Roper: Vermont’s child care policy is to make it more expensive and less accessible

Ethan Allen Institute

PRE-K: The House Education Committee meets to discuss early childhood education.

By Rob Roper

The House Education Committee is busy formulating the next steps in what is and has been a long-term, hostile takeover of a cottage child care industry by a state-sanctioned, taxpayer-funded monopoly.

The ultimate goal of the state child care and early education policy is the full absorption of 0-5-year-olds into the public school system. This is why the committee now describes as the “backbone” of its current pre-kindergarten bill the requirement that in the near future, all early education providers must be licensed teachers.

However, the entire premise of this concept is flawed, is indeed counter-productive to the public interest, and is being forced by the committee’s leadership for the sole purpose of benefiting the Vermont-NEA, the teachers union.

The argument put forth by committee chair Kate Webb, D-Shelburne, is that the presence of licensed teachers results in better student outcomes. She and Vice Chair Rep. Peter Conlon, D-Cornwall, repeat this talking point early and often. But, it’s not true. The Vermont Agency of Education’s own pre-K study reached the following conclusion:

This body of research does not offer a consistent pattern of findings that would lend strong support to the assertion of a positive association between teacher qualifications and outcomes for PreK children … [and] the research has not documented a reliable association between teachers’ attainment of a bachelor’s degree and gains for children enrolled in such classrooms. (Page 52)

To repeat: Neither requiring a teacher’s license nor a bachelor’s degree for early ed providers shows any detectible impact on child outcomes. Yet, forcing this policy on providers would both increase the cost of child are and decrease accessibility — the very problems the system needs fixed.

The higher cost necessary to train licensed teachers would be reflected in the cost of child care services, and since not all current providers would take the time and expense to get that license, there would be fewer qualified providers (which would again lead to even higher costs as decrease in supply increases scarcity, which increases cost). All this — and this is the critical point — for no reason. There is no benefit to the child, just the union.

If the House Education Committee was working on behalf of kids, parents and their communities, their efforts would be aimed at removing barriers of entry into the marketplace for would-be child care providers in order to increase accessibility, and removing unnecessary requirements and regulations that drive up costs. They are not doing this. They are, in fact, doing the opposite.

As the last major legislation spearheaded by the House Education Committee, the 2015 school consolidation law, Act 46, proves over time to be an unmitigated disaster. The former House Education Committee Chair, Dave Sharpe, D-Bristol, admitted in a recent op-ed that he and his fellow legislators were “hoodwinked” by false promises and premises presented by the public education lobby. His successor has not learned that lesson, and she and her committee are being hoodwinked yet again. And, again, Vermonters will pay a steep price for their incompetence.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Ethan Allen Institute

7 thoughts on “Roper: Vermont’s child care policy is to make it more expensive and less accessible

  1. It’s all a scam. It’s all written down in the plan for all to see, or if you are willing to watch a couple long video’s you’ll quickly see the patterns. They implementing a plan.

    This plan has nothing to do with being American, freedom, pursuing excellence.

    They are following the plan perfectly, which is why they want this. Kids this age need a loving involved family taking care of the kids, be it the father or mother, either can do an excellent job. Farming your kids out to strangers for indoctrination is good for producing mindless little compliant worker bees for the socialist borg, but it’s not good for the country.

    Vermont has missed the foundation of truths for creating great families and a state, much of which can be found in Proverbs, if people took some time to read it, they would find that yes this outlines wisdom that is infallible, consistent with answering all of today’s problems. Yet we given up this wisdom that’s held amazingly true for over 3000 years for worshipping new sexuality (which is not new but thousands of years old), the family structure, discipline and authority mean nothing, the world is going to end every 20 years, and paying for carbon forgiveness will wipe away all the carbon we plummed into the sky with our private jet.

    We need to change our minds, there is a much better way to live our lives. There is truth. There is timeless wisdom.

  2. More expensive and less accessible for most of us perhaps. But not the chosen few. Those who work in this crony infested environment will do just fine….until they run out of other people’s money.

  3. I have been saying all along that if the state has their way our children are going to be scooped up at birth and put into the school system . The brainwashing can get started even at a younger age, seems that is what happens to our children now. What I don’t understand is why would we need Family Leave paid for by all tax payers to bond with our children when they are going to have to be enrolled from 0 to
    5 and upward in age in a public school system. Whats the sense in bonding when they are going to be in the care of people that instill their ideas upon our children and brainwash them. That’s what goes on now at an early enough age.

  4. It’s this the fix for declining student numbers in the state? Besides, what daycares need are qualified care takers. There used to be a couple of daycares in Bennington that had employees who endangered the lives of children due to no oversight and lack of good procedures.

  5. Can’t help but wonder where the teachers’ union comes down on this issue. Only kidding folks, we all know darned well where the NEA is right at the front leading this parade. More fees less folks able to afford to participate. Not to worry, the NEA could care less about the unintended consequences of this proposal. We protect our own at all costs.

  6. The people pushing this are so corrupt they aren’t even embarrassed by it. They need to to be removed from office forever.

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