City of Camrose council is taking a long look at the licensing of day homes in the city.
The idea is to make stricter guidelines and monitoring mechanisms to ensure the safety of the kids in care and peace of mind for the parents.
Constable Pamela McTavish of the Camrose Police Service brought the proposed legislation to the council meeting on Jan. 15.
"As of right now, there is no minimum standard placed on day homes in the area," said McTavish.
Council returned it for more information specifically regarding the cost of the bylaws to the day home provider with the intention of a first reading at a February meeting.
The recommend requirements for a day home included valid first aid training, annual child welfare check of provider and all occupants of the residence, annual criminal record checks, and annual proof of insurance. This is all in addition to a business license.
Coun. Max Lindstrand said he thought these guidelines would be helpful, but was concerned the added costs would either force more day homes under ground, force the closure for some and or drive up rates for those using them, pushing childcare beyond its affordability.
"The three things that are identified as factors for the poor are transportation, affordable housing and affordable day care," said Lindstrand. "The concern I would have, even though I agree with the regulations … but if it causes people to quit because of the cost or the inconvenience … if that results in a decrease in the number of spots for affordable day care we might be biting ourselves in the foot on that one."
There are an estimated 20-30 unlicensed day homes currently in operation in Camrose, said McTavish.
The requirements would be among the most extensive in the province. McTavish and Camrose director of planning and development Aaron Leckie had difficulty finding regulations for other municipalities. They ended up using Beaumont as a model, but went beyond what they have in place.
-reprinted from Camrose Canadian