MISSION VIEJO : Home Day-Care Regulations Studied

Examining ways to regulate large, home-based day-care centers, the Planning Commission has asked city staff to research how other municipalities handle private child-care facilities.

City planners will make recommendations on license fees for child-care operators and whether neighbors should be informed when a new center is opening.

Current ordinances would allow the city to impose fees from $2,500 to $3,300. However, the city is likely to require a much lower fee for site plans for new, in-home day-care centers--probably between $150 and $1,000, said city planner Charles Wilson.

Twenty-six residents have turned their homes into day-care centers that take in from 7 to 12 children under the age of 10, city officials said.

People who care for more than six children in their homes must file with the state. Most large day-care centers in Mission Viejo have been in business since before the city's incorporation about five years ago, Wilson said.

The issue came to Wilson's attention when four residents applied for licenses from the state, which in turn notified the city to do a fire and safety inspection of the homes. The city will notify people living within 300 feet of the homes, located at 26772 Valpariso Drive, 26712 Via Zaragosa Drive, 26641 Morena Drive and 22592 Ledana.

The Planning Commission is expected to review Wilson's report at its Aug. 2 meeting.

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