Will Early Education Force The Daycare Business To Close its Doors?
As I discussed in my previous article "'Early Education or Early Indoctrination" our educational curricula could soon come under the control of the United Nations. The United States government supports their attempts at globalizing our American education system and indoctrinating our children in an early education program (0-5 years of age). But attempts to place our children in school from birth are being deterred small business: the daycare industry. Parents currently have the option of either putting their children in an "early education" school focus from birth until kindergarten or an in-home day care or center. But that too might be a thing of the past if the state and federal governments continue placing burdensome and costly regulations on these small daycare centers that love and care for our children.
Many parents opt for in-home day care because they feel it is more of a "home away from home" environment; a place where children are hugged, love and rocked, and learn the basics of life as they would if they were at home. But in-home daycares and centers are increasingly shutting their doors because of impossible government regulations. In the 2005-2006 legislative session of the Michigan House of Representatives, there was uproar by the daycare provider community when the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) held hearings regarding the implementation of numerous and costly new daycare regulations. Former Representative John Stahl (R-North Branch), Chair of the Family and Children Services committee held hearings in response to the concerns from constituents contacting their legislators. The committee listened to testimony from well-respected and award-winning daycare centers asserting that if the new rules were implemented, they would be put out of business because they could not afford to implement the new rules, which included teaching requirements and early education training. While some of the new regulations were needed for safety reasons, many were punitive and costly. The Michigan DHS implemented most of them anyway. According to Colleen Steinman, a spokesman for the Michigan DHS in a 2009 story, "Daycares are struggling primarily because the economy is suffering and because licensing requirements are becoming more stringent."
As a consequence of the overreaching Michigan regulations, one mom was investigated by the Michigan DHS for running an illegal day care. What was her alleged violation? She allowed her neighbors' kids to be dropped off before school so they didn't have to wait outside at the bus stop. The DHS told her she had to stop watching the kids.
What are many of these new educational requirements and why are they so costly? The new regulations include 'early education' academic requirements that the providers (now called teachers) must have. "While Gov. Bev Perdue announced recently that there would be no new rules allowed to encumber businesses, a universally applauded measure to help expedite the economic recovery effort, the wheels were already in motion for a new and particularly onerous regulation on childcare providers, known as Early Educator Certification (EEC). This new regulation will likely have a negative impact on the cost and availability of childcare in North Carolina." (Source)
In Connecticut preschool teachers who earn on average $8-$9 per hour were told if they did not get a bachelor's degree, which costs thousands of dollars to obtain, they would be out of a job.
The National Education Association (NEA) says, "Unfortunately state standards for privately run, child care programs are significantly lower than that for school-based pre-kindergarten and Head Start Programs." This is ironic considering the many failures of the Head Start program.
The NEA does not believe that a loving private daycare provider is capable of teaching babies and toddlers unless the provider i.e. "teacher", is an academic. These are the recommendations of the NEA to the federal government, "Lead teachers in private centers hold a minimum of an associate's degree in child development or early childhood education, all teaching assistants in private childcare settings hold a minimum of a child development associate (CDA) or a state issued certificate that meets or exceeds CDA requirements." This means that a person who owns an in-home daycare would be required to have a degree. A person who does daycare because she loves children, wants to teach them basic social skills that are necessary before learning can commence, like sharing, caring, emotional control, and socializing. And if the daycare provider would like her mother or friend to help on occasion as my previous daycare provider did, she would have to also have an education, because raising six successful children would not be adequate.
On top of requiring these providers to go back to school and spend possibly thousands of dollars to obtain a degree to teach babies and toddlers, the states are actually decreasing reimbursement rates to providers who do not conform to the new educational regulations such as the case in Wisconsin. Daycare providers who are currently only rated as a two star and do not take the necessary educational classes mandated by the government to move up in the rating system may be forced to close their doors.
Some states, such as Massachusetts and Michigan,are also forcing the in-home daycares into unions They are forced to pay dues whether they want to or not, which also decreases daycare provider's incomes. Fortunately for Michigan, this has since been reversed.
Why would governments force burdensome and costly regulations on small daycare businesses? Why would they require minimally paid providers who already work long hours to spend thousands of dollars to obtain a degree? Why would they reduce their rates of reimbursement and attempt to force them into a union? Why would the government want to risk the economic impact of more small businesses going under in a time when our country cannot afford it?
In his State of the State address on January 11, 2005, former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds said, "My final question is this: Could it be that the education establishment/child advocate crowd is scrambling to find a way to pump more taxpayer dollars into public education by sweeping preschool-age children into the state-funded school aid formula?" http://www.dakotavoice.com/200702/G/20070206_CF.html
What easier way to accomplish implementing and expanding a new schooling system than to give parents no other option?