Do You Need a License to Watch Your Neighbor’s Kids?

In Michigan each day before the school bus comes to pick up the neighborhood’s children, Lisa Snyder did a favor for three of her fellow moms, welcoming their children into her home for about an hour before they left for school. Days after the start of the new school year, Snyder received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continued, she’d be violating a law aimed at the operators of unlicensed day care centers.

Snyder’s predicament has led to a debate in Michigan about whether a law that says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers needs to be changed. Snyder said she stopped watching the other children immediately after receiving the letter, which was well within the four-week period. State Rep. Brian Calley, R-Portland, said he was working to draft legislation that would exempt situations like Snyder’s from coverage under Michigan’s current day care regulations. The bill will make it clear that people who aren’t in business as day care providers don’t need to be licensed, Calley said.

While this was in Michigan, we thought it was interesting information and had some thoughts on it. For our readers in Texas, neighbors may watch up to three kids and not have to notify the state according to our Daycare Abuse Attorneys. For four to six children, the home must be registered with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Registered family homes are inspected by DFPS before the registration in issued. They inspect at least once every three years, depending on the homes’ history of compliance with minimum standards. For more than seven children and up to 12, homes must be licensed by DFPS. Directors must meet certain education requirements, DFPS will inspect the home before they issue a license, and they inspect between one and four times per year unannounced.

As concerned parents, we recommend that you research the facility and their records which are available for up to two years at TDFPS. And as always, if you notice your child suffering abuse or neglect or you think there might be signs of that in a daycare, please fill out our form below.

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