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Louisville one step closer to having more child care options

If passed, a new ordinance expands the areas where larger childcare centers can be built in...
If passed, a new ordinance expands the areas where larger childcare centers can be built in Louisville and increases the number of children who can be cared for in at-home child care centers.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 4:45 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Some Louisville Metro Council members are advocating for easing restrictions on in-home day cares in order to assist families.

According to one Louisville leader, one out of every 10 providers closed during the height of the COVID pandemic.

Some parts of the city, particularly in west and southwest Louisville, resemble childcare deserts. Childcare centers are closing due to issues such as staffing shortages, and some Metro Council members believe that more should be done to support working families. At the Louisville Metro Planning and Zoning Committee meeting on Tuesday, there was a lot of discussion about the issue.

Council members Madonna Flood (District 24), Cassie Chambers Armstrong (District 8), and Jecorey Arthur (District 4) are pushing for an ordinance to change childcare regulations. It can be difficult to open a small, in-home day care due to zoning restrictions in some areas of Jefferson County.

Some council members want the ordinance to remove barriers to this industry, allowing more providers to open in more locations and better serve families. On Tuesday, the committee discussed issues such as how many children could be allowed in a home and parking. Some council members were concerned about what this expansion might do to neighborhoods, potentially burdening them with traffic, noise, and safety issues, particularly for people who live next door to the day care.

After being under consideration since November 2021, the proposal was voted out of committee on Tuesday with a favorable recommendation.

“Childcare is an essential public good,” Chambers Armstrong said. “It’s something we need in our community something families need in our community. I would caution us to instead of thinking about it as a burdening our neighborhoods but, providing valuable asset.”

People who want to open in-home childcare will be able to request permission to keep more than six children in their home, according to Councilwoman Chambers Armstrong, if the ordinance is passed. Many areas previously had a six-child limit. The ordinance also broadens the areas in which larger childcare centers can be built.

On March 3, it will go to the full Metro Council for a vote.

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