ND House Shoots Down $13 Million Child Care Subsidy


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.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • RCND

    What I find interesting is how, if we are wanting to do handouts for day cares, they categorically ignore in home licensed family day cares.

    I don’t agree with handouts for either one, but if we are going to do it they should get it too. Many families prefer having their kids at an in home day care because often the owner has their own kid in that day care, and thus have a vested interest in the quality of that day care. Also, one of Hawkins own arguments was quality of care; centers have hourly employees. An in home provider is running her own business, and is very focused on quality of care from the simple standpoint that if they don’t provide it, it directly impacts their bottom line

    More importantly, if we are doing handouts, giving them to in home day cares will allow those working in the west to bring their family to the state, allowing one to run a day care from the home.

    Handouts are a bad idea, but if we are going to do them they should be given to all types of licensed care, and not give centers an unfair advantage.

    • Roy_Bean

      “…. they categorically ignore in home licensed family day cares….”

      This is part of the trouble. If I have a “family next door” who is willing to look after my kids while I’m at work, and if I trust them to provide good care for my kids, then why should some misfit socialist services person have to license them?

      • RCND

        Interesting you mention the family next door because that its basically who I was thinking of when I wrote the above. Our neighbors are licensed and I see all the red tape they have to cut to provide this service. She is definitely not in it for the money because it isn’t worth all the effort for what she is making

  • Opinion8ed

    The real question is why are we pumping out a bunch of people who believe that someone else funding your daycare is their right? I have 2 children and I too had to find daycare and it was tough in the mid 90’s also. I never once sought to concoct a plan to have someone else pay for my childcare. My husband and I decided that it would be better for me to stay with those kids. We went without two new vehicles, we did not go out to eat, we bought an affordable home, and we raised our own kids. There are child tax credits for those who pay daycare bills, there are welfare daycare programs. The real reason know one wants to run a daycare is because of snarky parents, and misbehaved children

    • Lianne

      You do realize that you meesed up. You took care of yourselves, you sacrificed and didn’t purchase those new cars, and you didn’t demand tax credits. (sarcasm for those in question)

      rob alluded to another reason no one wants an in-home day care and that is all the hoops one must jump through. I am not up on current regs, but at one time, glasses had to be a certain way in the cupboard, etc. Its crazy. Get rid of silly regs and allow parents to take care of kids.

      Hawken said something quite profound today. She said she has worked on human service issues for years and is no means an expert. And yet, she believes she knows what is best for each home, child, day care, etc.

      • Opinion8ed

        I had a lady watch my kids now and then in a private home with about 7 other kids. She did a tremendous job. Wonderful cook, kids slept on beds not mats, she had my permission to slap my boys hands if needed, she taught my children table manners, they said grace before meals, they helped her make cookies to sell to the parents on Friday afternoons to raise money for more yard toys. I have never heard anyone say one bad thing about her care of the children, but everyday I hear people complaining about there daycare providers hours, prices, food choices, and how they will turn them into the state for not treating that child like they are the prized child. I would not run a daycare for $20 per hour per child. All parents complain they “have” to work, but they could trim there lifestyle and raise their own children but why bother

        • Lianne

          And she didn’t need the government telling her what to do, did she? Maybe she could assist the legislators.

      • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

        Hawken is my mis-Representative. She’s a shill for the education cabal; nothing more, nothing less.

        • Lianne

          You have my sympathies.

  • WOOF

    Deregulate the care of children for profit.
    Again, Port backs the wrong horse.
    The free market. in Port’s mind, is to keep wages down
    but to be abandoned when wages are rising.
    “there aren’t enough workers to hire and those that are available
    can demand wages that are simply too high.”

    • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

      People should not expect others to pay for their kids’ babysitter.

    • Opinion8ed

      Hey woof they are your kids you figure out what to do with them and leave my checkbook out of it.. Another from the pussified generation. Your grandfather would slap your face for your handout mentality