Drudge has now linked to the story about the helpful neighbor who watched a few friends kids while they waited to catch the bus and was told by Michigan’s Department of Human Services that she’d have to stop it or get a license to act as a childcare operator. I wrote about this topic here a couple of days ago, and it is refreshing that apparently most Michigan officials, including the Governor, think this is ridiculous.
The article, and the government officials quoted, take pains, though, to differentiate between the adhoc babysitting that this woman provided and “childcare.” But would it really be worse if this woman was kindly taking in her neighbors kids for a longer period of time? Should she have to get a license then? The principle remains the same: it should between the parents and the individuals in question to decide how long they can watch the kids and under what terms. A parent is fair better positioned to assess the quality of care provided than some bureaucrat who visits daycare center once a month. Let’s embrace the idea that we all recognize that it’s “common sense” that government shouldn’t get in the way of a friend watching a friend’s child in the morning, and reassess government’s role in dictating “appropriate” childcare arrangements.