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SD City Council strengthens protections for home family childcare providers

child care
Posted at 5:24 PM, Jul 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-17 20:24:51-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Family childcare providers who operate their businesses out of their own rental units will now have greater protections and education, the San Diego City Council voted Monday.

Councilman Raul Campillo authored the ordinance, intended to strengthen Senate Bill 234 -- which bars landlords from evicting tenants or raising rent for the sole reason of operating a family childcare home -- by requiring information about the law in any rental agreements signed in the city.

"Access to quality and affordable childcare is often unavailable for far too many working families in the city of San Diego," Campillo said. "We know that family childcare providers play a vital role in providing essential services for families and that they can be a big part of improving the supply of childcare options in our city.

"That's why I authored today's ordinance: renters need to know their rights so they can stand up to discrimination from landlords who aim to skirt the law," he said. "Improving access to quality and affordable childcare remains a top priority for me."

San Diego parents face a shortage of childcare options, particularly in less-affluent areas. Many of these businesses also closed down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent report by The San Diego Foundation and the University of San Diego found that there is "no available licensed childcare option for 48% of children ages 0 to 5 whose parents work." The report also states that the annual cost of full-time childcare expense for two young children is nearly $34,000. More than three-quarters of parents say "it's a challenge" to find childcare in San Diego County.

Family child care home providers care for a group of children in their own private home, such as a house, apartment, or condo unit.

That University of San Diego and the San Diego Foundation study in 2022 counted 3,213 family childcare homes countywide, providing 31,974 spots for children. Those spots represent nearly one-third -- 32.3% -- of total licensed childcare spots in the county, with childcare centers making up the remainder.

"The city of San Diego's action marks the strongest commitment seen from local government supporting family child care providers' rights as tenants, both as a provider of an important community service and as an integral part of our local economy," said Courtney Baltiyskyy of the Children First Collective. "With over 1,400 family child care providers in the city of San Diego, this ordinance affirms the critical importance of child care for our community and economy."

SB234, authored by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Oakland, was signed into law in 2019 and went into effect on January 1, 2020. The bill "strengthens protections for family childcare providers, both who currently operate family childcare or wish to operate family childcare in the future," a statement from Campillo's office reads.

In addition to prohibiting landlords from evicting or raising rent because a tenant is providing family childcare, it also bars landlords from refusing to rent to providers solely because a provider has a family childcare home.

California State law already requires a variety of disclosures be included in a rental housing agreement, such as for lead-based paint, bed bugs, asbestos, death in the rental unit and others.

Following Monday's action, the ordinance heads to Mayor Todd Gloria's desk to be signed and will take effect on January 1, 2024.

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