Are TAXPAYERS aware of all the "new" changes being made to childcare?
There are many NEW changes out there and even many more being proposed. They are now even proposing to make childcares have stars and ratings, like restaurants and hotels. From what I am reading, it appears to me that the state is pushing little family daycares out. They are looking instead for center based childcare. I am being told that the trend looks more like state run daycare institutes, like the schools districts.
I believe that the state run schools have done a poor job of "raising" our children. Ex. starts right at the poor hot lunch programs they have. Can you say whole wheat? The districts can't. If childcare did become state funded like schools what would that mean for the majority of us? We would once again be paying for something we weren't using! Would u put your baby in a state run facility?
Family childcares cannot afford to make many of the changes being proposed in its developing phase.
Recently, your tax $ paid for childcare providers to take CDA classes to earn a "Certificate of Quality". This certificate gave families a double tax credit for any parent using their childcare. Any subsidy program gave the provider a 10% bump up in pay. These Quality certificates had to be renewed. At present time they still have value, I am being told that they soon will be absolete. There is a "new" program coming to town. Remember your hard earned tax $ have already subsidized 180 hours of "Maine Roads to Quality Training" (CDA) Many of the classes were free for the participants and some paid $10 the first couple of years being offered and then some classes bumped up to $15 per participant. Highly subsidized program.
Now they have moved forward to advanced training. Much of the old training was on diversity training. I took some classes for enrichment, I wanted to learn what they were teaching daycare providers about diversity and childcare. We were instructed to not have a Christmas Tree in our home. We were not allowed to read manger stories, ect to the children. We were provided with several children's books to read to our children. There were books on every religious philosophy and race out there except Christian and white people. The diversity training wasn't diverse? I took over 90 hours of Maine Roads to Quality Training, the classes are open to anyone. They do not make you prove that you care for children.
I spoke up and said that we need to read all books of all religions including Christianity to our children. Children need a broad knowledge of cultures, including the story of Jesus Birth. I was rudely shut off from speaking.
There is now a REGIONAL FOCUS GROUP working on a NEW QUALITY RATING SYSTEM. (QRS) The offices of childcare and headstart is working together with 8 Resource Development Centers . They are also working on more observing and assessing young children. (Where are the parents and pediatricians for this?) Do you want your child assessed by the "Quality childcare facility?"
Who is paying for all this and what are we going to get for our BUCK?
OTHER LAWS now being ENFORCED in CHILDCARE. Any mother whom is now working and recieving a childcare subsidy MUST use a licensed provider or a Trust Me provider (background checks done) This is good. PROBLEM: Mothers who work shift work like T-Mobile in Oakland Maine, NewBalance second shift, and many other second and third shift jobs. There is hardly ANY LICENSED CHILDCARE during these odd hours. We are expecting woman to get on their feet, however, not allowing them to use Trust Me care if they have more then two children. Trust Me care providers only are legal for 2 children and cannot be subsidized if they take on a family of 3. For odd hour care, the rules must be changed. As we have many tired mothers running to two family based chilcares to pick up their children in the middle of the night.
LAW SHOULD READ: No unlicensed provider shall care for more then 2 children or one family at a time. Most unlicensed providers are TRUST ME CARE providers. If you are state subsidized they do an automatic background check on you from what I am being told.
This would allow common sense for a single mom with a third child or 4th child. Many of these children were born in families before dad left and now these woman are faced with raising multiple children on their own. WE MUST help them if we are going to subsidize their childcare while they are getting back on their feet. Driving in the snow to pick up children at 1:00 am to 2 homes, is really tough on the parents and the children as they are spending much of their lives seperated between childcares. They often end up back on welfare, because childcare is just too difficult.
Most evening childcare providers care for children along with their own family. They do not take in large #'s of children, as that would take from their own families. Evening childcare is crucial in central Maine and other parts of this state as more service orientated jobs pop up and less 40 hour week day jobs exists.
Changing the LAW to read 2 children or one family per an unlicensed provider (background checked) provider would decrease desperate moms from leaving children home with older child (unsafe) I have also seen many mom's leave their children with elderly grandparents, because the law states that a RELATIVE will be subsidized regardless of the # of children cared for, as long as its a close family member! Many grandparents are simply not healthy enough to be caring for 3-4 young children. My understanding of close family member, grandmother, sister, aunt, grandfather, uncle or brother these people have no training or CPR/First Aid; unlike most TRUST ME CARE PROVIDERS.
I do NOT believe that there should be a law on grandparents babysitting. I just feel that if the current law allowed for Trust Me Providers to care for a family, regardless of the # of children to that one mom, many grandparents wouldn't feel forced to "help out".
I have heard of horror stories of children as young as 8 babysitting their younger siblings!! When mom's can't find odd hour childcare, they become desperate. Something MUST BE DONE to PROTECT the children. Aiding the mothers to private childcare, not institutionalized childcare makes sense to me.
I think they are talking alot about opening big state subsidized childcenters near large industries. I think this will throw TONS of $ at a problem. Look at all the $ we throw at our schools with little results in many of them. From what I learned from their state funded classes, individual cribs and playpens as children cannot touch a toy another child has sucked on. Raising children in jail like playpens may just get them ready for their future! Children are NOT allowed to even have water at will, another child might drink off their cup, so there is drink time provided. A friend of mine worked in Portland at a large daycare and a child had diarhea, she wanted to give it drinks often and was told, "that will break his schedule". She quite after 2 weeks siting many child abuse infractions, in her opinion. She noted newborns being laid in cribs to cry it out. She was told after a few weeks it would get used to the schedule and stop crying. She noted that they often refered to the infants and toddlers as it or that one.
Every good intention gets CARRIED away. When you ask who makes these laws and how to change these laws, we hear DHHS. What I can't seem to get an answer to is who do you lobby to change a DHHS law that penalizes mothers and children? Yes, there were some bad homes, just providing mear custodial care and peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches. Reform was needed, but NOT to this degree of 5 STAR HOTELS for CHILDCARE!!!
Who is going to pay for this new star system and rate it? Who is going to pay for all the classes and construction???
I got it, TAXPAYERS!!!!
This must be stopped before they turn all childcare into state run facilities! (I know it hasn't gone that far yet, but many of us can see the writting on the wall)
I know you are asking why wouldn't someone want to be licensed for evening childcare. WHY just be a TRUST ME PROVIDER. First of all, 2 children only brings in approx. $2.89 per an hour combined. State subsidized in this area is low. 3 children would only bring in approx.$4.50 an hour max. Licenses cost $. Your home then needs to be insured for a LICENSED CHILDCARE. Not cheap. Everytime you leave your home with the daycare children you must leave a note as to where you are going and when you will arrive home, even if the parents know your schedule. Once your licensed not just anyone can fill-in for you, finding help is very difficult if you need even an hour replacement. Prescriptions, accident reports, attendance and lesson planning all take on a new form once licensed. This doesn't even include any home improvements that must be made in order to become licensed, such as wired in fire alarms. Most Trust Me care providers already have their own families and choose quality care over quantity care.
I must give a footnote here: Much of this information was found in the RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT CENTER PROVIDER NEWSLETTER December and January 2006. I believe this to be a division of Child Care Options. This is a PROJECT of Southern Kennebec Child Development Center. Funding for the Publication is provided by yours truly (The Maine Department of Health and Human Services) Much of this is also not fact, just the opinion of the Author. Please do some research, it may frighten you. When you call you may not get clear answers, and may have the facts sugar coated, taxpayer, beware.