Unelected members of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Washington DC passed a new regulation that would require people who work in daycare with with kids from infant to 3 years old to have a college degree. This is yet another one of those little things that comes along and people say “What’s so bad about that? Its for the children!”. Thinking briefly about this raises a few questions:
- College degrees are not cheap and the people who work as daycare providers are not rich. How are they supposed to pay for a college degree?
- If they can’t pay for a college degree and then lose their job, even though they may be very good with kids, how is that a benefit for anyone?
- The OSSE apparently wants daycare workers to have skills that “rival elementary school teachers.” What on earth for? Why would you need the skills of an elementary teacher to care for kids that are nowhere near school age?
- How has humanity survived for so long with people who lack university education taking care of young children? Should stay-at-home moms or dads in the District have to get a degree, too? What about in-home childcare providers?
- At the risk of sounding crazy, is it really that far of a leap between requiring a college degree to care for kids and requiring a college degree before conceiving them?
This is the type of proposal that paper-pushing, make-work, need-to-justify-my-job bureaucrats devise that serves no real benefit but has numerous and obvious drawbacks. It will raise the price of qualifying to be a provider for people that are mainly already low-income, push some people out of the market and cost others their job. It will raise the cost of daycare for parents already living in one of the most expensive places to live in the country. It will reduce the availability of daycare.
It is patently absurd. Do you really need a college degree to hold a baby while they sleep? To feed them their mushed peas? To do crayons with them? To change their diapers? To comfort them when they’re upset? To push them on the swing for an hour and a half? Of course not. What you need is a surfeit of love, compassion and patience. Those things can’t be taught.
“Outrageous and tone deaf.” “Madness.” “Completely counterproductive and wrong-headed.”
And that’s just within the first few of more than 400 pages of comments submitted by residents of Washington, D.C., a city where child care costs are already some of the highest in the country, in response to an onerous new licensing requirement for daycare workers. The Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE), which regulates daycares and early childhood education programs in the nation’s capital, last year passed a rule requiring all daycare workers to have a college degree by 2020.
The OSSE is currently considering postponing the implementation of the new requirement (a decision is expected in early 2018; the city council will have 30 days to reveiw the OSSE’s decision).
…The policy is also highly discriminatory because non-English speakers and low income individuals will have a harder time getting the necessary college diploma, Francis writes. That doesn’t make them less qualified to care for children—just less able to comply with “onerous and unproductive” requirements.
…The OSSE said it wanted daycare providers to have skills rivaling elementary school teachers. But the mandate’s supporters haven’t identified any specific deficiencies in the current child care workforce. Instead, they focus on the supposed benefits of having trained early childhood educators working with children as young as 18 months.
Yeah, those 18-month-olds. Really takes four years of classroom learning to be able to keep them from playing in the toilet, running around without clothes on and falling over, even when all they’re doing is standing.
Good thinking, DC education bureaucrats.