Sen. Skinner Unveils Bill to Expand Childcare Opportunities

Senator Nancy Skinner announced legislation Thursday that would expand childcare opportunities in California.

Senate Bill 234, titled "Keeping Kids Close to Home Act," would allow large family childcare homes that provide care for up to 14 children to avoid zoning and permitting requirements that can be costly and burdensome.

"Family childcare is vitally important for families and our communities," Sen. Skinner said in a statement. "But childcare has increasingly become too expensive and too difficult to find."

The bill follows the 40-year-old Child Care Facilities Act that allowed small family daycare homes that provide care to up to 8 children to be considered "residential use." However, according to Skinner, the bill "failed to keep up with the needs of modern families."

Under SB 234, large family daycare homes with up to 14 children would receive the same exemptions under local neighborhood zoning and permitting laws that small family childcare homes operate under.

The act is co-sponsored by the Child Care Law Center and California Child Care Resource & Referral Network.

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