Charlottetown gets earful on who can start a home-based child care

Nigel Armstrong
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Neil Lawless speaks to Charlottetown City Council Monday during a public meeting on zoning issues. Lawless said he is strongly opposed to a clarification regarding home-based child care. A proposed change will allow a person to operate a home child care business whether or not that person owns or rents the residence.

City holds meeting on plan to clarify that child care business can be in home that is either owned or rented

Charlottetown City Council held a public meeting Monday on the topic of home-based child care and got an earful of opposition.

It all came from one man, city resident Neil Lawless, who delivered a lengthly list of problems that child-care businesses cause when operating in residential areas.

Council is trying to make a small wording change in city bylaws to clarify that a person can operate a child-care business in a home, if they meet all requirements, whether or not they own or rent the residence.

Lawless said the change will increase the number of places all across the city that might potentially get approval to operate a home-based day care.

"People buy properties, they raise families, they want to relax in their backyard," said Lawless.

Children at day cares make a lot of noise which could interfere with that, he said.

Lawless declined to tell council or The Guardian where he lives but said he has complained to the city about a day care near him operated by people who rent the residence.

He warned of parking problems from parents dropping off and picking children up.

"They are all not going to park in one driveway," he said to council.

"It could interfere with snow removal. It could interfere with Island Waste Management pick up. It could interfere with first responders."

Traffic congestion will make the street more dangerous, he said.

Moving on to another issue, renters operating a day care won't take care of the property to the same degree as property owners, said Lawless.

His list of problems with home-based day care was extensive, making his presentation just over 20 minutes long.

"Is there a need by the public at large in this city to have a neighbourhood day care operated by proprietors who do not own the property?" said Lawless in concluding his presentation.

Roseanne Cheverie owns a home-based day care in Charlottetown and spoke immediately after Lawless.

"I am wondering if you realize the need for good-quality child care," Cheverie said directly to Lawless. "There are not enough day cares available in Charlottetown for people to go back to work."

Cheverie said traffic from day cares is probably not the problem suggested by Lawless.

"People that are bringing their children to the in-home day care are probably driving slower because they have a child in their vehicle," said Cheverie.

She went on to say that home-based day cares increase the value of property for families.

Council will consider all the comments from the meeting as it works to bring the matter to a vote at a later time.

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Sun
    June 27, 2016 - 10:15

    I live next to a day care house rental. Kids are screaming and crying majority of time,toys and garbage thrown in my yard, their cat does its business in my yard so they don't get the "day care" dirty, and yes the children are dropped off in front of my place not the residence next door.Kids run through my yard and then into the day care. So my nice tranquil yard is left abandoned because I can't stand THE NOISE!So, I totally get what this man is saying. I chose not to live by a school but a day care chose to move in next to my home. Should NOT be allowed in residential areas.

  • Fred Smith
    January 27, 2016 - 07:36

    Lets all keep this in perspective: We aren't debating whether or not home based businesses are allowed, or good or bad, it's whether or not if you are permitted to operate a business if you are a tenant of the dwelling. The bylaw requires the owner/operator of the business to reside in the dwelling....they are discussing changing/clarifying to include tenants. And if they have the owner's consent I say go for it! To say that a tenant running a business out of a rental home would not take good care of the property is ridiculous. It would be business suicide to offer a childcare centre in a dump! Let's all stop promoting fear!

  • Gabby
    January 26, 2016 - 14:36

    Im really glad mr.lawless is not my neighbor if he is complaining about a home based daycare. Is he going to complain as well if his neighbors have too many children for his liking?

  • harvest #1
    January 26, 2016 - 13:27

    Well said Mr. Lawless. If we don't bring it to the attention of council, there will be no end to the establishing of "businesses" in a residential area. What about the chicken farmers who want to raise poultry in the back yard?? Are they going to get the licences to operate? Soon we will step out onto the back deck and see chickens and goats and hear the screams of children. The front door exit will be no better. Cars lining the street, kids wandering between them trying to avoid getting run over by the trucks picking up freshly plucked chickens. Get it right council.

    January 26, 2016 - 12:31

    Roseanne Cheverie does not know what she is talking about. Why would a rented house in your neighbourhood that is operated as a daycare for kids enhance the property values of the neighbourhood? And yes, dropping off 20-30 kids every morning around the same time does present a traffic problem. Judging from past experience, the parents are always running late and aren't as careful and watchful as they need to be.The only thing I agree with her on is that there probably isn't enough quality daycares in the city.

    • Kid
      January 27, 2016 - 11:52

      Parents need childcare in there neighbourhoods and their is a limit to how many children in home day cares are allowed to have. So their will never be 20-30 kids getting dropped off. I am sure a parent would not use a property that is run down and unsafe so a well cared property is a must, rented or not.

  • Dan
    January 26, 2016 - 10:58

    Typical PEI NIMBY. It would definitely increase the value of the neighborhood having a day care close by.

      January 27, 2016 - 10:23

      Dan...How would it increase real estate values by having a daycare center in someones' home? Your remarks are just so much gratuitous drivel.Why don't you welcome to your neighbourhood? Oh wait, you'd have to ask your mother first.

    January 26, 2016 - 10:06

    i live by this place he talks about they are quiet there is no traffic jams... just a bunch none sense

  • J
    January 26, 2016 - 09:59

    Mr Lawless, Give your head a shake. we're you never a child or parent. Children need safe childcare and parents need to work. Not all parents want their children in large government sponsored centres. Also, most centres close around 5:30 daily and aren't open on week-ends and holidays. Get over it!

  • enough already
    January 26, 2016 - 09:51

    I am one hundred percent behind this gentleman . There are commerial areas for a reason and child care should be taken care in commercial zones .

  • de udder guy
    January 26, 2016 - 09:31

    Somebody put a daycare beside this mans house. Stat.

  • Carol Kennedy
    January 26, 2016 - 08:11

    Talk later on this.....................

  • Charlottetown Resident
    January 26, 2016 - 07:47

    I agree with Lawless, 100%. If Cheverie thinks that home-based daycares increase surrounding property values, then she should open a window and let the methane gas out!

  • chris
    January 26, 2016 - 01:36

    The guy makes some very valid points. The City should only allow child care businesses to operate in houses that are owned by the child business owner. He is correct someone who lives in a house and owns it will take better care of it and will have more concern for the neighbors rather than just someone who is renting the house.

  • Joe Doe
    January 26, 2016 - 00:19


  • laughing
    January 25, 2016 - 22:43

    I wonder what parallel universe Mr. Lawless is from where he thinks the ideal is that everyone bring their kids to a corporate super-centre with parking outside of town where they can't disrupt the neighbours. Maybe he drops his kids off at Walmart for the day when he goes to work.

  • Stugling Parent
    January 25, 2016 - 22:35

    This Lawless guy is probably retired and does not have to worry about money . It costs me about 600.00 permonth so that I can make 11.75/hr. I staying home now and will get welfare to put the burden on the province . Hardly fair . We need home based daycare

  • SunnyRoadz
    January 25, 2016 - 22:34

    Wow..just wow...not really sure how someone can be that mean spirited and ignorant. Is the daycare in his neighborhood interrupting his daily afternoon nap? This guy should be truly embarrassed.

  • Snowspud #1
    January 25, 2016 - 22:26

    Finally someone with smarts tells it like it is. Good for you Mr Lawless , you understand the value of a quiet place and safe street. Not sure how my home would increase in value and if I have a bunch of screaming kids in the yard next door and a steady stream of traffic , cars parked on my street. Mrs Cheverie is running a business in a residential area, next up will be the guys running compressors for auto repairs next door to the daycares and home based pizza shops lined up behind the neon signs advertising boxing day sales.

    • Kid
      January 27, 2016 - 12:03

      Were you ever young and had kids. Did you ever work for a living. If I was a young parent and needed childcare I would look for such a small homelike childcare place to bring my children to.