Barack Obama

Barack Obama Loves Children So Much He Wants to Make Daycare ALOT More Expensive

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Writing in the Pittsburgh Tribune, Abby W. Schacter notes

Licensed day care already is too expensive for so many working parents. And yet as President Obama pointed out during his recent State of the Union address, it isn't a wish-list item but rather a necessity since so many parents need to work to make ends meet.

So what is Obama's big idea regarding day care? Well, to make it even more expensive via new guidelines and requirements for participation in federally funded programs:

As Katharine Stevens reported in The Wall Street Journal, a recently enacted new HHS "early Head Start" program to expand access to child care for working families (especially in poor areas) stipulates that "child-care providers who receive the new funding will be subject to federal monitoring and required to comply with the 2,400 Head Start 'Performance Standards' stipulating everything from staff qualifications to cot placement to how to clean potties."

In some states that means new stiff federal regulations on top of existing state regulations.

As the Wall Street Journal's Stevens explains it, the biggest new demand is that all caregivers have bachelor's degrees despite the absolute lack of evidence such as credential is related to teaching effectiveness at the preschool level.

No matter. Schachter, who lives in Pennsylvania (where having two kids in certified day care costs almost $20,000 a year), says that bureaucrats are just fine with credentialism and just about anything that jacks up prices as long as you nod to improving quality.

Diane Barber, the director of the Pennsylvania Child Care Association, says there's a good reason why it costs Keystone families so much for day care. "It costs more to do quality," she says. "For example, in Mississippi the base requirements are much lower so the costs are much lower."

Whole piece here.

A couple of weeks back, I noted Stevens' column as well in an article about the utter lack of balance in Obama's vision of improving services. He is forever trying to manage the demand side of things, through more and more regulation and mandates and price controls or subsidies to deserving people. He virtually never looks at the ways in which you could improve the quality of service and drive down prices by allowing the supply side to expand. Yet

that's precisely how prices really come down and increasingly higher-quality goods and services become affordable and ubiquitous. We didn't get to cheap hamburgers by subsidizing their purchase through targeted tax breaks to working Americans. Fast-food chains drove down prices and upped quality in their desperate attempts to grab and keep customers.

The same thing is true of all sorts of consumer products and services. When VCRs, home computers, and cell phones first hit the markets, only wealthy people could afford them. Prices tumbled because manufacturers increased the supply and variety, not because the government gave us money to go purchase them. 

More here.

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  1. Nobody ever said central planning was cheap.

  2. Libertarian Moment!

  3. Is Anchorman 2 still the most important film of 2013?

  4. Schachter, who lives in Pennsylvania (where having two kids in certified day care costs almost $20,000 a year)

    How is this possible?

    1. Come off it, MJ — ALOT of people manage to live in Pennsylvania.

    2. that’s cheap. they must be school aged.

    3. It was about 16,000 for my rugrat in the Chicagoland area.

      Granted this was for < 18 months age.

  5. it isn’t a wish-list item but rather a necessity since so many parents need to work to make ends meet

    Maybe if a colossal percentage of their income wasn’t stolen by the government, they wouldn’t need to work as much? That’s un-possible!

    1. maybe this is a “war on women” forcing a parent to stay home out of the workforce.

      It’s most likely to be women who stay home. Also, it will lower the unemployment rate, since they’ll be removed from the workforce for the “official” calculation.

      More expensive like a fox.

  6. I for one welcome these new credential requirements. It was only through blind luck that humanity’s children survived thousands of years of being cared for by people without access to expensive pieces of paper. The madness must end!

  7. “It costs more to do quality,” she says. “For example, in Mississippi the base requirements are much lower so the costs are much lower.”

    Yeah, those dumb hicks in Mississippi can’t do quality. Um, has she driven through Pennsyltucky?

    People have been raising babies and toddlers without bachelor’s degrees for 10,000 years. And I dare say they results were *better*, judging by the current crop of youngins.

  8. Credentialism shit like this really pisses me off. Yeah, let’s make it harder for people to get into a field of work, that’ll totally increase quality.

    It never crosses their addled brains that this might force people into using cheaper off the books alternatives that could actually put kids at risk.

    1. It never crosses their addled brains that this might force people into using cheaper off the books alternatives that could actually put kids at risk.

      They’ll just pass laws making it a felony to use an unlicensed daycare provider.

      Fear, fear of being thrown into prison and having their kids taken away will keep most of the proles in line.

  9. If daycare workers need to have a freaking bachelor’s degree to take care of kids, why not grandma and grandpa? Why not the parents??

    I know, I know, I shouldn’t give them ideas.

    1. They’ll all have bachelor’s degrees once Obama’s predecessor expands the free community college program to full universities. Just imagine how much more economically productive the nation will be once everyone has a BA in peace studies!

      1. er, successor

  10. There is no way someone can make enough money working daycare to warrant the cost of their degree.

    This is silliness.

    1. There will be when the fedgov subsidizes the sh*t out of daycare and drives the price up to even more ungodly levels.

      1. And what it doesn’t subsidize the sh*t out of, it regulates the sh*t out of. And that drives costs up even more! Welcome to the regulatory-welfare state!

  11. Nothing that MOAR FREE SHIT couldn’t solve. Get ready for childcare subsidies. Because access to daycare is “right” just like healthcare. /DERP

  12. “When VCRs, home computers, and cell phones first hit the markets, only wealthy people could afford them. Prices tumbled because manufacturers increased the supply and variety, not because the government gave us money to go purchase them.”

    But…but…but the market for childcare is different (just like the market for healthcare and any other market I deem to be “inefficient” because not everyone can afford it and, geez, to be perfectly honest I have no idea what that term “efficient” even means, i just heard Jon Stewart use it one time on Bill Maher’s show KOCH BOOOOSH FRACKING SOCIAL CONTRACT MICROAGGRESSION). /prog

  13. What’s an “ALOT”?

    1. Came here to post this. I think it’s Nick trying to downplay his English Ph.D with some everyman lingo.

  14. Question:
    Is it actually illegal to hire an unlicensed day-care provider?
    Just for example, would it be illegal to pay the old lady next door to take care of your kids, if she wasn’t licensed?

    Or does this restriction only apply to commercial “day-care” operations where there are 20-30 kids?

    Are informal day cares in people’s homes illegal?

    1. “would it be illegal to pay the old lady next door to take care of your kids, if she wasn’t licensed?”

      – in some places, yes, it it illegal. Can’t remember where offhand but I have read about that.

  15. The degree requirement is really kind of a backdoor effort to turn the day-care program into a pre-school program. Pursuant to Obama’s “free universal preschool” proposal.

    Bachelor’s degrees are simply NOT necessary to look after a bunch of toddlers and make sure they don’t choke on their clothing. But if you’re going to have people with education degrees there you might as well make it pre-school.

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