Today the state House debate amendments to HB1422, which is a bill related to child care services.
North Dakota has a serious problem with shortages in child care services. There aren’t enough day cares to provide services for the influx of families and workers to the state, and new day cares are having a hard time opening because there aren’t enough workers to hire and those that are available can demand wages that are simply too high.
This bill would have provided a $13 million subsidy to child care service providers, but it also implemented a raft of new regulations for day cares. It was amended in committee to remove the subsidy, and to ease some of the regulations, and the debate over the amendments was fascinating:
It’s pretty clear to me that one of the biggest obstacles to opening a day care is the amount of government regulation that goes into it. From federal nutrition guidelines to state regulations, operating a day care can be a nightmare. But rather than cut through some of that red tape to make it easier to operate a day care, and easier to meet the state’s shortage for child care services, this bill would have created more regulations and created a subsidy for day care.
The amendments to the bill made it somewhat better, but it doesn’t address the fundamental problem. We don’t need daycare subsidies. We need the government, both state and federal, stop micromanaging the daycare industry.