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

UPDATED: Dec 20, 2011

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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


Michael Duffy / Duffy Law, LLC

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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