Letter: Over-regulation discourages child care providers in Minnesota
I read with interest the recent article in The Forum March 6th about the lack of child care options for Minnesota families. Over-regulation is certainly a factor. Let me give you two local examples.
My daughter was a licensed home child care provider in Minnesota for several years. Her college degree was in child development and she wanted to be home with her own three children while they were young. A home day care can be a wonderful home-like environment for a newborn that can be far superior to a large group setting. Let's not discourage well-qualified people from doing this important job. She ran into two huge obstacles right away. In preparation for the birth of their third child, they purchased a new crib in July, baby was born in August, and she resumed her day care business in September after a short maternity break (with no income).
When the licensor came for inspection, she was told that the new two-month old crib was obsolete and she would not be able to use it, even for her own daughter during day care hours.
Expense: $400 for another crib. She also was told that her new baby couldn't sleep in her own bedroom during child care hours since the windows in the room were not compliant in size or height from the floor. So, here is a well-qualified provider in a modest, but very nice home and she can't have her own child sleep in her own room.
I am not making this up. No wonder there are so few home child care providers. It is important to have safety rules, but some reasonable thought needs to be used to solve this serious day care shortage.