The following was among actions taken at the June 13 meeting of the Fairfax City Council. For more information, call 435-6800.
DAY-CARE REGULATIONS -- The council unanimously adopted regulations covering day-care providers in the city who care for five or fewer preschoolers at least four days a week, beginning July 1. The ordinance, the first of its kind in the city, will affect about 50 local child-care providers.
The state requires day-care providers who care for six or more preschool children to be licensed and Fairfax City requires all day-care providers to obtain a special use permit to operate, but there are currently no local and no state regulations regarding day-care providers who care for five or fewer preschoolers, according to Louise Armitage, coordinator of human services for the city. Because the state does not regulate those who care for five or fewer children, the city wants to fill that gap, Armitage said.
"We wanted to ensure basic health and safety for children in the care of home day-care providers," said Armitage, who added that the primary responsibility for choosing day care and monitoring its quality is the ultimate responsibility of the parent.
The ordinance requires day-care providers to be at least 18 years old and to register annually with the city. It also requires all adults in the home to be screened for a record of child abuse and neglect and mandates a criminal background check.
In addition, the ordinance requires that all homes used for day care pass various health and safety requirements, and it prohibits the use of corporal punishment or "humiliating" or "frightening" discipline. It also requires that any guns in the home be kept away from children.
The city will contract with the Fairfax County Office for Children to administer the program.
Town of Herndon
The following was among actions taken by the Herndon Town Council at its June 12 meeting. For more information, call 435-6800.
SPEED LIMIT CHANGES -- After nearly two hours of debate, the council, in a 4 to 3 vote, adopted an ordinance raising the speed limit on three sections of Herndon streets and reducing the speed limit on one, effective July 1.
Virginia state code requires that speed limits be set at 25 miles per hour in residential and business districts and 35 miles per hour in all other municipal areas. However, the state allows governing bodies -- in this case the Town Council -- to raise or lower the limits by adopting an ordinance after conducting a traffic or engineering study.
After a traffic study of 20 sections of Herndon roads by the town's police department last December, Police Chief George Kranda recommended changes in speed limits on several roads that would be more "reasonable, efficient and reflective of the road conditions."
In addition, the council adopted an ordinance setting speed limits on three other sections of roadway. However, these sections already have posted speed limits of 35 mile per hour, but the limits had not been adopted by ordinance, as required by state law.
The council's action involves the following changes:
The speed limit on Sterling Road from Herndon Parkway to Elden Street and on Elden Street from Post Drive to Monroe Street will be raised from 25 to 30 miles per hour.
The speed limit on Sterling Road from the town's corporate limits to the Herndon Parkway will be raised from 25 to 35 miles per hour.
The speed limit on Elden Street from the town's southwest corporate limits to the Herndon Parkway will be reduced from 35 to 30 miles per hour.
Council members Carol Bruce, John DeNoyer, Christopher Riddick and Mayor Richard Thoesen voted for the speed limits, while William Burnette, Haley Smith and Douglas Walker voted against the ordinance, arguing that the current speed limits are effective.