Will the Deregulation of Child Care Result in More Injuries and Deaths?
Trump’s proposal to roll back childcare regulation may put kids in danger, increasing the risk of serious injuries and death. The Trump administration is revising the child-care plan to allow more child-care operations and a higher adult-child ratio. The plan will allow providers to hire fewer highly skilled employees while charging parents less. But even the most highly qualified, attentive caregivers may not be able to keep track of 15 toddlers or infants at the same time, let alone engage them in high-quality activities necessary for their safety and development.
Deregulation Plans Could Place Kids’ Safety in Jeopardy
There’s a dire shortage of child care providers in the U.S. Many are going out of business because of insufficient revenue, and parents are forced to pay more than they can afford in tuition. Although rolling back regulations might make child care less expensive and more accessible, it could place kids in danger.
Parents typically look for child care centers where the workers are well-trained, have passed a background check, and facilities receive regular inspections to ensure the safety of children. But every year thousands of children suffer injuries in child care settings. In some cases, injuries are minor and only require first aid. However, there are cases where the child requires treatment at a hospital, and sadly, some of these injuries are fatal. In 2016, there were 9,058 injuries and 1,362 fatalities reported in child care programs.
Many of these injuries are a result of falls in the playground, children tripping over toys, broken toys, and fights between children. Most of the deaths reported are caused by poor environmental conditions, accidental strangulation or suffocation in bed, poisonous products, drowning, unintentional falls, communicable diseases, choking, and physical abuse.
Trumps Proposed Deregulating Weighs the Safety of Children Against the Value of Money
Children are rambunctious and energetic. They engage in playful attacks and look for the most dangerous items to play with. If one provider was to care for a higher number of children all at once, the risk of serious injuries or death would escalate. And since deregulation would allow providers the freedom to employ less qualified personnel, many centers would open up and quality care would not be assured. This step in the wrong direction will place the lives of children in childcare programs at serious risk.