A 35-year-old ordinance could affect 162 home daycare providers in Springfield and the parents who depend on them--if the city decides to enforce it.
Recently the city has held planning and zoning meetings to address one citizen's complaint about a home daycare business. The citizen had already singled out a statute regarding home businesses, which passed on June 1966. Though the city has never enforced these rules, the ordinance stipulates:
• The total number of customers being served at one time is limited to one at a time and no more than eight customers per day.
• The hours of operation are limited to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Andrea Mumaw of Community Childcare Connection says this is the first her agency has heard of the ordinance, and if it's enforced hundreds of families could be hurt. The restrictions would cripple working parents, as third-shift workers wouldn't be able to find childcare. Daycare centers in Springfield do not offer services after 11:45 p.m. Mumaw's agency is now supporting an amendment to the ordinance, asking the city to follow state standards and licensing requirements instead.
The proposed amendment to this ordinance will be discussed at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21, in room 300 of City Hall, 300 S. Seventh Street.