Orange County NC Website
ORANGE COUNTY <br /> NORTH CAROLINA <br /> SOCIAL SERVICES <br /> Nancy Coston, Director 1 113 Mayo Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278 1 919.245.2800 <br /> December 3,2019 <br /> MEMORANDUM <br /> TO: Bonnie Hammersley,County Manager <br /> FROM: Nancy Coston, Social Services Director <br /> SUBJECT: Child Care at Board of Commissioners Meetings <br /> In response to a Board of County Commissioners'petition from June 18,2019,the Department of Social Services <br /> (DSS)has explored the logistics of providing child care for attendees of meetings of the Board of County <br /> Commissioners(BOCC). Several methods for providing this service were explored including use of a contract with <br /> an approved child care provider or utilizing county staff. <br /> There are some issues related to planning for"drop-in"child care that the county would want to consider before <br /> moving forward: <br /> • There may be a wide range of ages and needs.With no reservation requirement staff could not anticipate <br /> the ages of children. More children could be dropped off than could be accommodated. <br /> • The evening hours of the meetings may pose additional issues for children dropped off who could be <br /> hungry or sleepy. <br /> • There would need to be child-friendly dedicated space that included space for activities and for equipment <br /> (cribs,highchairs,etc.) <br /> • Certain supplies should be purchased and provided including snacks,diapers,wipes,games,and other <br /> activities. School age children may need homework assistance. <br /> • The space would need to be secure and should likely include security cameras for safety and liability <br /> purposes. <br /> • A registration system would be needed to ensure all children dropped off could be appropriately reunited <br /> with their guardians. The system should include health information about the child in the event of allergies <br /> or other medical needs. <br /> • Staff would need to be CPR and First Aid certified and would need to pass criminal background checks. <br /> • There are other liability issues that the County Attorney would need to address. Special insurance may also <br /> be needed and the County Risk Manager could provide more information. <br /> Given some of these concerns and the current demands on agency staff,DSS sought to find a child care provider <br /> interested in providing this service. As of this date,none of those contacted have indicated the capacity or interest in <br /> providing this service. I believe the concept of serving children who are not known to the provider and several of <br /> the other issues outlined above make this a difficult service to provide appropriately and safely. <br /> A related request suggested doing surveys to identify barriers for individuals who wish to attend meetings. After <br /> talking with Todd McGee,I believe this doable and could inform the BOCC about the interests of the public and <br /> find alternative ways to increase public participation. I recommend that we proceed with gathering this input so we <br /> can find an effective way to offer families access to meetings. This could better inform us of strategies to address the <br /> needs of families with children. <br /> Orange County Government I 1 919.732.8181 <br />