Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil
I’ve lived in DC for about 12 years (the last 3 years in Petworth), and I have a one-year-old daughter. As I’m sure you understand, finding good childcare was a struggle for my family. You may have heard that last December, DC passed some new regulations requiring all daycare workers to get college degrees. These regulations are going to put hundreds of qualified people out of work and make daycare even more expensive. DC already requires daycare workers to take orientation training and continuing education classes. Now the city wants to add an unnecessary college degree just to care for babies and toddlers. Already-qualified and experienced daycare workers are going to be forced to take classes in English literature, public speaking and chemistry. This doesn’t even cover workers who will need to take ESL classes before they can take regular college classes.
My family has found a good day care solution for our daughter with experienced and loving caregivers. We are terribly concerned that this requirement is forcing them to attend night school or face unemployment. And, we are upset that these workers are risking losing their jobs if they ultimately are unable to complete a degree in time. A college degree requires many hours of irrelevant coursework and isn’t going to increase quality of care–it’s just going to make caregivers more stressed and exhausted. And people who own small, in-home daycares are going to have to shut down just to find the time to comply with the rule. This has the potential to impact everyone who uses a neighborhood daycare.
Now, DC is asking for public comment on a proposal to extend the deadlines for the workers to get their degrees. DC’s willingness to extend the deadlines underscores the fact that the new regulations weren’t necessary in the first place. This is a chance for people to let DC know that these regulations are misguided. Residents can submit comments here or email them directly to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education at [email protected]”