Paternalism can have a heavy cost.
That should be what the citizens of Fargo are thinking about after the city commission voted to mandate that child care centers provide exercise:
FARGO – City commissioners gave initial approval Monday to a requirement that child care centers here provide time for kids to be physically active.
The idea, brought forward by public health officials, would require the city’s 50 child care centers to ensure that kids 1 year and older get at least an hour of physical activity each day.
The concept, which doesn’t affect home day cares, was received warmly by city leaders.
“I can’t see what negative would come of this,” City Commissioner Brad Wimmer said. “I think it’s very positive.”
City Commissioner Mike Williams likened the effort to CassClay Alive, the Dakota Medical Foundation’s healthy eating and active living initiative.
“It’s really a collaboration between the day cares, the health department, the schools for more active, healthy kids, and I think it’s a good program,” Williams said.
Wimmer, who is running for Mayor of Fargo, can’t imagine any negative impact from this sort of a mandate. But it’s not hard to imagine child care providers jacking up prices in order to comply with the mandate. That’s not a good thing when complaints about the cost of child care in our communities are common.
Of course, the high price of child care has everything to do with the excessive regulations and mandates put on the child care industry by meddling politicians.
Which isn’t to say that exercise for kids is a bad thing, but if parents are concerned about their kids getting exercise, can’t they make that a priority when selecting a child care center?
At what point do we let parents make decisions for their own children?