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D.C. mandates college degree for child-care jobs


WASHINGTON – The nation’s capital is the first U.S. city to begin requiring child-care workers to have a college degree before they can carry out tasks such as changing diapers, playing ring-around-the-rosie and handing out snacks.

With an average monthly cost for daycare already at $1,800 in Washington, the new requirement is expected to drive prices through the roof.

What’s the objective?

“This is a real opportunity to build the profession and set our young children on a positive trajectory for learning and development,” said Elizabeth Groginsky, assistant superintendent of early learning in the district.

Find out what’ really important in raising children, in “Born Liberal, Raised Right” and “Child Training Tips,” from the WND Superstore.

Nationwide, the average annual cost of full-time, center-based child care now exceeds the average annual cost of in-state college tuition, according to a “Care Index” released by the Washington think tank New America. At $9,589 per child, that represents nearly a fifth of annual median household income and 85 percent of the yearly median cost of rent.

The new data show that the average cost for in-home full-time care is $28,353 a year, or more than half the U.S. median income. The costs for a full-time nanny range from $25,774 a year in Wisconsin to $33,366 in Washington, D.C.

Related column:

Now we need a college degree to parent? by Brent Smith

Nearly two-thirds of children under 6 have both parents in the workforce, compared with 28 percent of children in 1970.

Reb Bradley, a retired pastor who has devoted his life to family issues and authored “Born Liberal, Raised Right” and “Child Training Tips,” said it’s another example of government overreach, this time stepping into the responsibilities that are properly the domain of parents.

“Childcare is a free-market issue. It is not the government’s place to decide which levels of services can be offered to the public for consumption. Just as it is not the role of government to insist that all hotels offer four-star accommodations, it is not government’s place to require that parents pay for top-tier child care,” he explained.

“Care of one’s family is a right and responsibility of parents – not the government.”

He said the politically correct fight over the “right to choose” is in play.

“We hear so much about a woman’s right to choose when a woman is pregnant, yet when a child is born, a woman doesn’t lose her right as a mother to decide what happens to her child. It is her choice if her child is placed in child care, and she needs to have choice about which level of child care she places her child into. It is her business if she wants to entrust her child every day to Aunt Susie or to the lady down the street, or to a high-end facility with credentialed workers.”

He said it would be best if the rule quickly is found unconstitutional.

“If it isn’t overturned, it is one more divot in the fight to maintain parental rights. This is a fight for choice,” he said.

Find out what’ really important in raising children, in “Born Liberal, Raised Right” and “Child Training Tips,” from the WND Superstore.