A home daycare can be a way to combine a desire to stay at home with your own children with a need to earn a decent income. Since the laws governing home daycares are different from state to state, it is important to discover and follow the ones in your state. Georgia's laws are available at the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education website.
Home daycares in Georgia must have a certificate of registration from the state. No one inspects or interrogates you before you get a Georgia certificate of registration. They are issued when you apply and agree to the terms. It is a "self-certification" process. This certificate obliges the home daycare provider to do certain things within the first year of operations. It also constitutes "consent to entry" for state and local authorities. When the home daycare relocates to a new house because the provider moves, for example, the original certificate of registration becomes invalid. A new one must be requested.
In Georgia, registered home daycares may serve between three and six paying children in addition to the children who live in the home or who are related to the home daycare provider. The number of staff members correlates to the number of children in the home. One employee can legally handle up to three babies in the home daycare under the age of 12 months or up to six children who are three years old but over one year. If the children in the home daycare are older than five, one employee must be hired for every eight children (the regulations apply to schools and group daycares also which may have more children involved.)
Georgia limits the total number of children who are allowed to be present at the home daycare to 12 children under the age of 13 or to one child for every 35 square feet. This applies to the children who are paying to attend the home daycare and to the children who live there or who are visiting. If the home daycare provider wants to enroll more than six paying children, Georgia law requires it to be certified as a group daycare. This designation has additional restrictions about how large the facility must be.
Daycare providers have to be at least 21 years old in Georgia. They also must have a high school diploma or a GED. Home daycare providers and their employees must also pass a fingerprint check and a preliminary records check to make sure that there is no history of criminal behavior. The provider must have no physical or mental disabilities that would impair her ability to care for the children. These requirements are similar to those imposed on teachers. If the children in the daycare will be playing in water that is deeper than two feet, one of the supervisors must have lifeguard training. Someone on staff must also have current CPR training. Within one year of receiving certification as a Georgia home daycare, the daycare provider has to obtain ten hours of training in child development, helath, child abuse and neglect issues, or business.
Certified Georgia home daycares have to keep a set of specific records on the children who attend. These include records about their identification, shots, medical conditions, medications that they take on a daily basis, and information about any allergies. Emergency permissions as well as permission slips for the daycare staff to take the children off site must also be on file. These records as well as the daycare premises can be inspected at any time after a certificate of registration has been obtained. Georgia law also gives the parents of the children in the daycare total access to the facilities when their children are present.
Lesley Barker, director of the Bolduc House Museum, authored the books "St. Louis Gateway Rail—The 1970s," published by Arcadia, and the "Eye Can Too! Read" series of vision-related e-books. Her articles have appeared in print and online since the 1980s. Barker holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Washington University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University.