Another Damaging Policy Idea: Burdensome Regulations for Child Care Providers
Elected officials in Washington are currently considering a slew of policy ideas that would create more burdensome licensing regulations. One such proposal would require that states either maintain or create a system of provider licensure for child care providers.
Under this plan, a state must develop new licensing standards within three years of receiving federal funds for child care services. However, it is unclear what specific standards a state should set when determining what would be “appropriate for child care providers in a variety of settings.” This could empower Xavier Becerra, the current Secretary of Health and Human Services, to subjectively determine what requirements would meet this standard.
Extensive reports by the Heritage Foundation and the Institute for Justice continue to show that increased licensing requirements and regulations for child care providers do not result in improved quality of care. Instead, prices go up, and the number of service providers goes down. Unfortunately, this means that these types of regulations often harm low-income families disproportionately.
In contrast to policy ideas that would create new government red tape, members of the ALEC Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development (CIED) Task Force have taken a more thoughtful approach by adopting the model Occupational Licensing Review Act. This model policy outlines criteria for determining which level of regulation is needed for an occupation to ensure public health and safety while also avoiding unnecessary barriers to entry. The CIED Task Force also has a universal recognition model policy that allows states to recognize work experience, private certification or an occupational license from another state.