OKLAHOMA CITY – A controversial ordinance that would affect many in-home daycares across the state was struck from Tuesday’s agenda.
“We remain in our home. We choose to work in our home. Don’t take that choice away from us,” said Lindsey Duncan, an at-home child care provider. “Don’t make us become a commercial business when we’re in our home. That is not their place.”
The ordinance would have dropped the number of children that could be at an in-home center, as well as other requirements typically reserved for commercial daycare centers.
Workers say that could mean thousands of dollars in extra costs.
Concerned childcare providers watched at the council meeting to find out the fate of their at-home daycare centers.
“The item is struck from the agenda,” said Mayor Mick Cornett. “We don’t suspect it will be coming down anytime soon, if ever, and it may be that the state legislature will be involved and address this for us and other cities involved.”
The passion of the daycare providers and parents shone through, even after the item was struck from the agenda with several voicing their concern.
“He even tried to tell us we could just leave. It wasn’t necessary,” Heather Giddings, an at-home childcare provider said. “They were going to dismiss, but everyone stayed. They wanted their voice heard.”
Amy Palumbo spoke at the meeting, saying she wants more representation from small in-home daycare providers.
“I think this caused unnecessary panic, a lot of alarm and I think the city bit off more than it can chew,” Palumbo said.
Giddings runs a home daycare center with 12 children.
She says she has mixed feeling about the outcome of Tuesday’s city council meeting.
She said, “That is a fear, that it will come back in a month or two months and should we start making these changes just in case this happens?”