State to re-examine rules for home daycares

By Laura Ann Sills - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A fire in a home daycare that claimed the life of a little boy over a week ago is bringing people together.

Tuesday night home daycare owners, the state agency Bright from the Start, and Columbus fire officials met to talk codes.  They discovered not everything is adding up.

Bright from the Start representative Cindy Thorpe admitted that since recent events they are re-evaluating their rules that define family daycare.

Bright from the Start and Columbus fire officials are working together to investigate the fatal fire and redefine some codes that are in conflict.

Bright from the Start allows for over six children, but state and city codes do not. The city says you must rezone to add another child.

"We know that those two definitions are in conflict.  They differ and so our two departments are meeting and working through a process to define that.  I know both of our departments want you to be successful but our goal like your goal is that children are safe and high quality childcare environments," explained Cindy Thorpe, representative for Bright from the Start.

Columbus Fire Marshall Thomas Streeter answered questions about city codes that home providers must meet.

One code that caused some confusion is that you must be able to unlock doors leading outside without a key.  Home care providers must change dead bolts that lock with a key from the inside to a thumb lock. 

Officials said it is a $20.00 fix that can save a life.