Last week the Washington Post reported that the District of Columbia will be the first in the nation “to require child care workers to get college degrees.”
Yes, you read that correctly. All child care workers in Washington, D.C., must earn a “bachelor’s degree in early-childhood education” in order to take care of your diaper-donned infants.
“The new regulations put the District at the forefront of a national effort to improve the quality of care and education for the youngest learners. City officials want to address an academic achievement gap between children from poor and middle-class families that research shows is already evident by the age of 18 months,” writes the Post.
Of course they do. So the answer is to require all these otherwise competent (in most cases) workers to attend colleges, where they can return to teach these innocent children all about trigger words, oppression, safe spaces and micro-aggressions.
What it will likely do instead is lock out more and more parents from otherwise perfectly adequate child care. By requiring not only an expensive childcare license, but now a college degree, D.C. is unknowingly driving up the cost of child care.
I say unknowingly, because the people in government that mandate such things never account for the dynamics of the market.
College costs money. These employees will somehow have to pay for their education, as not everyone will benefit from scholarships. Day care centers will be forced to boost salaries and pass that cost onto the parents, many of whom can barely afford the day care expense in the first place – something government pinheads never account for.
I have no intention in this article to pass judgment on parents who should or should not put their kids in day care rather than one parent or the other simply stay home. That’s not the point.
What happens after the fact? One way or the other, because of this asinine regulation, these centers will be forced to retain or hire an entire “degreed” staff – a “degreed” staff that will naturally demand more money for their services. As the Washington Post writes, now that they have their degrees, many of these previously capable employees will seek work elsewhere, in public schools, which pay a lot more.
As a result, the day care centers are left with two choices – both bad. They can either close their doors, leaving parents in the lurch, or jack up day care prices, resulting in the same outcome.
As is always the case when the nanny government injects itself in the private sector, the consumer eventually always loses. One way or another, parents will end up paying much more for day care, all because some genius bureaucrat and/or politician decided that only someone with a college degree is capable of caring for kids.
For decades parents have been dropping their children at day care centers with very little problem. For decades we parents have relied on common sense, interviews and referrals from others in order to choose a “good” center.
Every once in a while, we’ll see or hear of an horrific story of neglect, abuse or other event that highlights the supposed dangers of day care. Usually, the story is cast as such and such occurred at an “unlicensed” center, furthering the myth that having a license would prevent such things.
But the reason these types of occurrences garner so much attention is that they are rare. If abuses happened regularly, like shootings in Chicago, they would cease to be the exception and thus would attract less attention.
If the government can force child care workers to get degrees – what’s next? If a mom (or dad) decides that one should stay at home and raise the children, should he or she also be required to obtain a college degree? And if not, why not?