County and state officials say as many as 90 unregistered day-care providers may be operating in Annapolis.
Monday night, the officials asked the Annapolis City Council to double the number of children that day-care operators are allowed to supervise, saying the change would encourage those providers to register with the state Child Care Administration. The council will vote on the request Feb. 11.
Registered day-care providers may supervise up to four children under Annapolis law. The bill, submitted by Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins, would increase the total to eight.
Anne Arundel County Child Care Coordinator Remy Whaley said there are 34 registered day-care providers in Annapolis, operating out of private homes. She said as many as three times that number may be operating without state approval.
"That means they've had no criminal background check, no inspection forsmoke detectors," Whaley said. To be licensed by the state, day-careproviders also must receive training and have their homes inspected by a child-care official.
About 20 Annapolis day-care providers are awaiting state approval, Whaley said. To register with the state costs $200 to $400, she said. Because Annapolis law allows only four children to be supervised, Whaley said many providers don't register with the state so they can supervise more children. She said unlicensedproviders are hard to detect because they operate out of private homes.
Both state and county law allow providers to supervise up to eight children.
"I think the registered day-care providers in Annapolis should be treated equitably and given a chance to apply for the maximum," Whaley said.
Whaley, who requested the increase the council is considering, serves on a state child care committee. She said the state has begun a campaign to get unregistered day care providerslicensed.
State Child Care Administration officials and Annapolisday-care providers also spoke in favor of the change.
Director ofPlanning and Zoning Eileen Fogarty supported the change, but said doubling the number of children could increase noise and traffic in a neighborhood.
Gilbert Renaut, vice president of the Murray Hill Residents Association, said the group didn't take a stand on the change,but expressed concern about increased noise and traffic in the neighborhood.