Worries that hundreds of Fairfax County home day care slots could be lost because of a conflict between state licensing rules and county zoning laws are easing.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors just released its proposal for new guidelines the day cares would follow to get special permits. About 500 home day cares in Fairfax County are already state-licensed and until now, they have not been subject to more restrictive county zoning rules.
The newly-proposed county zoning rules would allow home day care providers to care for up to 12 children if they get the special permit. The Board also wants to reduce the special permit filing fee from $1,100 to $435.
"We're simplifying the process, making it easier, more streamlined and easier for folks to understand and wade through," explains Board Chairman Sharon Bulova. "We don't want to lose child care providers."
But longtime home day care provider Susan Gallier still worries some of her counterparts will be intimated by the process and drop back to caring for just seven children in a single family home or five in a townhouse, the maximum number allowed without a special permit.
"I think a lot of them don't want to deal with the process. It's a tedious process and very stressful and to pay $400 and be denied," Holman said.
Reston day care provider Cece Holman says she'll continue to push the county to allow for care of up to 8 or 9 children without the special permit.
"I think we are going to lose a lot of good day care providers because a lot will not want to go through this process," Holman said.
Public hearings will be held on March 20 and May 14 before the Board of Supervisors finalizes the zoning ordinance amendment and takes a vote.