UPDATE: The city council struck the proposed ordinance that would affect in-home daycares from Tuesday’s agenda.
Councilmembers will likely not ever vote on the issue.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Some in-home daycare providers are worried some proposed changes could shut their businesses down for good.
They say a proposed Oklahoma City ordinance could mean thousands of dollars in extra costs for them and they say many wouldn’t be able to afford to comply with the regulations.
Ashley Cornelson runs a daycare out of her home where she cares for 12 children.
But she says the new ordinance being proposed by Oklahoma City could affect her livelihood.
“I mean, we were just beside ourselves. I was in tears,” said Cornelson.
A group of Oklahoma licensed daycare providers say the ordinance would change the definition of a large family child care home from 8 to 12 children, to only 6 to 12 children; meaning some in home daycares could be held to standards commonly reserved for commercial daycare centers.
“They’re trying to commercialize us and turn us into a daycare center,” said Christy Fuller, who also runs a daycare out of her home.
Those requirements include having either a three compartment sink or a commercial- type dishwasher, a sink adjacent to a changing table and a separate person preparing food and changing diapers.
“The way this is reading, you can’t even serve the food to your kids if you change diapers. We’d have to hire an assistant just to feed our kids,” said Fuller.
The Oklahoma City council discussed the proposed ordinance last week with even some council members wondering about the fairness.
“I understand the regulations for child care centers and things like that. It’s just whenever it gets into somebody’s home, it rubs me the wrong way,” said Ward 1 councilman, James Greiner.
“This is crunch time to get this repealed or stricken off the docket, something, so that this doesn’t go to a vote,” said Fuller.
Both Fuller and Cornelson are working overtime right now, spreading the word to other in-home daycare providers that this ordinance could potentially shut them down.
The Oklahoma City council is holding a public hearing on the issue at their meeting Tuesday morning and these in-home daycare providers say they will show up in force to try and make sure this doesn’t go into effect.