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If you’re an in-home family child care provider in California, you’re in luck! Effective January 1, 2020, California’s new law, SB-234, is going to make life a whole lot easier for you. If you’ve ever struggled with a landlord who didn’t want to rent to you or been unable to go from a small to a large license because of city zoning laws, you’ll want to read this. Here are the 5 things you need to know about the new law.

  1. Under SB-234, both large and small family daycare homes will be treated as residential use of the property. Currently, small family daycares are considered residential use, but large daycares with up to 14 children have been subject to zoning laws and city permit laws. This bill changes that. You can now get approved for a large license without worrying about getting a business license or updating your house to comply with city zoning laws.
  2. This bill clarifies that landlords cannot refuse to rent to you and cannot evict you because you run a daycare out of your home, and they cannot prevent you from opening or running a daycare. They also cannot create special rules or restrictions for your licensed daycare. Landlords and HOAs must treat you the same as they would any other home.
  3. You still need your landlord’s approval if you want to care for two additional school-aged children. Under the current regulations, in order to increase your capacity from 6 to 8 children or from 12 to 14 children, you need to get signed approval from your landlord. This has not changed. Your landlord cannot stop you from running a daycare in your home, but they can say no to the two additional children.
  4. You can open a daycare no matter what type of home you live in. SB-234 makes clear that childcare providers can operate out of:
    • Single-family homes
    • Duplexes
    • Townhomes
    • Apartments
    • Condos
  5. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2020, however, if you’re already dealing with city zoning issues or working to get a business license, your city or county may decide to start implementing the changes now. It can’t hurt to call your city or county and tell them about SB-234.

Any provider who’s ever dealt with conflicting state and city laws or a landlord who won’t rent to them knows just how challenging it can be to open an in-home daycare in California. Thankfully, many of those challenges are now solved. If you’d like more information on SB-234, you can read the full text of the bill here or read Child Care Law Center’s summary of the bill here. And, of course, you can call DCI with any questions or concerns. We’re always here to help.