You are generally not required to get a license if you are providing care for only a few children but I would strongly recommend it. Not only is it much easier to find clients if you are licensed but you have some protection in case of an accident. The requirements to be licensed are generally minimal and most are basic safety precautions that would be wise to follow anyway. There are many grants and support systems available for licensed daycare providers that are not available for babysitters. Check with your local resource and referral agency. Most areas have grants that pay you back for any charges that you incur while obtaining your daycare license and it is well worth the initial time investment to have.
I ran a home daycare for 4 years and the majority of my clients were referred to me through the resource and referral agency because I was licensed. It was far cheaper than any form of advertising I could have done.
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Depends how many kids you plan to watch. If it is just a couple you are probably OK not being licensed. More than that and I would call DCFS and see about getting licensed. Someone may turn you in if you have too many kids. Good luck, it is hard work to do childcare.
I won't advise you as to the pros & cons of each option, however, you are NOT required to obtain a license to provide child care to three children, as long as you meet the other requirements of the governing regulation. Here is the rule and a link to the Department of Children & Family Services website that covers this exception:
d) Family homes that care for no more than 3 children under the age of 12 or that receive only children from a single household, for less than 24 hours per day, are exempt from licensure as day care homes. The three children to whom this exemption applies includes the family's natural or adopted children and any other persons under the age of 12 whether related or unrelated to the operator of the day care home.
I would get licensed much better if you ever have trouble god forbid they can sue you and you get much bettter kids and hire an aid it works great
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