Posted by Ducatigirl, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm
Ducatigirl is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
My mom used to do this. If you hve only one daycar child, and you have that child less than eight hours per day, it is babysitting and not daycare. More hours or more kids, and you need a license, which takes several months to get. It includes fingerprinting and a background check.
The number of kids you can take is determined by their ages and how many kids of your own you have. A child under the age of two is considered an infant, and an infant is considered the equivalent of three kids over the age of two. Unless you have a helper, you can have no more than five kids total, including your own.
If you want to take on more children, you have to get a "variance" from the county. I am not sure what this is, although I know it includes getting permission from neighbors. You also have to have at least one helper, as well as on-site (not just on the street) parking. If any of those kids are handicapped, there are more restrictions.
I also know that if you are a renter, your landlord cannot legally keep you from having childcare, although you will be rquired by the state to have special insurance for this. Also, homeowner's insurance companies do not like to see childcare in your home, and will raise your rates substantially for this.
Once you are licensed, you have to do bookkeeping and keep other records for the county and state.
I last checked this out in 2010. It is possible that there may have been changes. Do contact the Dept of Social Services for this county for more information or to get started.