Could your babysitting activities be considered a daycare operation?

Eighty-six per cent of Canadians with children rely on some form of childcare services

Eighty-six per cent of Canadians with children rely on some form of childcare services on a regular basis.

The monthly cost of these services averages $800 per child. And as many parents have experienced, securing childcare can be challenging.

Part of the reason is that there are approximately 10,000 licensed daycares in B.C. and Ontario but they only have the capacity for 15 to 25 per cent of children requiring childcare in those provinces. So, it’s no surprise that other alternatives, like hiring a nanny or neighbour, to care for children are increasing in popularity.

Do you babysit children of family members, friends or neighbours? If you do, be aware that your babysitting activities may actually be considered daycare operations by both the provincial government and your home insurance provider.

If you answer yes to the following two questions, you are likely operating a daycare:

1. Are you caring for children of others on a frequent and regular basis?

2. Are you receiving pay to care for the children of others?

For those operating a daycare, it’s important you understand the requirements of your province. In some cases, you may need to be licensed.

While the requirements in each province are different, the need to be licensed is dependent on the number of children under care. The maximum number of children, including your own, that can be cared for without a daycare license in B.C. is two (2), with this number not including your own children.

“Whether your daycare operations need to be licensed or not, it’s important that you understand how your home insurance may or may not respond,” states Daniel Mirkovic, President at Square One Insurance. “If you don’t disclose to your home insurance provider that you’re caring for children of others in your home, your entire policy could be invalidated and any claims could be denied.”

Home insurance providers are concerned about the additional risks faced when daycares are operated from a home. The two most notable risks are:

1. A greater likelihood that the home and its contents could sustain accidental damage caused by the children under care. Some home insurance policies will cover this damage if you’ve properly disclosed your daycare operations to your provider.

2. A chance that one of the children under care is accidentally injured while in the home. Most home insurance policies won’t protect against accidental injury to children under care. For this, daycare operators need to secure separate insurance.

Some home insurance providers will not offer policies to those operating a daycare from their home.

Others, will offer policies to providers that are in full compliance with provincial daycare requirements and that hold active insurance policies to protect against their daycare exposures.

Anyone who thinks they are operating a daycare should take the necessary steps to find proper insurance.

To learn more, speak with your insurance provider.

SOURCE Square One Insurance Services Inc., www.squareoneinsurance.ca