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Wednesday: Speak Out on Fairfax Home Day Care Limits

Fairfax planning commission seeks input on proposal to raise the number of children allowed in home daycares — but even raising the limit might not be enough, providers say.

Home daycare providers and parents will have the opportunity Wednesday to speak to the Fairfax County Planning Commission about a proposed permit that would allow providers to care for more children.

But it remains to be seen if even an expanded limit will be enough to accomodate some of the area's daycares.

The Commonwealth of Virginia allows for up to 12 children in a licensed day-care, but Fairfax County ordinances allow for only seven.

The Town of Vienna allows day care providers to care for up to eight unrelated children, and provides a conditional use permit for those who want to care for more. 

Providers in Fairfax can apply for a special permit that allows for a maximum of 10.

The county law was rarely enforced, so many providers took in a dozen kids, as allowed by their state licenses.

But new state regulations that require formal documentation from zoning officials will have many providers applying for special permits, so the Board is proposing raising the permit limit to 12 children.

Many providers spoke out against the ordinance during a town hall hosted by Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) in July 2012. Since then, Supervisors have been working towards compromises.

But Herrity has said he’s not sure the modest permit adjustment will solve providers’ problems.

“I personally think we need to raise the by-right number,” said Herrity, who made a failed a motion to increase the by-right from seven to 10. “I think we’re going to end up chasing childcare providers out of the license process.”

The hearing before the Planning Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20 at 8:15 p.m. in the board auditorium at Fairfax County Government Center.

Speakers who wish to sign up should click here.

Click here for more information on the zoning ordinance.

Mike March 19, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Despite what the site says the Director for Planning and Zoning for the Town of Vienna has said he won't approve or support the conditional use permit for any town home daycare provider to allow more children.
Michelle Vienna April 10, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Vienna in-home day care providers are having to cut down on the number of children from 12 to 7 which significantly decreases their income and puts full-time working parents in a panic to try and find alternative care for their children and unfortunately, the options for children under 2 in Vienna are very limited. Vienna says that they are going to wait and see if Fairfax County increases their limit to 12 before they make a decision, but in the meantime they are only issuing permits for a maximum of 7 children when the county has already increased their numbers to 10. Very unfortunate for both daycare providers and for full-time working parents in Vienna.

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