Thanks for your post. The California Health and Safety Codes (HSC 1597.30-1597.621) specifically calls out the need for "neighborhood based" child care centers, and prevents homeowners associations and others from preventing someone from running a daycare or child care business in the home. As a result, any qualifying child care business is usually approved by the City to be run from a home.
However, a landlord can and often does prevent the tenants of their homes from running businesses out of the property that would involve customers or clients coming to the home daily (for traffic concerns) or the delivery of large amounts of packages (inventory). So while the City would most assuredly allow you to run the business in the rental home, most landlords would certainly not permit the business in the home, as Juliana pointed out below.
That's not to say that you won't find a landlord who will allow you to run a business from the home, but with a low inventory of rental homes available, it's likely to be harder thing to find. If you do happen to find a landlord that might consider allowing a child care facility in the home, you'll need to be prepared to prove to the landlord that the business will not damage his home or the neighborhood. You can try the following to overcome some of the landlord's concerns:
1. Show the landlord your liability insurance policy (it should be at least $1M or higher) and the landlord should be named as co-insured on your policy. Tell the landlord that you'll give them a copy of the policy and any successor policies
2. Offer to pay a much larger security deposit to cover potential damages to the home
3. Provide specifics about the number of children on the property, the ages, and the number of cars that will be going to and from the home
4. Provide the landlord with copies of your childcare service contract and offer to provide specific wording within the contract that holds the landlord harmless and blameless for any acts on the property (this would be IN ADDITION to the liability policy naming the landlord as co-insured--not instead of...)
Be prepared to provide proof that you are a responsible business owner--business license, certifications, first aid, etc.
Good luck in your hunt for a rental property! It will be harder to find a landlord who will agree to these terms, but it won't be impossible.
Allison James Estates & Homes
You might be able to negotiate a workable arrangement with a church.
Sunnyvale did provide information in the past about running a child care business. You might be able to track down more information from this link:
For information about operating a business in Sunnyvale visit http://sunnyvale.ca.gov/DoingBusiness/BusinessLicenses.aspx
Sunnyvale real estate information at http://julianalee.com/sunnyvale.htm
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
the first thing that I can think about would be to check, for any purchase that you would be considering, that the house would be suitable for that; in particular you'd need to check with the City (regardless of the zoning) that the intended use as a childcare facility would be allowed.
In fact, the more I think of it, it seems that it is the main thing to be careful about. I would advise a trip to the City hall to see with them what their requirements are for such an endeavour.
I wish you good luck!