Opening a day care centre can be quite a handful! To make things slightly easier for you, we’re here to help with the legal side of things.
We have separated your main legal considerations into the 3 most important legal relationships you will enter into when opening a day care centre.
You and your clients
Your clients are leaving you with their children – that is a big responsibility.
You need to consider your relationship with your clients. You are a service provider, and it is important that you have a client agreement clearly setting out what your obligations are, and also what you will not accept responsibility for.
For example, as a day care centre, you will take steps to ensure that the children are safe and that they will be well looked after, within reason. However, you may wish to limit your liability for certain things, such as a child having an allergic reaction if the parent did not previously inform you of such allergies.
In addition, your client agreement should also cover matters such as fees, payments, termination, and dispute resolution. Addressing these matters from the beginning will help mitigate the chance of a dispute later on.
You and your employees
When you’re operating a business that involves a big group of children, you’ll probably require some assistance. We recommend that you have a well-drafted employment agreement with each employee, which clearly sets out the rights and responsibilities of each employee. An employment lawyer can certainly assist with this.
Working with children can be difficult, and you need to ensure that each employee you hire is suited to working with children. You can have the employment lawyer insert, in the employment agreement, a requirement that certain qualifications are maintained, and also a right to terminate in the event that an employee behaves in an inappropriate way towards the children.
You and your lessor
Unless you are hosting the day care centre in your own home, you will probably need to lease some business premises.
The grant of a lease creates what is called a ‘leasehold estate’, which gives you a right to use certain premises. The lease document will set out the duration of the lease, including any options to renew, how payment of rent will be paid, and what rights your landlord has to ask you to leave.
Lease documents can be lengthy and complicated, and to ensure that you understand your rights under the lease, we recommend that you have your lease reviewed by a leasing lawyer.
If you have any questions regarding legal compliance, or would like any assistance with the necessary contracts, we would be happy to assist. Our commercial lawyers are experienced in dealing with small businesses, and can provide you with assistance through the registration and set-up process.
You should keep in mind that, in addition to the legal considerations, there are many general business considerations that you need to think about when opening a day care centre. We recommend that you seek advice from the relevant professionals.