Every so often, I'll read a story in my newspaper about an unlicensed day care center getting shut down. It's rarely a good thing, since a child either got injured or forgotten or abused. I can see why some people would want to operate an unofficial home day care center, but the penalties for not having a license can be pretty severe. I wouldn't want to risk that kind of legal exposure if something went wrong.
I had not idea how high day care costs can be, so it's easy to understand why some parents with lower incomes might be tempted to use an unlicensed child day care service. Most of them are probably run by decent people who honestly care about safety and supervision. But I think I would consider hiring a professional babysitter to watch my child in my own home before I'd consider an unlicensed day care facility.