It is quite common to have pets in daycare. Many households have assorted pets (sometimes more than one) that are considered one-of-the-family.
Should you choose however, to open a home daycare when there are animals in your household, there are precautions you need to be aware of.
I will assume you have notified parents prior to admission that you have pets. I will also assume that the pets in your care are up-to-date on shots and license as required by your state.
Having that out of the way, there are several things to consider when mixing children with animals.
Each state has separate guidelines on pets while providing care to children. Dogs and cats are generally accepted. Some states do not allow certain types of birds, while others have regulations against reptiles.
Minnesota, for example, does not allow reptiles of any kind. My son had a bearded dragon. This is a small lizard like creature. In any case, cute as we all thought it was, the dragon had to go live elsewhere so I could get the daycare license.
If an animal breaks the skin of a child (either by bite or scratch) it is mandated that the parents are notified the same day. Typically, the provider will need to take reasonable steps to contain the animal, and an agent from the Board of Health should be notified. Your County Health and Human Resources Department can give you more information on this issue.
*If you choose to have pets in daycare, realize that if your pet bites a daycare child, your regular homeowners policy will not cover you in the event of a lawsuit. Typically, neither will liability insurance. You'll need a separate add-on to your policy.
Some Thoughts on Mixing Children and Pets:
|Fun Activities for Kids|