Licensing + the Cost of Child Care
According to the National Association of Childcare Resource and Referral Agencies, full-time, year-round child care for young children now costs more than public university tuition in 44 states. The state of Missouri is actually quite lucky, thought, because it is one of the six states where the average tuition of its four-year state colleges is slightly higher than the average cost for full-time infant child care. In Missouri, child-care enrollment costs represent about 10 percent of the $66,580 median household income for a married, two-parent household with children under 18. This could all change very soon, however.
Yesterday in Columbia, a group met to consider restructuring and reshaping regulations that deal with everything from class enrollment size to professional development, hygiene, and safety in child care centers:
This is the second time in three years the state has attempted to revise the rules that some consider outdated and lax. […]
In 2005, the Missouri Department of the Health and Senior Services, which oversees child care regulation in the state, attempted unsuccessfully to internally revise the rules for every type of provider at once. It failed to gain support from providers, who argued the changes would prove a financial hardship.
In 2008, I see the very same issues at play — and it’s even worse now, given the state of the economy. Adding such frivolous legislation would only increase the already-substantial costs of child care.