John Ross on the Dubious Case for Regulating Day Care


Credit: Jean Pierre Lavoie / Flickr

The Washington Post profiled a mother this week who wants Virginia to impose licensing restrictions on home-based day cares. Virginia is one of eight states that does not regulate providers who take care of six or fewer unrelated kids in their own home. Spurred to activism by the death of her child, under circumstances that are still under investigation, the mother wants the state to require safety training, background checks, and home inspections for all home-based providers. But as John Ross reports, the case for regulating day care falls apart under closer examination. Indeed, Ross writes, what the available numbers show is that children are at far greater risk of death or abuse at the hands of parents and family members than they are at either regulated or unregulated day cares. Should we require the licensing of parents?