State proposes big hike for child-care centers' fees

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PHOENIX -- State health regulators are proposing dramatic increases in licensing fees for child-care facilities under authority granted by the new budget to make up for the state's funding cuts.

The annual three-year licensing fees are now a flat $150 but the Department of Health Services' proposed rule change would set rates ranging from $581 to $13,442, depending on the number of children.

The department says the graduated scale of fees is fair because it's based on each facility's capacity and amounts to a 40-cent per child per week increase.

But an industry group, the Arizona Child Care Association, says the increase would be "devastating" for many of the day-care businesses.

The proposed increases would be effective Jan. 1.

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