Philly may require special permission for larger in-home day care centers

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A Philadelphia City Council committee is moving to limit the size of child care centers in private homes.

 

If you have six or fewer children, you may set up a child care operation in your home. But a bill before Philadelphia City Council would mandate a zoning variance before a child care center serving more than six kids could be approved.

Councilman Brian O’Neill said he doesn’t understand why the recently overhauled zoning code even allowed the bigger centers.

“I just ask that we go back to the common-sense approach that we had before,” he said. “We did fine for the last 60 years with that.”

Day care provider Monica Wright said that requirement will frustrate people who want to start small businesses.

“You want people to be calm who are taking care of children,” she said Thursday. “You don’t want them to be fighting and arguing and debating this point and that point.”

It’s tough enough running a small business without being hassled by the city, she said.

“Why have a bill to make anything harder for people who take care of kids?” Wright said. “Why make anything harder for us?”

The bill will now go to the full council for review.

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