You Didn’t Really Want Affordable Child Care, Did You?

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On Monday, 2/22 reported that Arlington County has proposed an extensive list of new regulations for child care providers:

Daycare and preschool providers in Arlington are decrying proposed new child care regulations as overly onerous and intrusive.

A 34-page draft of new child care center regulations would set stringent requirements for employee education, require food handling certificates for handing out snacks and would require providers to encourage mothers to breast feed, among numerous other regulatory provisions.

Child care providers — particularly small, part-time operators — are speaking out against the the changes to Chapter 52 of County Code via the county’s online “open comment tool.”

Many comments focused on new education requirements for the teachers and assistant directors at child care centers. They would have to have a Bachelor’s Degree in education or a similar major and “at least 9 semester credits of advanced study in child development or early childhood education.” Current teachers would have three years to meet that requirement.

To list a few of the more egregious proposals:

  • “The licensee will ensure that mothers are encouraged to breast feed their infants.”

  • “Celebrations (birthdays, special occasions) should include mostly healthy foods or non-food treats.”

  • “Staff will promote dental hygiene among children at mealtimes.”

  • “The licensee will ensure that a trained staff member shall conduct and document a health check of each child every morning upon arrival.”

I’m not going to address how ridiculous these suggestions are – there’s nothing I can add that hasn’t already been mentioned in the comments of the Arlnow article. The comments section on Arlington County’s web site must have hit home as well – my wife sent me the article on Monday, and by Wednesday the link to the county’s web page has no document, much less any section for adding comments (if anyone has a link to a cached page with the study please drop it in the comments). According to an Arlington County spokesman, the page was supposed to be open for comments through March 31. He also gave a standard response about the need for updates and that this was only the start of the process. Fair enough, but unfortunately the county did not address one significant question:

Why was this proposal written by nobody with experience with young children? It’s obvious from reading just the few bullet points that I noted (and there is much more in the article) that whoever wrote the proposal has no idea what it’s like to actually drop off a child at day care, much less feed them. It’s equally obvious that at no time during the drafting process did they bother to seek out opinions from anyone with relevant experience (providers, parents, etc).

If the big-government nanny-staters want the public to buy into giving them greater control over our lives, maybe they should stop working so hard to prove their critics right.

Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog

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Blogging by the credo of "Making the world a more offensive place, one blog post at a time", Brother Bob started writing posts around the beginning of the Obama presidency over at Brother Bob's Blog. A born-again Existentialist and self-professed libertarian with conservative tendencies, he has ironically chosen to live in the Washington, DC area - deep behind enemy lines. He has always loved history, and spent eight years volunteering as a tour guide on weekends, giving over 200 tours to roughly 2,500 mostly foreign guests. His tours were highlighted by stories generally not found in the history books or most other tours, such as the importance of the Battle if Antietam, the origins or Arlington Cemetery, and dispelling the myths of FDR's New Deal. Although his favorite subject to blog about is Economics, as seen in his Economics for Politicians series, his posts try to address angles that other conservative writers and the mainstream media (naturally!) miss. "There's no point in putting up a post on a subject that someone smarter than me has already written". He believes in the "Happy Warrior" approach, and tries to inject humor in his posts, sometimes successfully. Two such examples are his posts comparing the modern left to the horrible Star Wars prequels, and analyzing the laments of a DC woman in search of a feminist boyfriend. Brother Bob lives with his very patient wife known as Sister Babe, and their fantastic son. Little Bob. Little Bob is also the reason that being a tour guide came to an end, as spending Saturdays raising a son takes priority over giving lectures to foreign visitors on the folly of Keynesian economics. BB is also grateful for the opportunity to take his place among the outstanding writers at Flopping Aces, appreciates every person who takes the time to read his posts, and especially those who join him in the conversation in the comments.

13 Responses to “You Didn’t Really Want Affordable Child Care, Did You?”

  1. 1


    The median household income in Arlington County is $95000
    In 2006 it was one of the most educated counties in all of the USA with 35% of the residents having graduate degrees.
    It always votes Democratic usually around 70%
    BB I think that the residents there are getting what they want.

  2. 5

    Nanny G

    Kitt, I believe the Laffer Curve concept applies in that situation.
    There is a cut-off point after which paying someone else to watch your child is just not worth it.
    When there are two parents, both working, the extra costs for a mom not cooking, for a mom also needing work clothes, for a mom not being there for her children, for a mom not cleaning – all these things need to be taken into consideration.

    There is a $3,000 for one child and $6,000 limit for all your children tax credit for day care (under very strict circumstances).
    But when the costs rise from $15,600 per year (your $300/week) to $36,400 per year most mom’s can’t afford to offset that.

  3. 6


    @Nanny G: Average daycare per kid is 10.75 per hour more if the child is under 2. The benefits of daycare is the child is exposed to a germ factory (like kindergarten) also behaviors we used to not tolerate, not sharing, hitting, biting, inappropriate language, the chance of child abuse and neglect.
    I sit for 2 of my grandchildren, my price is steep 200 per week to be deposited in the kids savings and my daughter put me on her cell phone plan so I dont have that bill. Not all parents can rely on a grandma, too bad.

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