By Annah Njuguna May 4th, 2018
The new recommendation by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) will require daycare personnel to get an associate’s degree for two years. The new policy is expected to take effect by the year 2020. OSSE manages daycare centers and early childhood programs in Washington. Elizabeth Groginsky from the State Superintendent of Education advised that directors of daycares will have to acquire Bachelor’s degrees. Mary McCarthy from the New America Foundation believes that even though the degree could make the caregivers more effective, there is no guarantee that the degree would bring in more income.
The possible impact of the new policy
- Discrimination against non-natives who are not well conversant with the English language.
- A hike in caregiving prices.
- More time would be spent on studying than caregiving hence many children would have no one to tend to them.
- The $6000 associate’s degree for two years could be steep for many caregivers.
Real estate in DC is pricey, hence rent is over the roof. Child care providers need to charge higher costs to sustain a livelihood in the city. The deputy chief of policy for Child Care Aware of America, Michelle McCready, stated that a big city like Washington DC attracts high costs on almost everything. It is therefore costly to run daycare centers and pay qualified personnel to work in the centers. Former Senator Barbra Mikulski (D-Md) introduced a Bill to Congress in 2013 to improve the quality of daycares in the country. Together with Senator Richard Burr, they worked tirelessly on amending the Bill to minimize potential hiccups in its implementation. The Bill was later signed in to law in 2014 by President Barack Obama. The law is stipulated under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014.
Daycare centers play a huge role in the Washington DC society. Daycare centers provide a safe and convenient environment for children to interact and play while their parents go to work and tend to other pressing matters. The demand for daycare services has grown drastically over the years with parents booking in advance before their children reach of age. Washington DC ranks the highest in daycare prices as compared to other cities. In just one year, you are likely to cough up to $18,000 while in D.C, $8800 in Virginia and $12,400 in Maryland. Annual daycare costs in Washington DC surpasses the college tuition fees in many states. The National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRA) estimates daycare prices in DC to be ranging between $300 and $1564 per month.