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  #1  
Old 04-05-2010, 08:43 PM
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Default Not Licensed - Do I have to be??

I am currently taking care of 2-6 kids in my home. I have been doing this for 2 months. A worker from the MT dept. of public health and human services office knocked on my door today. She told me that someone complained that I am running an unlicensed daycare and that I needed to be licensed if I was going to care for more that 2 kids (including my own) under the age of 6.

I run a high quality preschool and daycare. I have no problem letting anyone in anytime to take a look and see what we are doing at any given time. I have been a sped. teacher for the last 8 years.

I have no desire to be licensed. My parents are told up front that I am not licensed and have not intention of getting licensed. They are fine with this because of the quality of care that I provide.

Am I required to be licensed??? Thanks for all your input.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:22 PM
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I am currently taking care of 2-6 kids in my home. I have been doing this for 2 months. A worker from the MT dept. of public health and human services office knocked on my door today. She told me that someone complained that I am running an unlicensed daycare and that I needed to be licensed if I was going to care for more that 2 kids (including my own) under the age of 6.

I run a high quality preschool and daycare. I have no problem letting anyone in anytime to take a look and see what we are doing at any given time. I have been a sped. teacher for the last 8 years.

I have no desire to be licensed. My parents are told up front that I am not licensed and have not intention of getting licensed. They are fine with this because of the quality of care that I provide.

Am I required to be licensed??? Thanks for all your input.
You already know the answer to that question.

I needed to be licensed if I was going to care for more that 2 kids (including my own) under the age of 6.


Social workers can't just make up the rules as they go, they're written down in black and white.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:53 AM
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The answer is obvious...if the state worker said you need to be licensed if you care for more than 2 children including your own under 6, than you need to be licensed. What's not to understand?

What happened when the state worker was there? Did you tell her you are running a daycare? Did you get fined?

Here in NY you have to be licensed if you care for more than 2 unrelitives, not including your own...if you are caught unlicensed and watching more than 2, you can be fined up to $500 per day!

I know being licensed does not effect the quality of childcare, but state rules are state rules and if you get caught it can cost you some hefty fines.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:59 AM
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Yep. You either need to cut back to 2 kids at a time or get licensed. Too late to try to lay low and be an unlicensed illegal daycare. They know you are operating and they'll be back. I don't know your local laws, but I do know that here they can give you some very steep fines ($500 per day ) Now, I'm not a fan of licensing, but with a limit of 2 kids it doesn't leave you much choice if you want to make any money at this. Good luck making your decision.
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:56 AM
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Unfortunately, it doesnt matter the quality of care you provide or if all the parents are aware of you not being licensed. You have to follow the laws and regulations in your state. She told you what they are and now you must comply or stop providing care...we ALL have to follow the rules.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:48 AM
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I am currently taking care of 2-6 kids in my home. I have been doing this for 2 months. A worker from the MT dept. of public health and human services office knocked on my door today. She told me that someone complained that I am running an unlicensed daycare and that I needed to be licensed if I was going to care for more that 2 kids (including my own) under the age of 6.

I run a high quality preschool and daycare. I have no problem letting anyone in anytime to take a look and see what we are doing at any given time. I have been a sped. teacher for the last 8 years.

I have no desire to be licensed. My parents are told up front that I am not licensed and have not intention of getting licensed. They are fine with this because of the quality of care that I provide.

Am I required to be licensed??? Thanks for all your input.
Sorry, it sounds like you need to be. Or at least your state requires you to be. In my state (Ohio) we do not have to be licensed. I have a Bachelor's degree & feel that I provide a very good program & I'm not licensed. I hope you are able to do what is necessary to get licensed but personally if it were me I would not be willing to do it so I'd likely stop providing care. My question though is if the parents are happy with the care it irks me that the state can come in & say, "Yes, you need to be licensed". . . I guess that is my issue. Parents coming to you, requesting your care & being fine with no licensing. Too much government IMO!

Last edited by momofboys; 04-06-2010 at 09:49 AM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:04 AM
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sorry, it sounds like you need to be. Or at least your state requires you to be. In my state (ohio) we do not have to be licensed. I have a bachelor's degree & feel that i provide a very good program & i'm not licensed. I hope you are able to do what is necessary to get licensed but personally if it were me i would not be willing to do it so i'd likely stop providing care. My question though is if the parents are happy with the care it irks me that the state can come in & say, "yes, you need to be licensed". . . I guess that is my issue. Parents coming to you, requesting your care & being fine with no licensing. Too much government imo!
amen to this.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:59 AM
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amen to this.
I agree as well! In Kansas they are considering getting rid of the Registered option (what I am) which means I can care for up to 6 kids including my own, fill out some forms/background check each year and pay a fee but they dont come out to the house unless someone complains. They might start a Licensed only thing...I hope I can be grandfathered in if this ends up happening but I doubt it. I would go ahead and get licensed anyway though because I would rather work for myself than someone else.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:18 PM
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So if you get licensed, will they still be knocking at your doors? If they still come and check on you, you really arn't working for yourself anymore.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:38 PM
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I don't know about anyone else, but I am still working for myself!!!

There are regulations to EVERY business. Look at it this way... Say tomorrow you go out and buy a restaurant. The Department of Health will set standards as to how the food must be kept, the sanitary conditions of the kitchen, etc. They will pop in now and then to ensure that you are maintaining safety standards...

You wouldn't think of saying that the Department of Health is now the employer would you?

Same deal for daycare!

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Old 04-06-2010, 12:55 PM
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I don't know about anyone else, but I am still working for myself!!!

There are regulations to EVERY business. Look at it this way... Say tomorrow you go out and buy a restaurant. The Department of Health will set standards as to how the food must be kept, the sanitary conditions of the kitchen, etc. They will pop in now and then to ensure that you are maintaining safety standards...

You wouldn't think of saying that the Department of Health is now the employer would you?

Same deal for daycare!
Yes..that is exactly what i was going to say. Regulated providers work for themselves (we set our own rules, policies, hours, pay, time off etc).

Government regulations invade almost every facet of our lives. I think that with home daycare people get touchy because our business is in our HOMES...the most private part of anyone's life. And daycare is kind of a "cottage industry" that before regulations was commonplace in every community. Now that women in the workforce is so prevelent in our societies, caring for children has become a business. Anytime something gets big, regulation starts to creep in.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:59 PM
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Thanks for your input. I printed out over 30 pages I need to fill out in order to be licensed. All of which have to be signed in-front of a notary. I have to have my insurance agent fill out the forms saying that I have the proper insurance. (I can't just fill it out and give them my policy number I have to find time to go into his office) I have to arrange a fire inspection (I babysit the fire marshals 2 girls, and so he can't be the one to do the inspection there's irony for ya). I have to provide all of my immunization records and my husbands, run background checks in the state of Wyoming and Mt. (I am a certified teacher in both states so have passed multiple checks for both states, non of which count and my husband is a pastor and has also passed multiple checks which also do not count. I get to pay for new ones.) I have to provide my lesson plans and meals schedules. etc, etc, etc. I quit teaching because of all the politics that go long with special ed. ie. AYP, NCLB, and on and on. I am beginning to think, I have been plopped down in the middle of it again. GGRRR!!!
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:59 PM
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I feel like I work for the state but without all the benefits. I can't decide what furniture I want, what hours I work, where I want to place my furniture ect. The government here in my state regulates the amount of hours I am allowed to work which I find absurd. My home has to look like a child care center and the only aspect of my home is I'm allowed to have family pictures as long as they are hung a certain way and I can have furniture in my living room.

They come during nap time for some stupid reason and this wakes the children up. If you request they come earlier/later they think it's because you are up to something during those hours or over numbers for those hours. Then you have to stop what you are doing and show them releases and registrations for each child which is required. Today they came and gave me a lecture because 4 year old children were napping. I had to show releases that they were allowed to nap and they called the parents to make sure they had requested the 4 year olds sleep. They didn't think it was appropriate for that age child to nap.

If I didn't have my own child to worry about I would provide illegal child care under the radar. JMO and just being honest. I have 2 friends that provide illegal care and they have less stress and have wonderful programs.

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Old 04-06-2010, 02:05 PM
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i feel like i work for the state but without all the benefits. I can't decide what furniture i want, what hours i work, where i want to place my furniture ect. The government here in my state regulates the amount of hours i am allowed to work which i find absurd. My home has to look like a child care center and the only aspect of my home is i'm allowed to have family pictures as long as they are hung a certain way and i can have furniture in my living room.

They come during nap time for some stupid reason and this wakes the children up. If you request they come earlier/later they think it's because you are up to something during those hours or over numbers for those hours. Then you have to stop what you are doing and show them releases and registrations for each child which is required. Today they came and gave me a lecture because 4 year old children were napping. I had to show releases that they were allowed to nap and they called the parents to make sure they had requested the 4 year olds sleep. They didn't think it was appropriate for that age child to nap.

If i didn't have my own child to worry about i would provide illegal child care under the radar. Jmo and just being honest. I have 2 friends that provide illegal care and they have less stress and have wonderful programs.
wow!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:28 PM
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I feel like I work for the state but without all the benefits. I can't decide what furniture I want, what hours I work, where I want to place my furniture ect. The government here in my state regulates the amount of hours I am allowed to work which I find absurd. My home has to look like a child care center and the only aspect of my home is I'm allowed to have family pictures as long as they are hung a certain way and I can have furniture in my living room.

They come during nap time for some stupid reason and this wakes the children up. If you request they come earlier/later they think it's because you are up to something during those hours or over numbers for those hours. Then you have to stop what you are doing and show them releases and registrations for each child which is required. Today they came and gave me a lecture because 4 year old children were napping. I had to show releases that they were allowed to nap and they called the parents to make sure they had requested the 4 year olds sleep. They didn't think it was appropriate for that age child to nap.

If I didn't have my own child to worry about I would provide illegal child care under the radar. JMO and just being honest. I have 2 friends that provide illegal care and they have less stress and have wonderful programs.
aren't you in NY? maybe i'm mistaken.....but i"m in NY and they are no where near that strict with me. you must have one heck of a licensor....
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:27 PM
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I feel like I work for the state but without all the benefits. I can't decide what furniture I want, what hours I work, where I want to place my furniture ect. The government here in my state regulates the amount of hours I am allowed to work which I find absurd. My home has to look like a child care center and the only aspect of my home is I'm allowed to have family pictures as long as they are hung a certain way and I can have furniture in my living room.

They come during nap time for some stupid reason and this wakes the children up. If you request they come earlier/later they think it's because you are up to something during those hours or over numbers for those hours. Then you have to stop what you are doing and show them releases and registrations for each child which is required. Today they came and gave me a lecture because 4 year old children were napping. I had to show releases that they were allowed to nap and they called the parents to make sure they had requested the 4 year olds sleep. They didn't think it was appropriate for that age child to nap.

If I didn't have my own child to worry about I would provide illegal child care under the radar. JMO and just being honest. I have 2 friends that provide illegal care and they have less stress and have wonderful programs.
That is rediculous!!! I don't know if I could handle that. Kansas has pretty easy standards to meet. I have never had them visit my home but my Step mother has and she said they are very polite and respectful. Heck they are in your home, they better be! I cant believe about the 4 year old napping thing. CRAZY!!!
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:47 PM
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aren't you in NY? maybe i'm mistaken.....but i"m in NY and they are no where near that strict with me. you must have one heck of a licensor....
Yes, I'm in NY. When I was registered I loved my registrar. She was so helpful and basically told me she trust me on good faith until I give her a reason not to. Then I went group and went from a registration to a license and it has been nothing but trouble and harassment. I have never done anything to warrent it she is just very strict. I have even caught her making up her own rules. For instance no where in the regs does it say you need a fence. She required me to put one in. when I called her super she said that it was actually a good idea and would help business and then told me she had to go. Before I just turn in my license I may go back to being registered instead.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:42 PM
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Just about any industry has safety protocols and inspections for regulation violations, so I guess you'd have to say that NOBODY works for themselves anymore.

I'm self employed, but I'm still subject to complying with Federal and State regs.

Heck, even a barber isn't exempt to this.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:18 AM
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If I had to become licensed again to keep the daycare open, I would quit right then and there. It was like giving up being self-employed when I got my license. I run this daycare to give children the same opportunities to have a happy carefree childhood (at least while in my care) that I had growing up.

The regulations and inspectors in some places may not be too bad, but I didn't find that to be the case here. Mine was smug and had a big old chip on her shoulder. I truly got the impression that she did not believe that daycares should be allowed in homes. She had unrealistic expectations that sometimes exceeded the licensing rules. I don't think anything would have pleased her short of my home being turned into sterile center. Not happening! We have pets and the kids are allowed to play with them. (I was expected to have them wash their hands every time they pet my dog or cat, so in my licensor's presence we had to all go indoors in the middle of outdoor play time because a dc boy pet my dog who was sunning in the grass!) We like splashing around in our wading pool on hot days. And yes, (gasp! horrors!) I have days where I let the dishes pile up until after the kids are gone because they can wait and I KNOW my time is better spent making the childrens' days brighter with love and attention, not with how spotless my sink is. I like my daycare and so do my dc families. A center is one thing and a home daycare is another. IMO they aren't keeping the expectations separate enough.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:29 AM
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Yes, I'm in NY. When I was registered I loved my registrar. She was so helpful and basically told me she trust me on good faith until I give her a reason not to. Then I went group and went from a registration to a license and it has been nothing but trouble and harassment. I have never done anything to warrent it she is just very strict. I have even caught her making up her own rules. For instance no where in the regs does it say you need a fence. She required me to put one in. when I called her super she said that it was actually a good idea and would help business and then told me she had to go. Before I just turn in my license I may go back to being registered instead.
oh...that makes sense then. my licensor is sooooo easy going, but i have heard the one for the state (should i go group) is horrible. she's the reason i won't go group...lol
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:44 AM
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oh...that makes sense then. my licensor is sooooo easy going, but i have heard the one for the state (should i go group) is horrible. she's the reason i won't go group...lol
I wish I knew before hand. I posted something in my local area and it's an overwhelming response to providers who turned in thier license when they were group due to harassment and unrealistic expectations for a home. Something should be done. I am trying to gather research regarding this and then filing a complaint. We can't provide acceptable care in my opinion if we are uncomfortable in our own home, entertaining unannounced guest constantly, doing dishes and cleaning messes the second they are made. There are now more illegal daycares in my area then registered or licensed because of the harassment they expereinced while group. Once they turned in thier license the state never went back again. Many are afraid to get registered because they are afraid it will be the same thing as licensed. I spoke to my old registrar about this and she said I was not the first and even she thought they invaded OUR business too much.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:01 AM
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This is very interesting information, and exactly why I would not do this job if I was forced to be licensed. People choose home daycares for a reason, and the rules and regulations should be made as such. The regulators forget that this is our home and we actually live here 24 hours a day.

My niece works occassionally for a home provider that is licensed for over 12 children. She said it is crazy the regulations they are forced to follow. She said probably the one that is the most disturbing is that they are not allowed to put a blanket on a child in a crib. She said it is so sad to have to lay them down with no cover when it is 20 below zero outside and the providers are all wearing a sweatshirt for extra warmth, and they can't even cover a child up. Now as a parent, I would be quite pissed if my child was put in a crib to sleep on a cold cold day with no blanket. Babies have been put to bed for centuries with a cover....and now it is suddenly wrong. Even I have a cover when I go to bed. I guess these are the types of things that I feel no one has the right to tell me I can or can not do as a parent with a child in daycare, I feel it is my right as a parent to make the decision whether or not my child can/should be covered up with a blanket. While I understand these are gov't rules and regulations, doesn't always mean it is the "right way" for everyone, and as a parent we should be able to make that call.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:11 AM
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This is very interesting information, and exactly why I would not do this job if I was forced to be licensed. People choose home daycares for a reason, and the rules and regulations should be made as such. The regulators forget that this is our home and we actually live here 24 hours a day.

My niece works occassionally for a home provider that is licensed for over 12 children. She said it is crazy the regulations they are forced to follow. She said probably the one that is the most disturbing is that they are not allowed to put a blanket on a child in a crib. She said it is so sad to have to lay them down with no cover when it is 20 below zero outside and the providers are all wearing a sweatshirt for extra warmth, and they can't even cover a child up. Now as a parent, I would be quite pissed if my child was put in a crib to sleep on a cold cold day with no blanket. Babies have been put to bed for centuries with a cover....and now it is suddenly wrong. Even I have a cover when I go to bed. I guess these are the types of things that I feel no one has the right to tell me I can or can not do as a parent with a child in daycare, I feel it is my right as a parent to make the decision whether or not my child can/should be covered up with a blanket. This is only one little situation, I am sure there are many more situations that providers who are licensed deal with daily.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:06 AM
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You might not be able to put them down with a blanket but you can use a long sleeved sleep sack which is just as effective but safer than a blanket.

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Old 04-07-2010, 07:20 AM
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I can't believe I am saying this, but the last few conversations have made me change my mind about something I NEVER thought I would. I have always held that I didn't think being licensed was an issue at all. I don't turn in unlicensed (illegal) daycare and believed that parents should choose for themselves and it wasn't the government business. BUT...

It has become very evident that providers do need training on issues such as SIDS. It is important that providers be current on safety standards and that is one area where licensing meets those needs. I know that many providers take the time to be current without licensors, but some clearly are not.

I don't think for a minute these are "bad" providers or that they do not care. It seems to be simply a lack of education regarding certain safety standards.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:53 AM
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I chose to delete all my comments concerning this thread. This thread was taking the wrong path in my opinion, things were starting to be said that suggested myself and possibly other providers were uneducated concerning things because I/we did not agree with some of the gov't regulations. Because someone does not agree, does not mean that I/we do not abide by them.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:47 AM
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I do not think quality of care has anything to do with licensed or unlicensed. Nor do I think that education has anything to do with it either. I have my degree in ECE and have done this all my working life, but if I had the option not to be regulated then I would do it in a heartbeat. If that is an option in your state then you are blessed. I am not for Big government. I feel parents and providers are the best judges of quality care not the licensing representative.

MAC60--From all the posts I have read from you I think you are right on and agree with you wholeheartedly. Keep on providing unregulated quality care and dont worry about anyone who says otherwise.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:29 AM
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The rules are fairly strict here in MN, and more and more are added each year. My licensor was pretty intimidating the first few years, and I do get surprise visits from licensor and food program, which kinda stinks, just because EVERY DAY I worry about if my house is clean enough etc etc. Its not the regs like number ratios or safety locks or training that stress me out- it's those intangibles that licensors have "discretionary" power over- like whether your area needs a fence etc. I have to say it keeps me on my toes- when I'm tired or busy the house still has to be perfect, I review records every other month to make sure, etc etc. My licensor has never been anything but decent and respectful to me, though she has a rather firm and intimidating style and demeanor, I think its to scare people- but I have heard stories of unfairness. I pay background checks for my husband- and hes a deputy sheriff.. I don't know- I guess I see both sides. If I wasn't paranoid and wanted the insurance licensing allows, and the income from higher numbers, I wonder if I'd be as willing to have the intrusion 9 ys into the business as I was willing to have in the beginning. It can be a real inconvenience and hardship to family as well
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by originalkat View Post
I do not think quality of care has anything to do with licensed or unlicensed. Nor do I think that education has anything to do with it either. I have my degree in ECE and have done this all my working life, but if I had the option not to be regulated then I would do it in a heartbeat. If that is an option in your state then you are blessed. I am not for Big government. I feel parents and providers are the best judges of quality care not the licensing representative.

MAC60--From all the posts I have read from you I think you are right on and agree with you wholeheartedly. Keep on providing unregulated quality care and dont worry about anyone who says otherwise.
I've done unlicensed care and always been a big supporter...also a big supporter of Mac. However, every provider should be fully aware of WHY infants need to sleep on their backs, in a crib, without a blanket. That simply isn't a matter of opinion.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:48 AM
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Just my two cents- As I have utmost respect for all- licenced or not and have received excellent support and advice from both- Education is no guarantee of common sense- and I have met some really dumb providers with degrees- and some great ones without- people who read a lot, have good instincts/common sense. I know here in MN they are moving towards requiring a degree- which, though I have one and it won't affect me- I think will limit the amount of caring providers available. I think the amount of regulation and hassle some of the licensed providers have experienced is excessive- bordering on egregious. Still- the basics of safety- things like shaken baby/SIDS, first aid/CPR etc are not regulated or required at all in unlicensed daycares. To me- thats too big a risk, since there's no way to know if a provider will pursue that knowledge on their own, or just skate by since its not required. I think most of the unlicensed providers on here, just by being on here and putting time into discussions etc, prove their dedication to the job- and we all learn from each other here. And for every intelligent, caring provider out there- degreed or not- there's always an ignorant provider who, not only makes the profession as a whole look bad, but puts children at risk. I think if licensing were slightly less costly and invasive, while still requiring at least an initial set-up inspection and training basics, then left folks alone- similar to the "registered but unlicensed" that some states seem to offer- might be a way to compromise and make the system better for everyone. The whole reason people won't license is because of the excessive rules and controls, distrust in licensors, cost etc. Tone it down and ensure basic safety& training for all.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:52 AM
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By the way- my husband called one day a few months ago while on the job- rather upset-he was at the scene with a dead 8 month old- amidst crying family etc he had to investigate the scene etc - The cause of death was strangulation by the infants baby blanket- an otherwise normal, healthy baby in a caring, intelligent, upstanding family.... I don't care how comforting a blanket is, or what a family allows at home- after a few days the baby adjust to sleeping without it- it just isn't worth the risk.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:58 AM
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I guess the point of the original post was if you had to be licensed or not. My state says yes. I did run an unlicensed daycare for almost a year until one of the parents got pissed at me and decided to turn me in. DHS said I had to cease care immediately which I did. I got my license and opened back up. Was I following all the rules DHS sets forth? Nope. I thought I was pretty close but until I got the rule book and found so many more things that I was not doing. I did not practice fire/tornado drills, did not have smoke detectors in all the rooms required, only had 1 fire extinguisher, etc. I was putting blankets in with the babies per the parents request and now realize that you can not do that. No matter what. Rules are not made up for fun. They are made up for the safety of the children.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by emosks View Post
I guess the point of the original post was if you had to be licensed or not. My state says yes. I did run an unlicensed daycare for almost a year until one of the parents got pissed at me and decided to turn me in. DHS said I had to cease care immediately which I did. I got my license and opened back up. Was I following all the rules DHS sets forth? Nope. I thought I was pretty close but until I got the rule book and found so many more things that I was not doing. I did not practice fire/tornado drills, did not have smoke detectors in all the rooms required, only had 1 fire extinguisher, etc. I was putting blankets in with the babies per the parents request and now realize that you can not do that. No matter what. Rules are not made up for fun. They are made up for the safety of the children.
Excellent post and to the point. Thank you
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:58 PM
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One of the things I learned early on, and refer to often is this:

Never underestimate the power of an angry parent.

If you're not licensed, and need to be, count on an angry parent to turn you in.

If you are licensed, but aren't following the rules, count on an angry parent to turn you in.

Keep good records and document all those questionable conversations. And do business legally. I've only had a couple angry parents. One turned me in. It took 2 months to clear my name.
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