OLYMPIA, Wash. — A bill that passed unanimously through the Washington House of Representatives on Wednesday would prevent home daycares from being restricted is now up for consideration in the Senate.
The sponsor of HB-1199, Representative Tana Senn, said Washington is in a childcare crisis, with not enough options for families. That is why she was concerned when she spoke to around 90 daycare providers in the state who are either getting fined by their homeowners' associations or are being threatened with eviction for running daycares in their homes.
“I always run my childcare in my home. I've been running my child care here for almost two years now,” said Laura Pavlov, who runs Alphabetz Daycare in Lake Stevens.
But shortly after moving into her home, she said her HOA told her she needed to stop her in-home childcare. She is now paying fines to keep it open.
“This is their safe place and it's always going to be their safe place,” said Pavlov of her kids and families. “I welcome everybody here. I love them.”
Her daycare is licensed by the state, but the association cited an HOA policy not allowing certain commercial enterprises that cause traffic congestion or disruption or utilize advertising. But she does not believe her daycare violates that policy.
“I even went above and beyond to have a petition,” said Pavlov of her discussions with neighbors. “I went door to door and I had them sign their signature and I showed it to them that I fully have support of my community as well.”
Pavlov has 12 children she cares for right now and is one of many childcare providers hoping a bill sponsored by Senn will pass. The bill would prevent homeowner associations and landlords from restricting licensed daycares from operating.
“So, the idea behind this bill is to make sure that we're protecting those childcare providers and allowing for childcare to be offered in neighborhoods and in communities where families are,” said Senn.
Senn said Washington needs more childcare options.
“There is definitely a childcare crisis,” said Senn. “We need to have all hands on deck to be serving families and making sure parents can go to work.
If this bill does not pass, Pavlov said she will continue to push forward.
“I will continue to fight, because I love my children, the family, my community and I will keep standing for what's right,” said Pavlov.
The bill passed unanimously through the house on Wednesday and is now up for consideration in the Senate. The bill would still allow HOAs and landlords to make reasonable rules regarding home daycares.