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General Assembly focus on stricter regulations for Virginia independent daycares

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia independent daycares are facing stricter regulations if pieces of legislation pass the General Assembly.

Dyan Holloway couldn't picture herself doing any other type of work. The independent home daycare owner in Henrico has been providing a vital service to parents for 12 years.

"I love that the kids consider me part of the family,” said Holloway. “I love the parents consider me part of the family. They call me first when they are sick.”

Some of the legislation that could change how she operates her daycare includes the number of children allowed at one time, and getting licensed by the Department of Social Services.

Senator Barbara Favalo from Arlington said the safety of boys and girls should be paramount.

"We have so many homes that don't meet any requirements at all,” Favalo said. “And we have to change that -- the onus cannot be completely on the parent to do all of this investigative work."

The legislation comes three months after one-year-old Joseph Allen died while staying at an unregulated home daycare in Chesterfield.

"That case right there shows you in living color why we need to regulate these homes,” Favalo said.

Favalo said that pet stores and hairdressers in Virginia face more stringent rules on the books.

"We had to ask ourselves is this acceptable," Favola said.

Favola wants home daycare operators to meet basic requirements like CPR and fire training and pass a background check.

Holloway already limits the number of children she keeps at one time, and said she does not want more kids she can handle.

Diane said if new laws are introduced there will still be some daycare operators who put profit ahead of a child's welfare.

"That is a danger,” she said. “I will not go over my limit because my children deserve my very best."