Tulsa City Council Considers Changes To Daycare Zoning Codes


Friday, December 2nd 2022, 7:36 am



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Tulsa City Counselors voted this week to continue discussions on possibly making changes to zoning regulations for family childcare homes in Tulsa.

City councilors heard several childcare providers speak out about wanting to see fewer restrictions on their operations in Tulsa. Many of them want to see changes to what they are calling "strict" city zoning codes

Cindy Decker with Tulsa Educare says one of the requirements limits family childcare homes to serve no more than seven children. Decker says the state allows providers to serve eight to 12 children.

Daycare providers say the city also needs to remove the requirement for these homes to have 1,000 square feet of available parking and meet commercial building codes.

Decker says the codes impact at least 150 homes in Tulsa.

"The zoning code must be modified because we need large family childcare homes to be legally operating in our city without fear of being closed down,” Cindy Decker, Tulsa Educare Executive Director, said.

According to DHS, 34 out of 77 counties in Oklahoma are considered a "daycare desert", meaning they don't have enough daycares to service the number of kids in need.

Mattece Mason is a childcare provider in Tulsa who says the pandemic showcased how essential they care.

“You can’t go to work, our doctors can’t go to work our teachers can’t go to work our governor can’t go to work without someone caring for their children. And we’re just asking you to get on board with us and help us,” Mattece Mason, Childcare Provider, said.

City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper plans to host community town halls to address any concerns about future zoning changes.

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