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Jerome's Daycare Ordinance, Six Months Later

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By Jay Michaels

Jerome, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Three years ago, the city of Jerome adopted the 2009 International Fire Code. The new ordinance requires residential daycares with six or more children to install sprinkler systems.

In October of last year, Jeni McCool moved her in-home daycare to a large building on First Avenue East in Jerome. But it took a long time to get the center's licensing, in addition to difficulty with the contractor getting his part of the work done.

McCool says, "The moment we moved in, I had the parents that were in full time and backed down to part time. Two part time parents that backed down to day rates. And the two that just quit altogether because they lost their job for one reason or another."

In the end, McCool had to move her daycare back into her home, and reduce the number of children she was taking care of. Lt. David LaCelle with the Jerome City Fire Department says all of the daycares now in operation are complying with the new standards.

LaCelle says, "The updated ordinances, five or less doesn't require the sprinklers, six or more, then they have to relocate to another facility or install sprinklers inside their home."

But LaCelle says the cost of installing residential sprinklers in an existing home is very expensive and inconvenient. The main reason for adopting the International Fire Code to make sure that people are safe. McCool is also concerned about renewing her in-home daycare license once it expires.

McCool says, "You've either got to be small and in your home or you've got be an extra, extra, extra large facility in order to make it financially. And even the large facilities just don't make a whole lot of money. They're struggling, too."

Feb. 13, 2013.


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