New D.C. Policy Requiring Child-Care Workers to Get College Degrees Will Hurt Families

The Washington Post is reporting that “D.C. is among the first in nation to require child-care workers to get college degrees.”

Yes, you read that right—a college degree.

The story says that hundreds of child-care teachers in the Washington, D.C., “must return to school under new licensing regulations for child-care centers that went into effect in December.” The author notes: “for many child-care workers, who are often hired with little more than a high school diploma, returning to school is a difficult, expensive proposition with questionable reward.”

In other words, this hurts almost everyone involved.

child-care will become even more expensive.

It particularly hurts D.C families who already have the most expensive child-care services in the nation, at $22,631 annually, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Furthermore—college degrees cost money. That means child-care will become even more expensive.

When I tweeted the story, many parents replied that D.C. child-care services already have long waiting lists. This would exacerbate that problem. 

Child-care workers must now take time—possibly time they would normally spend working and earning money—to earn these degrees.

The real winners from this change are colleges! College is regularly criticized as unnecessary when trade schools and other forms of education would better prepare people for careers of their choice. Not that college is always the wrong answer, but it’s also not always the right one. Child-care can now be added to the list of professions for which one needs a degree for some reason. 

It’s also insulting, considering the implication that one must have a degree to properly care for and look after young children—something done all the time by stay at home moms and dads. Should parents need college degrees to have kids? Hopefully D.C. won’t regulate that next.

Should parents need college degrees to have kids?

If you want to see the real people arbitrary and excessive licensing requirements hurt, check out the Institute for Justice (IJ). Every day, they fight for people who can’t do the work they love because of ridiculous requirements and unnecessary government regulations.

This includes requiring unnecessary training before one may braid hair in some states, and requiring a license to tell stories. 

Among the most tragic stories is that of widow Sandy Meadows, who died alone and in poverty because the state prevented her from doing the only work she knew—floristry. 

Recently, when the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology tried to stop a Good Samaritan from cutting hair for the homeless, Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) stepped in to help him.

Washington, D.C. desperately needs a Governor Ducey to step in and rein in this regulatory madness.

Shohana Weissmann is the Digital Director for Opportunity Lives. You can follow her on Twitter @senatorshoshana.