LTM EDITORIAL: Don’t tie the hands of home day care providers
For parents, choosing the right day care for their children is a grueling, stressful process.
You’re essentially leaving your most precious loved one in the hands of a stranger with the hopes they’re treated well and you can go about your work day without stress.
That’s why Loudoun County’s law that allows only nine children per home day care is so troublesome.
While the state sanctions 12 children as the maximum number of kids in a home, Loudoun is taking a stronger stand.
What’s even more worrisome is that the situation came as a surprise to some Loudoun County supervisors. It wasn’t until a group recently rallied that the issue was discussed by elected officials, meaning there are likely some home day care providers skirting the law and operating unlicensed.
Licensed home day cares are already subject to sporadic inspections by the state Department of Social Services. In fact, home day cares are inspected more often than corporate-owned facilities.
By enforcing the number at nine, providers are going to be forced to pick and choose the children they care for, including those who are provided subsidized funding.
By comparison, home day care is cheaper than placing a child in a corporate-owned facility. For example, one Leesburg-based home day care charges $180 a week, which includes meals, for a 3-year-old child. A corporate-owned facility in Ashburn charges $255 a week for the same services.
That’s not to say many – most, even – corporate-owned day care providers don’t offer excellent services. They do.
But despite being dubbed one of the richest counties in the nation, not every Loudoun resident can afford corporate rates.
This is why tying the hands of home day care providers is a mistake.
And with only approximately 144 home day care operators in Loudoun County, and factoring in the area’s continuing population boom, parents are going to be forced to pay the higher prices – or be left with no options at all.
We urge the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to take a hard look at its law requiring only nine children per home.
Visit some of the county’s great home day care facilities and feel the sense of pride these business owners take in their work.
Sure, there’s some bad eggs out there. But that’s true for essentially any industry.
You’re more likely to find that these home day care providers love what they do, care about the kids they look after each day and give parents a sense of relief as they go about their busy work days.