A childcare facility is a potentially profitable business. Of course, you have to fulfill several regulatory requirements within the Aurora IL city limits before starting such a business. With that in mind, here is some more information on how to properly start and build a daycare, childcare, or preschool up to code.
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot just put up a childcare business anywhere. This is because such businesses are subject to zoning laws and legal considerations at the state level. In general, most states have restrictions on the type of residential property one can use as a child care facility. A good example is the state of Illinois where such a facility must be located in a one or two family residence. In addition, the property must also be the provider’s primary residence. If you expect to admit children with disabilities, you must comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regarding the location of such a child care facility.
Daycare centers across the US must comply with strict safety regulations to prevent injuries or fatalities. More specifically, the US General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Child Care requires childcare centers to be on the ground floor of a building and have access to adequate outdoor play space. Additionally, the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) has a detailed list of playground safety requirements. To access this list, visit playgroundsafety.org. Moreover, your facility should have child safe locks, fencing around swimming pool (if any) that complies with state height and access safety standards, emergency fire exits, as fire extinguishers and suppression systems. Most states require facilities that offer childcare services to undergo mandatory inspections at least once every year. It is important to note that it is illegal to use or store hazardous materials in a preschool facility.
You cannot operate a daycare center without a valid and up to date license from the relevant authorities. Each state has its own minimum requirements. For instance, in California, you must state the type of daycare center you intend to operate (infants, toddlers, preschool age, or school age), obtain a zoning permit, obtain a fire clearance permit, attend CCLD (Community Care Licensing Division) orientation meeting, and attend operations and record keeping orientation. Accessing information related to your state’s licensing requirements is easy since most states allow business owners to apply, submit, and renew licenses online.
All states require daycare centers to have adequate insurance coverage. Once again, insurance coverage requirements vary from state to state. In Delaware, for example, preschool facilities must have liability insurance of at least $100,000 per occurrence. In addition, facilities that provide transportation must ensure their drivers have adequate medical and liability insurance. Other coverage requirements include Worker’s compensation, state disability insurance, Social Security and unemployment insurance if applicable.
A day care center should comply with state staff-child ratio requirements. In general, the teacher-child ratio is 1:4 for children aged six weeks to 18 months. Facilities that accept toddlers 18-30 months old should maintain teacher-child ratio of 1:6. The teacher-child ratio at preschool centers is 1:12 while school-age facilities should maintain teacher-child ratio of 1:15. Moreover, some states, such as Illinois, require day care centers to hire aides who can help teachers take care of children.
Some of the main requirements you would need to meet in order to set up a daycare center up to code include licensing, playground and fire safety, insurance coverage and location requirements.