The City Council voted unanimously to adopt a far-reaching child-care policy designed to guarantee day care by 1992 for all children in the city who need it.
To encourage employers to provide child care and encourage private day-care operators to locate in Irvine, the city will waive city fees for nonprofit child-care centers and give priority to development projects that include on-site day care. If incentives don't work, the policy calls for fees on developers to pay for child care.
Irvine was one of the first cities in the country to hire a child-care coordinator. The policy adopted by the council Tuesday is considered one of the most progressive in the state. The goal of the policy is to ensure that licensed child care is provided for anyone needing it by Dec. 31, 1991. By then, city officials estimate that 60% of the employed parents living in Irvine will need some sort of child care outside the home.
Programs proposed under the policy include creating infant and toddler care centers at city parks that would be leased to private operators; providing day care for city employees and residents in Irvine's new Civic Center, which is under construction, and expanding after-school child care at Irvine schools by installing more modular units on various campuses.
The staff is expected to return to the council by mid-April with a plan.