High Regulations Versus Affordability

There are some lessons in here somewhere …

State Rep. Bill Otto … has introduced a bill that would double the number of school-age children that child care facilities would be allowed to care for during days when school is not in session, and another that would allow local governments to set up their own systems for child care licensing and inspection.

Regulations already make it tough for child care facilities to operate, Otto said. Adopting “ideal-world policies” like those advocated by the National Association for the Education of Young Children in the recent survey “would just drive more child care workers underground,” he said.

“Our job is to see that children are safe and cared for. I understand that,” Otto said. “But you can’t make regulations so tough and so unrealistic that people can’t even operate.”

He said his proposal was inspired by a constituent who was fined $700 by the state health department for having one too many children in her care during an unannounced inspection. The woman had agreed to watch a school-age child during a school district in-service day, Otto said.

“Our regulations are off base; they’re not realistic. And the biggest thing is, they don’t bend,” he said. “The answer to our child care problem is certainly not more regulations.”

Source: Low child care rating only part of the story, Wichita Eagle, March 10, 2007.

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