Occupational Licensing

Everybody Hates DC's Proposal Forcing Daycare Workers to Get College Degrees

And with good reason, since it would drive up costs and limit access to child care by requiring daycare workers to get a college degree.

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"Outrageous and tone deaf." "Madness." "Completely counterproductive and wrong-headed."

And that's just within the first few of more than 400 pages of comments submitted by residents of Washington, D.C., a city where child care costs are already some of the highest in the country, in response to an onerous new licensing requirement for daycare workers. The Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE), which regulates daycares and early childhood education programs in the nation's capital, last year passed a rule requiring all daycare workers to have a college degree by 2020.

The OSSE is currently considering postponing the implementation of the new requirement (a decision is expected in early 2018; the city council will have 30 days to reveiw the OSSE's decision).

Reason obtained more than 400 pages of public comments submitted to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), including about 50 pages sent directly to the OSSE by concerned parents, along with dozens of pages submitted by various organizations on both sides of the issue, and hundreds of comments collected by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian law firm opposed to the mandate, via a website set-up to inform D.C. residents of the consequences of the policy.

A vast majority of the comments call for scrapping the mandate entirely, while others favor the OSSE's extension proposal.

Comment submitted to OSSE

"A delay is not good enough—full repeal is the only responsible course of action for District families," Kate Francis, a resident of the city's northwest quadrant, writes. "It sickens me that OSSE can be so cavalier and reckless with the lives of District families. Ripping kids away from the caregivers they know and love will be traumatic."

The policy is also highly discriminatory because non-English speakers and low income individuals will have a harder time getting the necessary college diploma, Francis writes. That doesn't make them less qualified to care for children—just less able to comply with "onerous and unproductive" requirements.

After meeting with child care workers and parents, Ashley Carter, an at-large representative to the State Board of Education of the District of Columbia, believes the mandate should be fully repealed.

"There is a large consensus among workers who say it places a burden on them that is both unfair and unnecessary," Carter wrote to OSSE. "Additionally, many parents believe this will price them out of quality childcare where they live and work, and take away their choice of which provider they want to care for their child."

Comment submitted to OSSE

The OSSE said it wanted daycare providers to have skills rivaling elementary school teachers. But the mandate's supporters haven't identified any specific deficiencies in the current child care workforce. Instead, they focus on the supposed benefits of having trained early childhood educators working with children as young as 18 months.

"This is a real opportunity to build the profession and set our young children on a positive trajectory for learning and development," Elizabeth Groginsky, the district's assistant superintendent of early learning, told The Washington Post in March.

One of the only comments in favor of the new requirement came from Beverly Robertson Jackson, a member of the board of the DC Early Learning Collaborative. She supports extending the timeline for daycare workers to comply with the mandate, but said the mandate itself was part of an attempt "to increase the quality of infant and toddler and all birth-to-five early learning services for families."

Requiring daycare workers to have a college degree doesn't necessarily mean the quality of child care in DC will increase. Research by Diana Thomas and Devon Gorry, economists at Creighton University and Utah State University, respectively, shows that daycare regulations intended to improve quality often focus on easily observable measures—like mandatory degrees or certifications—that do not necessarily affect the quality of care.

Instead, Thomas and Gorry conclude, all they do is increase the cost of care.

The average cost of child care in D.C. is more than $22,600 annually, the highest of any metropolitan area in the country, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank focused on policies affecting consumer costs. That's likely to go up if the mandate goes into effect. The required associates' degree costs about $6,000 on average for a two-year program, according to The College Board.

The mandate would likely force many current daycare workers out of the field, or would require them to spend time and money just to keep the job they are already doing.

Comments submitted to OSSE

Lyndsey Fifeld said she and her partner did the math and realized that it would be more affordable for her to quit a full-time job and stay home with her kids (along with providing childcare for someone else), rather than continuing to work and pay for child care.

"Yes, that's right," she told the OSSE. "I could get work providing childcare—taking the job away from another perfectly qualified, younger DC resident who needs the work experience and paycheck and putting my career on ice."

Parents who left comments on the proposed OSSE policy don't seem too concerned with the current quality of care in the city's daycares and preschools.

Comment submitted to OSSE

"My son, who just turned one, is looked after by three kind, loving women at a home day care center in DC. None of his caregivers have advanced degrees, but they are excellent at their jobs, wrote Laura Hall, a resident of 8th Street NW, in one of the comments. "Imposing a requirement for a college degree would be an incredible burden for these women, and would likely result in them having to find alternate employment and closing their small business."

And if parents want to seek-out daycare programs staffed with college-educated workers, they are free to do that now.

"Most DC parents are savvy consumers and most DC center compete fiercely for business," wrote Kenan Fikri in one emailed comment to OSSE. "Many parents who demand a more credentialed workforce can seek out centers that choose to make that part of their business model."

Making it mandatory for all workers to have a degree will eliminate those businesses' competitive advantage and will compound the existing shortage of daycare workers in the city.

"You claim to want higher wages and better jobs for DC residents," wrote Fifeld. "Well, the real minimum wage is $0, and implementing this regulation would assure many hardworking men and women of that fate."

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60 responses to “Everybody Hates DC's Proposal Forcing Daycare Workers to Get College Degrees

  1. Oh no, is the beltway getting worried about Lupita having a better relationship with their kids?

    I am appalled. Shocked, frankly.

    1. Okay, I give up. What the hell are you trying to say here?

      1. He’s conflating hispanic private nannies with commercial day care businesses. Then he’s implying that the legislators have such guilty feelings about they way they neglect their children, they are passing onerous requirements on everyone else. Then… ah, fuck it.

        1. How about the feminist angle?

          How are all these single black and hispanic mothers in DC supposed to afford childcare now?

          1. Is this related to your first post? Is your brain a tiny pin ball machine?

            1. Are you unconcerned with the expenses incurred by single minority mothers?

              Don’t you think this should change?

              1. You started this thread with a nonsense statement. If you want to start a new thread, proceed to “comment” below.

                Also, this new DC law is retarded and expensive.

                1. I agree. And I appreciate the assist earlier.

                  What was nonsense about my genuine, enthusiastic, vibrant shock about steeple chasing immigrants who wipe silver spoonfed tyke-ass?

          2. That’s obvious: single payer! Or zillion payer, once you realize where those taxes come from.

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        1. You could make more money providing fake degrees to babysitters — — —

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  2. I’m sorry, but even a delay would be an admission that the careful consideration and thoughtful analysis that in the first place lead to the decision was not comprehensive and that the new rules are not absolutely vital for the protection of not only the children but the childcare professionals themselves. And that clearly cannot be the case.

  3. It’s dumb but the market will take care of it. Those qualified non-degree holders will just set up shop outside city limits.

    1. Why do you hate children?

      1. They are poor and annoying and have sticky hands.

        1. Also, frequently, moist and smelly.

      2. I can’t believe you need to ask.

    2. That still makes the state of daycare in DC worse, though. It “works” in that it still exists – lawmakers aren’t making daycare centers illegal – but that’s not exactly a high bar to cross. This regulation is utterly idiotic. Lawmakers should be passing laws to create childcare subsidies, not making the market even more constrained and thus expensive.

      1. Lawmakers should be passing laws to create childcare subsidies, not making the market even more constrained and thus expensive.

        DC already offers free pre-K starting at age 3-so obviously that subsidy hasn’t helped lower costs much.

        1. Pre-K is not the same thing as daycare. And yes, I’d say it does “lower” costs. If parents had to pay for Pre-K, they’d then be paying for daycare and Pre-K. There’s nothing to suggest that paying for Pre-K would make daycare less expensive, ergo, Pre-K + daycare > daycare.

          1. Daycares can include 3 mos (babies)-5 yrs (pre-K). So although DC does not offer free baby care, the fact that it frees up more money for parents to spend on care for their children younger than 3 has undoubtedly increased demand for daycare in general, which increases costs. At the same time, daycare providers increase their costs for younger children to cover the losses of the ones who are now eligible for free pre-K: basic economics in other words. Of course there are waiting lists for many of these free pre-Ks because there are not enough staff, so its not even an option for many parents who need it.

      2. lawmakers aren’t making daycare centers illegal – but that’s not exactly a high bar to cross. This regulation is utterly idiotic. Lawmakers should be passing laws to create childcare subsidies, not making the market even more constrained and thus expensive.”

        They should actually be doing none of the above.

        1. Well at least we half agree.

          1. I’m a libertarian at a so-called libertarian website. I live thousands of miles from DC. I actually don’t give a flying F except sometimes shitty ideas from one place get into the minds of shitty legislators at another place.

            1. You should be very concerned if this kind of idea makes its way to the International Code Council, or the National League of Cities. And these things often do. These assholes literally tax us so they can go to DC and collaborate on how to craft more uniform stifling ordinances.

      3. Lawmakers should be passing laws to create childcare subsidies

        Just… no. Lawmakers should not be passing laws taking money from some and giving to others, period.

        1. Lawmakers should be passing laws to eliminate the jobs of the nitwit busybodies who came up with this stupid idea in the first place.

      4. This law is already a subsidy. It’s a subsidy to colleges and universities. And it clearly hurts the taxpayers, as most gov’t subsidies do.

        1. Correct. This was the exact purpose of the law

          However it backfred, because it hurts college educated DC liberals as well as their domestic classes, aka a “class” with huge political muscle. Hence the blowback.

          Same kind of law, if it hurt some automobile or coal-realated industry, would have stuck because “fuck those rednecks”

    3. And like everything else, the unseen cost rises, in travel time and cost.

  4. This whole thing pretty much sums up the whole “government knows best” approach to everything:

    (1) Create a regulation that sounds good on paper without any knowledge of how what you are trying to regulate works.

    (2) Be dumbstruck in astonishment when the citizens you are trying to “help” are completely pissed off.

    In this case, my guess is that its the well-to-do white proggie parents who choose to live in the district (ya know-the ones who want to regulate everyone and everything) who are most upset about this.

    1. You’re being far too charitable. The regulation doesn’t even sound good on paper. Everyone who’s not going to make money off this regulation knows that you don’t need to go to college to learn how to change a diaper.

      1. Well, I’m sure it sounded good to the elites when first proposed, as do all regulations. But this one happened to affect them more than the little people.

      2. It sounds great on paper to the wealthy and powerful, who don’t have to deal with the problems that the plebs do. Most of them don’t put their kids in just any daycare, and can certainly afford to put them in an expensive one. And have the pull to make sure their kids make it on the list when a shortage occurs.

        1. By saying “it sounds good/great on paper,” I think all of you are giving the backers of this bill too much credit.
          They are nowhere near as good or noble as one might assume.

          This is a way to subsidize universities and colleges, most likely those near the DC area. You can bet those colleges’ administrators, who give generously to political campaigns, pressured their politicians to pass this bill.

        2. By saying “it sounds good/great on paper,” I think all of you are giving the backers of this bill too much credit.
          They are nowhere near as good or noble as one might assume.

          This is a way to subsidize universities and colleges, most likely those near the DC area. You can bet those colleges’ administrators, who give generously to political campaigns, pressured their politicians to pass this bill.

    2. No, its those white proggie parents who live in DC that are the most supportive of this bad idea.

  5. Not “everybody” hates the idea – a degree in Early Childhood Education isn’t just a piece of paper, it’s a certification in indoctrination and indoctrination training. The concern here isn’t that daycare workers aren’t properly feeding and supervising young children, the concern is that they’re missing the opportunity to start brainwashing the little statist drones as soon as they pop out of the womb. Just think, un-woke daycare workers might not be pressuring little Johnny to question his gender identity, abhor guns and white people with equal fervor, teach him about hate speech and safe spaces, glorify the state and abjure individualism.

    1. Cradle to grave, bro, cradle to grave.

    2. Jerryskids, you always seem to read my mind but come off more articulate.

      My girlfriend going through the education credential hoop right now. I’ve seen some of the stuff they make her parrot, like that some of the highest priorities for learning should be “safety” and “inclusiveness”. To anyone who knows how learning actually works, this is counterproductive to that goal. I have a hunch that the quality of education from degree holders is worse than non-degree holders.

      The cynic in me realizes the whole point of this policy is to advance social justice ideology, and the True Believer sees this as a battle of good vs evil, which is why they tend to believe any advance toward “good” is worth whatever the cost, even if poor people end up getting fucked by the higher prices.

      It’s the exact same mentality as all the other socialist utopians. The Communist massacres of history were justified in the minds of the leaders as a step toward that insatiable utopia, therefore worth the cost of human life. That is why they continue to commit these unspeakable evils without feeling an ounce of guilt. If they end up going through with this credential requirement despite all the complaints, you have a pretty good case that these folks are True Believers.

  6. I don’t live in D.C. I dont’ live anywhere near D.C. If they want to pull the plug and go swirling down the drain, that’s their business. It’s a nice city to visit (if you’re into museums and high end bars), but only an idiot would choose to live there.

    1. That’s what I say about Frisco. I’m sure the same applies to Boston, Portland, Seattle, and maybe Chicago. No, strike Chicago, not even nice to visit.

  7. “”This is a real opportunity to build the profession and set our young children on a positive trajectory for learning and development,” Elizabeth Groginsky, the district’s assistant superintendent of early learning, told The Washington Post in March.”

    I think she meant to say the earlier they can begin brainwashing the children in the Government Indoctrination Program (A.K.A Public Schools), the better for the Democratic party.

    1. “Elizabeth Groginsky, the district’s assistant superintendent of early learning”

      Assistant TO THE superintendent of early learning.

      This also explains everything.

      If you have a government job called ‘superintendent of early learning’, you have to expect that person to propose some really stupid shit.

  8. The purpose of this legislation is to reserve a category of employment to people who got useless degrees and are almost certainly democrats.

    -jcr

  9. I don’t know what the OSSE was thinking. They should have mandated master’s degrees.

  10. Got to keep inflating that college bubble. Seriously, what does college add to anyone’s qualif’ns?

  11. You know, as a parent, I have no idea how people afford daycare as it is. As it is, if you have 2-3 kids, I think it’s really just worth it to have your wife stay home in my hometown. Maybe the price doesn’t scale much from market to market so the cost is easier to absorb in higher income / higher CoL areas.

    This policy would make the service crushingly expensive, rather than merely crippling here.

    1. Example: The numbers here work like this: $150+/week/kid. Which doesn’t sound like much, but in an area where the median household income of $30,500, that’s a lot to swallow. 1 kid in daycare for 50 weeks would be $7,500/year.

      A lot of people on the lower end couldn’t hope to do it. And on the higher end it seems to me you have to ask: Do I dislike my own children so much that I’d rather pay someone to be around them and care for them than be a loving, nurturing parent and do it myself?

      Add in that the local Catholic school costs $5,500/year, and the local Independent Academy costs $7,500/year, wouldn’t your kid be better served by you putting that away for a private education? Or even better, a homeschooled education with a serious budget?

  12. “Why do you want retards teaching your children to eat razors”, said the Progressive.

    Because, after all, if you don’t want the government doing it then it must be because you don’t want it done at all.

  13. I kinda like this.

    Just kidding. I hate it.

  14. Maybe they figure the college educated will be more likely to spread their leftist ideology.

  15. Most of daycare work is not education; it’s taking care of children. I worked in a Montessori school when I was in college. My class was the 18 month to 3 year olds and most of our day was spent, changing diapers, wiping noses, feeding, pottying, cuddling and just doing “mommy” type things. We had a circle time (songs like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, poems and stories), a short lesson (often dealing with things like pouring water, putting on jackets etc.) and the Montessori equipment that the kids played with every now and then. You don’t need a college degree to do that and having elementary teaching skills will not make the kids more advanced.

  16. Must be something in the water out east. First Philadelphia bans bulletproof glass in delis, and now this.

  17. This is clearly the first step in requiring a college degree to be a mommy.
    After all, there are still a few women out there that take care of their children themselves. This is unacceptable, because they often are capable of a cost benefit analysis, and as a result vote against the socialist/communist/progressive position. They must be forced to borrow money for a college degree so they will feel obligated to the state, and willing to allow the state to indoctrinate the kids while the women slave away to repay the loan they never really needed to get the degree that means nothing. The other option is an unthinkable population of people thinking for themselves, maybe even buying things they choose, instead of things approved by the state.

    1. Pretty much the first thing that popped into my head!

      If nobody can care for children without a college degree, then what about all those poor HS graduate mothers!? Gotta take them kids away so they are learnt wrong think by their ignorant parents!

  18. I think this is a great idea, because it only applies to the politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists in DC. For those not directly involved in government, they can pass on the costs to their big government customers.

    For once, they’re implementing a statist law that applies to them first and only (assuming we keep it from spreading beyond the beltway). It should help educate them about their regulations and their unintended consequences. And it takes money out of their pockets.

  19. Where in LAW or Constitutional Law does it give government the ability, authority, responsibility to tell me who or how I raise my kids?
    Do we really buy into the bullshit of the government being allowed to go so far beyond Constitutional Law?

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