Fairfax County leaders are making progress on changing home child care regulations that have the potential to cripple some local businesses.
A new state rule requires home day care owners to disclose their status to county zoning officials. And while the state allows home day cares to watch up to 12 children at a time, Fairfax County rules only allow up to seven children.
The discrepancy between local and state regulations could put hundreds of child care businesses in jeopardy.
More than 350 residents packed a town hall meeting to discuss those regulations Monday night, according to a press release from Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity’s office.
Herrity is now proposing changes to the county child care rules, including raising the maximum number of children allowed in a single home day care to 12, matching the state regulation.
According to Herrity’s office, the Board of Supervisors was only going to consider allowing more children into day cares if owners were granted a special permit to do so. Applications for those permits cost $1,100.
“We need to balance the need of a safe environment with common sense,” said Herrity in a statement. “What I heard last night was that the permitting process is cumbersome and too expensive, and that we should be looking at significant reforms – I will do all I can to ease the burden on our child care providers.”
Herrity said he would propose the changes to the board on Tuesday.