2 Birds with 1 Stone: Complying with State Law Creates More Child Care and Relieves Zoning Headaches

APA California Chapter


Monday, September 25, 2017
3:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. PDT

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Planners know that the amount of staff time dedicated to evaluating child care zoning applications and administering public hearings can be quite onerous. Many planners are unaware that local requirements imposed on large family child care homes in California are unnecessary, may conflict with state law, and severely compromise the availability of family child care. Because of the California Child Day Care Facilities Act, your city or county can make the zoning permit process for large family child care homes cost-effective and less burdensome. This session will help you understand local governments' obligations under state law, how child care administrative policies can be streamlined, and best practices to support the need of family child care for working families. Currently, the scarcity of licensed child care in California is at crisis levels - only 25% of children with working parents that need child care can find it. Planners are in a unique position to foster the growth of child care by reducing zoning barriers and fees, and simplifying processes. Ensuring an adequate supply of child care to support working parents, conveniently located in residential areas, is a key component to building healthy, economically vibrant communities.

We will focus on how cities must comply with the California Child Day Care Facilities Act, Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 1596.70 et seq. ('the Act'), which strictly limits local regulation of family child care homes and preempts (supersedes) local zoning, building, and fire codes and regulations that conflict with its provisions. The Legislature has stated its intent - that family day care homes for children must be situated in normal residential surroundings so as to give children the home environment which is conducive to healthy and safe development. It is the public policy of this state to provide children in a family day care home the same home environment as provided in a traditional home setting. - Cal. Health & Safety Code § 1597.40(a). The Act limits local authority to regulate such homes in order to encourage the establishment of family child care homes in residential communities, to address the lack of child care availability, and to ensure a simplified regulatory process that does not place undue burdens on providers. Id., see also § 1597.30.


Kristin Pollot, AICP

Kristin Pollot is the Planning Division Manager at the City of Pittsburg. She has had her AICP certification since 2010. Kristin has been working in the City of Pittsburg's Planning Division since 2005 and was given the city's "Anchor Award" for teamwork in 2010. She received her BA ... Read More

Laurie Furstenfeld, Esq

Laurie Furstenfeld has been a staff attorney at the Child Care Law Center since 2013. She specializes in land use law for family child care homes and state health and safety requirements for California child care. She received her JD and Public Service Certificate from UC Davis. She recently wrote ... Read More

Benu Chabbra

Benu Chabbra is the President of the Family Child Care of Contra Costa County Association. She has been a licensed family child care provider for over 17 years. Her Family child care home received a 5 star rating through the Quality Rating Improvement System. She studied Early Childhood Education and ... Read More

Toni Robertson

Toni Robertson has been a Quality Improvement Facilitator at Contra Costa Child Care Council since 2013. She has worked in the field of child care for over 29 years and ran her own family child care home for over 17 years. Toni received her Associate of Science in Child Development ... Read More

Contact Info

Hanson Hom, hansonapa@gmail.com