Upcoming attempts at over-regulation in South Dakota
The state requires licensing only for those who care for 13 or more children a day. That could change. The 2007 South Dakota Legislature likely will be presented with another bill to require licensing for those who care for fewer than 13 or at least for those who care for seven or more, said Susan Randall, executive director of South Dakota Voices for Children based in Sioux Falls.
Cities can have their own rules. Aberdeen has no ordinances on child care, but building codes address it, with regulations that apply regardless of how many kids are cared for.and..
"Often a parent's relationship with the child-care provider is such that the parent would be seen as a busybody if (she or he) went around the house and checked for safety features," Randall said.
So why not let the state do the checking, Randall asked.
Why not let the State do the checking? And at the same time, why don't we let the State wipe our bottoms while we're at it? For another point of view, let's look at what (likely opponent to the measure) Cindy Flakoll has to say:
The most important thing is making sure parents continue to control how their children are raised, said Cindy Flakoll of rural Leola. That's why she opposes more state child-care regulations, particularly on on smaller, home-based providers in rural areas.
Flakoll said she sees growing belief among professional educators that public-school systems and state education departments should oversee children's development and education from birth. That's disturbing because parents should be the overseers, Flakoll said.
This one hits particularly close to home for me, since over the course of my child rearing years (which still continue) I'm a conspicuous consumer of day care services. I've had my kids with licensed providers and unlicensed providers, and I've had good experiences and bad experiences. In one instance, over the course of several years, I've had a good experience which went to bad as the provider became seemingly (at least to us) disinterested and only did it because she always had.
In each and every case, if you can't tell from the bottom wiping comment above, I've found that the best arbiter of what is good and what is bad has been... well, my wife and I. Yes, "us parents" as consumers of child care services managed to figure out what was best for our children at a given point. And believe it or not, we didn't need the State's intervention to tell us. We used personal references and observation, and somehow managed to do it without a governnmental registry.
For most of my life, I guess I've had a lot of trouble with government continually encroaching in the realm of what should be personal decisions and responsibility. And this is no different.
Don't get me wrong. I strongly believe in the purpose of government. I believe in supporting it. (I must, I even claim the stuff I've sold on eBay as income). In all of history, I think no scholar would deny that the American system of government is the most successful form of government that has ever sprung forth on this planet.
But consider this - As we ask government to make more and more decisions for us, we're giving up more and more in the realm of personal responsibility. And moreso, the more we're giving up in the free authority that we allow ourselves to exercise.
In many places around the world and throughout history, freedom and rights are taken away by war, and dictators overthrowing free governments. In this day and age, we seem to be giving up our right to chart our own course through disinterest and attrition.
And generally, it's not taken away in big bites. It's a nibble of newfound illegality here, a crumb of regulation there. But over the course of years it adds up. Can anyone say that the American system is a freer system today, in comparison to 50 years ago?
So, back to the issue of allowing people to care for children - as they have for years - for 12 children or fewer without a license. I'd ask - would this measure increase our personal or our society's freedom or liberty? And if not, is the corresponding surrender of minor personal rights (or in this case, our personal decision making) to the government worth what we get in return?
In this case, I'd say that it fails both tests.