Childcare Ordinance - What & Why

Childcare Ordinance Image

What's Happening Now? 

September 2020 Childcare Near You Ordinance Goes into Effect

On August 21, 2020, Mayor Jenny Durkan signed Ordinance 126131. The Childcare Near You legislation provides greater flexibility to establish new child care centers in nearly all zones in the city including neighborhood residential zones. This ordinance became effective as of September 20, 2020.

Also, as of July 30, 2023, the rules about home occupations were updated, which relates to child care businesses located in houses. See the home occupation rules in code section 23.42.050, updated in Ordinance 126845. The rules were made more flexible for parking, numbers of employees, deliveries, and size of allowed signs at a home-based business including child care.

Project Benefits

  • Allows child care businesses to be started in nearly all places in Seattle, including neighborhood residential zones
  • Reduces the time and costs of permitting a new child care business in Seattle
  • Encourages more new child care centers to be located in Seattle neighborhoods, closer to where people live
  • Encourages more opportunities for affordable child care, ranging from home-based care to larger centers

The End Result

The City has adjusted the Land Use Code to make new child care businesses easier to open. This can help address a 16,000-space shortage in child care services for Seattle's children.

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.