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  1. #1

    Research question

    I am in the process of researching for opening up my home based preschool/child care. If I obtain a licence to run do I need to be connected with an agency or can it be privately run?

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    949 Times in 781 Posts
    Which province do you reside? In Ontario you can work for an agency or you can be self-employed and run your own business without anybody looking over your shoulder nonstop. But you are allowed 5 children maximum under the age of 10 (not including your own children) in attendance at any time. Of course, safety and cleanliness and a great contract are important. There are places that run courses for people who want to open a home daycare. And of course you should have CPR/First Aid up to date. Those are just a few items.

  3. #3
    I am in Ontario yes, and am up to date with CPR and First aid. I have 18 years experience behind me in the field but sadly without my ECE.
    I am just confused with the licencing aspect. I would prefer to run private and not through an agency so my question( I think) as i am confusing myself as I type is what are the benefits of being licenced and private?

  4. #4
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    946 Times in 686 Posts
    Pros and cons between the two are going to totally depend on your goals and support you feel you need in your business ... I have worked in both settings and these are things I have heard peers say between the two as to why they choose to go one way over the other. I am sure others will have other reasons as well

    Benefits of being with an agency for the provider can be ...
    • Agency provides advertizing and referrals to help fill you up ~ access to subsidy for clients can be appealing depending on your neighborhood
    • Agency deals with all contracts and financial aspects with clients and than pays you a 'fee' for your service based on your contract with them of X/child/day for any client that is 'theirs' ... aka if the client 'stiffs' the agency you still get paid
    • Agency provides support on challenging children referred through them via home visits and professional development as well homes can access the same 'resources' as centres can for things like professional support coming into the program to deal with behaviour, special needs and so forth.
    • Agency also acts as support for any conflict with their referred clients and acts as 'mediator' for problem solving around differences of opinion on child rearing or following policies and procedures of the client.
    • Agency provides professional development, toy lending and equipment lending programs
    • Agency sometimes get access to government grants which can benefit provider ~ wage enhancement grants, toy and equipment grants for their toy lending programs, etc.

    Cons to being with an agency
    • Ratio of no more than 5 children includes your own children who are under 6 ~ so if you have wee children your income will be limited.
    • You have to follow the age restrictions of no more than 3 under the age of three and of those 3 no more than 2 can be under the age of two ... so again if your children are 'wee' you are already limited financially and even if you do not have wee ones of your own the Full Day Early Learning in Ontario is making it harder to find children over 3 to fill those other two spaces thereby limiting the income of providers!
    • Your home has to pass 'health and safety inspection' before you can be licensed ... this often limits 'where' in the house you can offer your program as any area that the children are in must have two exits that meet fire code bi-laws which limits a lot of 'basement playroom' options as the small windows / window wells they often have to not meet code as a viable 'exit'.
    • Your program must meet all the criteria in the day nursery act ~ minimum of 2 hours of daily outside time all year long ~ with access to a 'fenced' yard, program plan that shows how the 5 domains of development are being stimulated daily, posted menu that meet or exceed Canada Food Guide, fire evacuation plan and monthly drills recorded, etc. = more paperwork than some unregulated providers would engage in
    • While some agencies allow you to have 'private clients' some do not ~ so you are totally reliant on them to 'fill you up' so to speak.
    • Depending on your location agencies tend to pay providers a little 'less' than the private market plus it costs the clients a good $10-15 more a day.... so for example in my region the average private market fee is $$25 - 35/day where as an agency they charge clients $45/day but than only pays the provider $30 plus whatever wage enhancement grant they may be getting so back in 2007 it was $2/child/day on referral .... so if you are in an area where you can privately get $35 a day for child you are earning 'less' being with the agency but if you are a $25/day for private than you are earning 'more' being with an agency.

    Pros to being Private
    • You have total control over your business and can create your policies and contracts as you see fit .... being as simple and laid back as you want with your contracts, record keeping, program and so forth and following whatever health and safety criteria you feel is your due diligence
    • You can care for 5 children plus your own of any ages that you see fit which gives you more financial flexibility.
    • You can charge whatever the market will bare to clients and you get to keep it all ~ there is no middle man keeping a 'cut' of the fee clients are paying.

    Cons to being Private
    • You are totally responsible for all advertizing, interviewing and contracting of clients including dealing with clients bouncing payments or paying late and so forth ~ no in house support or mediator for dealing with conflict with clients or children with challenges within your program
    • You are on your own to seek out networking, support and professional development (which is out there in most communities via Ontario Early Years Centres and for free or next to free)
    • Unregulated care often gets confused with 'illegal' childcare and some communities it deters clients from choosing you even if you are awesome and following all the same 'rules' a regulated agency model does but just without the 'middle man' driving up the cost

    Hope that helps
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

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  6. #5
    Okay, yes that helps but I now have a new question and I think the answer just depends on the choice of the provider but does it work out to register the business? I believe I heard that if you earn "X" amount if money in a years time then you have to legally register.....is this the same as obtaining a gst # ?

  7. #6
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    While it is true that any business whose annual revenue is more than $30,000 is required to collect and remit GST/HST fortunately the entire Childcare industry is exempt from both charging and collecting GST/HST regardless of their revenue ~ even big centres do not have to collect or remit this unless they operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week which pushes them from 'childcare' into institutional category ~ so if you operate less than that you are off the hook there.


    As for registering your business name and obtaining a BIN .... in Ontario if you advertize your business by anything other than your legal given name than you are suppose to register that name with Service Ontario according to the Business Names Act in Ontario .... benefits to doing this is when you issue receipts to your clients you will not have to provide your SIN to them as legally required by Canada Revenue but can instead provide the BIN that comes with this process that CRA can than track back to you and your income .... you do not need to have a business account or anything else if you choose to do this it is just so you are meeting the 'Business Names Act' legislation for Ontario you can keep everything else in your own legal name aka have parents pay you under your own name not the 'business name' so you do not get dinged with business related bank charges


    Here it is in plainer English cause reading the actual 'law' can be confusing

    Who Must Register Under the Business Names Act?

    The Ontario Business Names Act administered by the Companies and Personal Property Security Branch applies to:
    • sole proprietorships (one owner) carrying on business under a name other than the individualís full name;
    • partnerships carrying on business under a firm name other than the full names of the partners;
    • corporations carrying on business under a name other than their corporate name;
    • an existing general partnership or limited partnership registering a business name different from the registered firm name;
    • limited liability partnerships;
    • extra-provincial limited liability partnerships; and
    • extra-provincial limited liability companies
    Here is where you would register for Ontario ~ it costs $60 and is good for 5 years so for $12 a year or a $1 a month you get the peace of mind of not having to provide your SIN and you can show new clients that you are 'extra invested' in your business being seen as both profession and above board because you have registered it with the government. The process takes less than 5 minutes and you get emailed your MBL which contains your BIN within a few minutes and save that to your computer somewhere you'll remember and print out a copy for your business portfolio and done!


    If you do choose to register please remember to click NO to every other question that comes up in regards to employees, health tax, WSIB, GST/HST and so forth because this is a one stop registration process all these come up but they do not apply to us you are only registering your name you plan to advertize your business by via your website URL, logo on a business card or any other form of advertizing you may do to promote your business.
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Peterborough, ON
    173 Times in 116 Posts
    Just be careful regarding your insurance company. I registered my business for the reasons Reggio mentions, set up a business bank account, and advertised in my business name. Then, my insurance company said they would only cover me if I operated under my personal name and had the parents give me cheques made out to me personally. They would not cover a commercial daycare and said I had to be an ECE to run a daycare in any other name. They are confusing a licensed home daycare with a private home daycare, I realize that, but they said a private home daycare can only run in my own name. I decided not to fight it, because if I try to switch insurance companies, the next one might have an issue with my pool... so, I'm going to have to close my business bank account, and tell the parents to issue future cheques in my own name instead of my business name. What a pain... I had already deposited the first cheques into my business account since they were written to my business name.

  9. #8
    A HUGE thanks to everyone's response.

    It seems I have a lot to consider, I just want to make sure I do things correct and by the book to avoid any issues down the road.

  10. #9
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    946 Times in 686 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by treeholm View Post
    Just be careful regarding your insurance company.....
    Yes whomever your agent is is being a cow!

    I had an issue when I was first starting and wanting to 'transport' children for field trips and outings and the agent on the phone quoted me a ridiculous price of almost $3000 a year and I thought how the hell can any provider afford to offer transport than cause I knew LOTS that transported .... found out later what the asshat was quoting and telling me I required was basically 'taxi / school bus / public transportation' insurance premium where the primary business is transporting multiple children and um I am not doing that and I already HAVE personal insurance on my van ~ I just needed a little ole ryder to for additional liability for home childcare .... which is what I have now cause I found an agent at the company who had a clue
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    1 Time in 1 Post
    I so appreciate your detailed and most thorough comments/recommendations! When I open a new thread I scroll down hoping to find your 'words of wisdom' I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to help so many of us out!

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