Mayor: Alexandria needs to make parking easier for in-home childcare workers

In-home childcare providers have, for years, faced a problem: many of them work in residential neighborhoods requiring Residential Parking Permits, leaving them with no good options for parking.

A zoning change working through city bureaucracy could make it easier for in-home childcare workers to secure parking in residential neighborhoods.

Mayor Justin Wilson said in a monthly newsletter that there are currently no good parking options for in-home childcare workers.

“For the parents who live in these districts and have in-home childcare, they are left with a few bad options, including disingenuous practices, leaving children unsupervised to rotate vehicles, etc.,” Wilson wrote. “The City Code creates an inequity between home healthcare workers and childcare workers which cannot be justified.”

Wilson said that the Residential Parking Permit program started in 1979. Back in 2005, then-City Manager James Hartmann put forward an ordinance that would allow issuance of residential parking permits for use by daycare and health care workers providing those services at residences in permit parking districts.

The City Council approved a pilot for home healthcare workers, but Wilson said the Council rejected the childcare proposal. The issue came up again briefly in 2008 but nothing changed.

“As such, last month I proposed to the City Council that we rectify this challenge by allowing childcare workers, serving families in a residential parking permit district, to access these permits, Wilson wrote. “With the support of my colleagues, this proposal will now return to the Traffic & Parking Board and eventually City Council for formal consideration this fall.”