you could be banned from getting a license for a certain number of years or ever depending on what the department wants to do. Personally I wouldn't take that risk and wouldn't recommend anyone else to either.
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brittmreed 09:49 AM 11-06-2015
I totally agree, I would never consider that an option I was just nervous about the process. I think I understand the ratios now, thanks to everyone for explaining!

Does anyone else have dogs? I have three small ones who have their own inaccessible area away from the kids (they are older and one has a bad back). This shouldn't be a problem right?
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MarinaVanessa 10:03 AM 11-06-2015
Originally Posted by brittmreed:
I totally agree, I would never consider that an option I was just nervous about the process. I think I understand the ratios now, thanks to everyone for explaining!

Does anyone else have dogs? I have three small ones who have their own inaccessible area away from the kids (they are older and one has a bad back). This shouldn't be a problem right?
Nope. SHouldn't be a problem BUT you have to follow all CA regulations for pets. So even though it doesn't really matter what type of dog you have or how many you have or even whether kids will have access to them or not you still have to have all dogs up do date on shots and they have to be registered. Cats don't have to be registered but they have to have their shots up to date. I used to have a HUGE German Shepherd (120 lbs) and it was never an issue with licensing unless a child gets bit or something.
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Crystal 12:15 PM 11-06-2015
If you haven't done so already, you will need to complete the Licensing Orientation before applying for your license. The orientation should answer most of your questions regarding ratios, etc. The orientation is available on-line and I believe costs $25.00:

http://www.ccld.ca.gov/PG534.htm
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Nisaryn 02:38 PM 11-06-2015
Originally Posted by brittmreed:
Oh my gosh thanks so much for the details! My husand is a vet, disabled, and this is going to be a way for us to have some extra money for once.

I have signed up for my classes and am scheduled to take those in December, I read that as long as you are registered for the classes you can send in your application...is that right? I guess I just want to do everything in the correct order. I am probalbly going to pm you with more questions as they come up haha!
You need to wait till after the classes, it's just easier because they will want you to send copies.
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brittmreed 04:28 PM 11-07-2015
Ahhh okay. They are all up to date on everything so that's good.
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Tags:california - regulations, in home daycare, licensing, ratios - california
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