State Sen. Tim Corder wants to tighten up the state's daycare licensing laws.
This isn't about somebody taking care of the grandkids. This is about people who make money looking after young children.
He wants those people, in whom parent entrust their children, to be able to pass criminal background checks and the facilities where the children are supervised to be able to meet basic health and safety code requirements.
Meanwhile, Rep. Pete Nielsen, also of Mountain Home, opposes the bill as one more step toward big government, and feels the criteria should be left up to local governments.
That's a very conservative position. On the other hand, Corder isn't exactly known as being a raving liberal, himself. Both men are very conservative Republicans.
But on this issue, Corder is right and Nielsen is wrong -- very wrong. Nielsen's position would result in widely varying criteria across the state -- no consistency at all. And in far too many cases, the minimum standards, which some groups believe have left Idaho at the bottom of the barrel in terms of protecting children, would be the only standards available.
Corder wants tougher, uniform standards. The recent case of the daycare worker in Middleton is a good example of what he wants to try and prevent.
When people deliver their children into the hands of daycare providers they should be able to have a reasonable expectation that their children will be safe, protected and well-cared for. Most providers could meet Corder's criteria. There is no reason, however, not to improve the guarantees for parental expectations.
And there is no reason for the legislature to balk at Corder's proposal. Dogma shouldn't destroy common sense, and Corder's bill makes a lot of sense.
-- Kelly Everitt