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Potential Changes For Sioux Falls In-Home Daycare

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In-home daycare providers may be seeing some changes in Sioux Falls.

The Sioux Falls Health Department is working to make requirements for in-home daycares stronger and tighter. Officials say changing the ordinances is all part of the evolution to further promote quality daycare in Sioux Falls.

"We knew and we could see that there were items in our ordinance that were either slightly unclear or could be strengthened and that needed to be recommended to the city council,” said Sioux Falls Public Health Director Jill Franken.

Sioux Falls health officials say recommended changes to the in-home daycare ordinances are geared toward making sure the language is clear. Officials say the proposed changes have much to do with the parents' role in the daycare by increasing their access to inspect the home daycare during business hours.
"Parents have a right to know what is going on in their daycare,” said Franken. “Parents should be active participants in understand their family daycare operations and know how their children are being cared for.”

Health officials say allowing parents to do inspections will also make it easier for them to ask questions.

"By putting things like this in ordinance around the ability for parents to inspect is just one more way to say that's accepted that is encouraged. That is something that we think is very important for parents to do,” said Franken. “It kind of gives them an empowerment to be able to accomplish that.”

The changes would also clarify who needs to be registered within the in-home daycare. There is also a recommendation to ask in-home daycare providers to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance for their business; something those reviewing the changes say they like.
"If it's my kid in that daycare and he is injured, I absolutely want that daycare provider to be covered by a great insurance policy,” said Michelle Erpenbach with the Sioux Falls City Council.

If the changes are made, one of the requirements will be that if there is something that causes an in home daycare license to be revoked there will be a minimum length of time that the provider's license will be suspended.

City officials say they have already sent letters to the more than 400 in-home daycare providers to clarify what the potential changes would be. The issue will come before the city council in April.

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Maren Larson
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