Chesterfield could impose restrictions on home daycare centers - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Chesterfield could impose restrictions on home daycare centers

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

Standards for home daycare centers in Chesterfield could get more stringent. The planning commission is considering restrictions for home daycares across the county.

Until now, most home daycare directors never went to the county to get a zoning permit. Now, the state requires it.

Will and Alena Stewart opened Our Precious Scholars daycare over a year ago when the two left their jobs to focus on their children. Now, they watch eight kids daily.

To open their home daycare, the Stewarts needed a license from the Department of Social Services. Now, before you can get that license you must be zoned by the county.

To be zoned, the county wants to limit how many children can be in the daycare, how many employees can be hired and where the children can play outside.

"It limits the scale and the scope of the operation and makes it a better fit in the neighborhood," said Planning Director Kirk Turner.

Turner says, these new regulations will protect the children in daycare and the daycare's neighbors.

Stewart doesn't have a problem with the restrictions but if he has to reapply for a state license, he'll be subject to a public hearing.

"Anything with change you're kind of hesitant," said Stewart. "But I think it's best for the community because they're basically trying to get the community involved to see how they feel." 

Home daycares will also have to pay the county a one-time fee of $300.

Other daycare directors said the local government is being intrusive and limiting their income and the freedom to do what they love.

The planning commission will talk about these potential restrictions at their meeting Monday where a vote could possibly happen.

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