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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

March 31, 2003


Charlotte, NC – Anyone hoping to earn a few extra bucks keeping children in their home, or open a childcare facility, will be subject to updated zoning regulations governing childcare facilities. Mecklenburg County Zoning is now enforcing the rules in the City of Charlotte that govern location and size of new residential childcare centers.

The rules will have the greatest impact on those who seek to open small, home-based, childcare centers in residential areas, although operators of larger centers, those with 16 or more children, will also be subject to updated rules. Childcare centers in operation before February 17, 2003, are exempt.

The updated zoning regulations for home-based childcare centers address the following issues, among others:

  • Separation from existing home-based childcare centers by at least 400 feet (not including church based childcare facilities).
  • The home must be the primary residence of the operator or primary caregiver.
  • Home must be in general character with other homes in the neighborhood. Detached signs are not allowed.
  • Buffers and screening for outdoor play space.
  • Maximum number of children allowed per shift.
  • No more than two shifts allowed in a 24-hour period.

The rules were updated to be consistent with childcare regulations enforced by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Aligning the rules and the language enables easier communications and consistency of enforcement. All childcare operators, whether home-based or center-based, must be licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services. 

For more details on Charlotte's updated childcare center zoning regulations, call Mecklenburg County Zoning at 704-336-3569.

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