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Bryan Fischer: Bad Daycare Licensure Bill Introduced

February 24th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Values Alliance

Rep. George Sayler (D-Coeur d’Alene), who survived a stiff challenge from conservative Republican Jim Hollingsworth in November, is back with his annual attempt to further push the nose of nanny government into Idaho’s daycare system.

His bill (S1112) would require every daycare center which cares for at least four unrelated children to submit to onerous requirements for staff-child ratios, facility regulations and criminal background checks. It will necessitate an expanded taxpayer-funded bureaucracy to perform all the inspections and record-keeping that the bill will require.

There is little to no evidence that increased regulation of daycare centers does much to protect child health and safety. In fact, just last fall a licensed Idaho daycare center in Middleton suffered through an E. coli outbreak just five days after a government bureaucrat had given the center a clean bill of health. Parents who were counting on the state licensing program to protect the health of their children were sadly disappointed.

I spoke with a daycare center operator this morning who frankly acknowledged that meeting building code requirements, purchasing the license from the state, and paying for background checks and mandated training classes all combine to add substantially to the cost of doing business. How could they not? And of course these costs are passed directly on to working parents, whose take-home pay shrivels by the amount of the increase.

Perhaps it’s time to put parents back in charge of deciding whether a daycare center is safe enough for their children. This will have the added advantages of reducing the intrusive role of government, lowering the cost of daycare and lightening the burden for Idaho taxpayers.

A public hearing on this bill will take place on Wednesday, March 4 in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Property Rights, Taxes | No Comments »

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