Child care is a big business these days, with the increasing number of double income households. Everyone who is leaving their child in the care of someone else, wants to be 100 percent confidant that their child will be safe and happy while they are there. That is why there are many laws and regulations in place when it comes to childcare. If you are looking to start a new daycare operation in the Toronto, Ontario area, there are many things you should look into and consider before getting started.
When starting up any business, there are three things you should do before you do anything. First, find out which licenses and regulations are required to run your type of business legally. You will then need to choose a structure for your business, and either incorporate or register your business. Lastly, you will need to determine whether you will need to charge and pay HST. Most businesses that make less than $30,000 over a 12-month period will not be required to charge HST, but it is recommended that you look up the exact laws for your specific business.
When it comes to daycare, there are a few different routes you can go. You can become an officially licensed center-based daycare, or you can go the route of home-based care. This can be licensed or unlicensed. There are also the options of basic babysitting, or nanny services.
Actual child care centers, as well as some home-based daycares are licensed by the Ministry of Education. There is the option of offering home-based child care that is unlicensed. Even if you go this route, there are still a few specific things you will need a license for. If you are caring for more than two children under the age of two, this includes your own, you will need a special license. You will need an additional license if you are caring for more than five children under the age of two, again this includes your own. You will also need a special license if you are planning to hire individual care takers on contract to work in your home caring for the children.
If you are a fully licensed and regulated home-based daycare center, you will need to make sure you meet with all provincial health and safety regulations, as well as caregiver training standards. These standards include all care givers being aged 18 or older. If your caregivers are caring for children with special needs, they are required to have a valid first aid certification.
Lastly, there are additional licenses that are required if you plan to take care of children with any sort of physical disability, or if they have a communication, behavioral or developmental issue, or a chronic medical condition.
It is also important to note that if you plan to offer child care of any kind, whether in-home or center based, your location will need to pass a food safety inspection. Local authorities are the ones responsible for conducting these inspections, so you will want to get in contact with them to plan it.
When you have children in your care, you are, by law, responsible for their safety. A good safety measure to consider taking, is to install security cameras wherever your child care will be taking place, whether it’s in your home, or in a secondary, commercial location. This can give you some valuable peace of mind, and it will ensure that if anything does go wrong, you’ll have everything on video. This can serve to protect both you and the children in your care.
Before jumping in and installing a bunch of cameras though, there are some things you should familiarize yourself with first. Most importantly, you should know that there are several privacy laws in place regarding the footage that you obtain through use of your surveillance cameras. These laws will govern the use as well as the information gained on an individual. It may be worth taking some time to think about using a less privacy-invasive security method, depending on the size and location of your daycare.
If you have determined that installing video surveillance is the right choice for your business, there are some measures you will want to take to ensure you are using the cameras and footage appropriately as well as complying with all laws. You will want to begin by creating a policy on the use of your surveillance, and share this policy with all potential customers. People have a right to know that they are being recorded, and why it’s being done, as well as the measures you are taking to protect their privacy. You will want to limit the viewing range to only what is necessary and appropriate for the safety of your business. Be sure to store recorded footage in a safe and secure location with limited access. Always destroy the footage you have once it is no longer required for your purposes. Lastly, familiarize yourself with all local privacy laws regarding the footage you acquire, so that you are fully prepared to deal with any situation that may arise.
Once you are ready to install a security system, you will want to choose a good one. There are some systems out there that offer features beyond just video recording. You can get things like attendance trackers and front door control methods. There can even be options to restrict access to certain parts of the building to certain guests. These extra features are worth-looking into, as safety is of the utmost importance when someone has entrusted you with the care of their child.
Running a daycare can be a very rewarding business, but you need to make sure you have all the information you need before getting started. Decide what sort of registrations and licensing you want to obtain, and get it all sorted before opening. Familiarize yourself with all laws regulations regarding the type of daycare you choose to run. Ultimately, you want to offer a safe, welcoming environment that parents can be confidant in when they leave their children with you!