How do I go about providing very limited childcare services in my women’s fitness center?

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How do I go about providing very limited childcare services in my women’s fitness center?

I own a fitness center. We don’t have childcare services but I’ve been thinking about allowing kids to come when their mom is here for an exercise class. Our classes are only 45 minutes, 3 times a week so it would be a limited time period. And it would only be kids over 5 years old and probably less than 10 kids. Also, the kids would be in the same room as their parents. Do I need to get a license for this. I don’t want to offer ongoing childcare but I don’t want to complicate things either.

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Business Law, New Jersey

Answers:

Michael Duffy / Duffy Law, LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Depending on who would be responsible for supervising the children you might have to get a license for a child care center if you allow over a certain number in (usually around 5, depending on the state). Licensure would involve following all relevant regulations and could be quite an undertaking (think safety precautions, disclaimers, certifications, etc.).

To avoid this you'd need to determine exactly what qualifies as child care services in your jurisdiction and ensure your operation does not exceed those limits. You would likely have to talk to an attorney as some of these issue might have been decided by court prcedent. For example, if the children are in the same room, how far away can they be and what kind of access their parents must have to them would probably be a court opinion or reulatory advisory, and would have to be interpreted to your specific fact pattern.

Whatever you do, be sure to notify your insurance company. That could affect your liability and you might not be covered in the event of a problem if you don't handle it properly.


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