City hopes to help ease burden on child care providers with tweak to zoning rules

While most neighborhood daycare facilities require only a simple permit, the larger child care centers had been charged up to $7,700 for the permitting process.
Palm Springs officials are trying to make it easier for larger child care businesses, such as this one in Yucaipa, to open in the city.

Looking to reduce the barriers faced by those who want to offer child care services in the city, officials revised some rules recently that will do just that.

Driving the news: The Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously on Nov. 28 to amend zoning regulations in the city that will see fees charged to those who hope to open facilities to provide care for children reduced as well as the time it takes to get permitted. 

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  • The city has three classifications for the services: Small daycare (up to eight children) and large daycare (up to 14 children), typically found in neighborhoods; and child care centers, which are larger facilities often located in commercial zones. 

At issue: While most neighborhood daycare facilities require only a simple permit, the larger centers had been charged up to $7,700 for the permitting process, which could also take months to work its way through City Hall, facing a public hearing and vote. 

  • Now, however, operators of those facilities will face less bureaucracy as the permit process becomes something city staff can handle and the fee is reduced to $1,600.

Not at issue: Ultimate review of the licensing needed to operate a child care facility or home daycare in the city lies with the state, city staff explained. That licensing is separate from the building permit process being changed with approval of the changes on Nov. 28.

  • “I’m very comfortable with the state” continuing to play that role, said Deputy City Manager Flinn Fagg.

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