Flemming: Vermont child care workers fall to regulation

By David Flemming

Last month, Vermont’s Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) released a disturbing report about the state of home-based child care in Vermont. According to the report, Vermont parents have 26 percent fewer home based child care providers to choose from than they did in 2015, due in large part to over-regulation.

Act 166 is known mainly for funding universal public school pre-K in Vermont. But it also requires home-based providers to meet heightened safety standards, take classes on child care and hire licensed teachers to teach children. “A registered home provider that is not licensed and endorsed in early childhood education or early childhood special education shall receive regular, active supervision and training from a teacher who is licensed and endorsed in early childhood education or in early childhood special education.”

This has caused child care workers like Lisa Harris of Windham County to close down her home-based child care. “There need to be standards, but they’re often applied with no regard to all the red tape that’s involved and all the cost,” Harris said. Harris had run her home-based child care center since 2001, but shut it down after the new regulations went into effect.

According to the JFO’s report, Harris and 203 other providers registered in Vermont have since closed their doors, a decrease of 26.6 percent between December 2015 and June 2018. There were also nearly 2000 fewer child care slots during that time, a decrease of 25.5 percent.

With Act 166, our government has crippled a profession that gave Vermont child care workers the flexibility to operate out of their own homes. Some may comply with the regulations through clenched teeth. Others may decide to find less enjoyable jobs that require more travel. And then there is the group that may stop working altogether. Small wonder that our workforce has been declining.

David Flemming is a policy analyst for the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Public domain

10 thoughts on “Flemming: Vermont child care workers fall to regulation

  1. We are required to hire a teacher for 3 hours a week if we are an approved p-k partner and do not hold a teaching license with early childhood education endorsement. The wording in this article makes it sound like we have to have a teacher to operate and that is not a true statement. The neguoatiins are a bit over the top with administrative record keeping and over reach into our business practices. Like having to show them our policies, dictating what we have to have in our policies, and finacial books for 3 months.

  2. For the politicians to scratch their head and say “gee we didn’t expect this” is simply a facade. They knew exactly what they where dealing with and the VTNEA put them up to it. This way the VTNEA will garner more money from the politicians to increase universal pre-k in VT. Another reason to add MORE teachers to a shrinking student population.

    Now there will be a call for the state to jump in and provide for the “people” because it’s another problem that they created and will now have to fix by means of another government program and higher property taxes.

    For the politicians who didn’t vote for Act 166. You are then labeled “evil”, “child hater” or perhaps they can squeeze “denier” in there too.,

  3. It is indeed driving out both Home-based daycares and private daycares. Not only that, the public schools are being pushed to provide daycare, calling it preschool in the morning and daycare in the afternoon, at taxpayer expense. All the while adding more and more regulations.

  4. This regulation was purposely put in place to drive out private affordable day care. It’s part of the states plan to promote the very expensive, lobbyist sanctioned, “Let’s grow kids”. Like the state can replace loving parents?

    You need special degrees to teach kids how to count to 20? How to read to kids and help them learn letters and numbers? These are the pre K requirements for kids along with very basic social skills.

    This is all part of the socialist plan, sadly Vermont is the first test case involving an entire state. We need to foster stronger families not more state programs.

    • As a member of VT-NEA I am not aware that they are pushing this. I have never heard that. I believe it is the Agency of Education who is behind this.

      • Vermont-NEA believes that high quality universal Pre-K is essential to the development of our children, especially those in less advantaged households, and that any additional state investment in Pre-K should ensure equity for all children by having local public school districts provide this early education directly.

        Vermont-NEA believes at a time when young students are coming to school unable to learn due to complex family circumstances, we should move toward the co-location of essential support services for all students and families inside our community schools.

        Both of these cut and pasted from The NEA’s website GET IT

          • no rudeness intended. I should have said ” do you understand?” I spent almost 1 full minute looking this up. I am sorry if you think I am rude. I am not intentionally rude but I find being clear is sometimes taken that way. This is your union clearly stating its agenda and you were not aware of it. Again Sorry not trying to be rude.

          • The big public education monopoly constantly creates rules and regulations to benefit union jobs, usually at the expense of Vermont children and families. The Vermont board of education is infested with union puppets. Slick Will Mathis is number 2 on the Vermont education board, he creates union supported rules and regulations here in Vermont while at the very same time he “serves” on the Colorado based, teachers union funded, national education policy center. He’s a slick policy maker and a great puppet for the union. A huge, glaring conflict of interest. Vermont Democrats will never call him out on this, they love the promised votes and election cash from the union.

      • People have, generally speaking no concept of how our state is pretty much completely controlled by lobbyist’s and PAC’s…..directly and indirectly. It’s a tangled web. It’s so rampant, I think it would be far more difficult to find something not influenced by serious money. The ads for let’s grow kids are every where, people from all sorts of organizations are writing in like it’s an organic thing that people are clamoring for but when you read the op-eds they’re all associated, working for or lobbying….people would find it hard to believe, but if you spend some time looking under the government hood, you’ll be surprised how incestuous our little state really is. Terribly sad, more so because it’s worse than the mob. The mob knows business and society has to function….not so with lobbyists, they’re after every dime.

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