Eye On Boise

SUNDAY, MAY 15, 2011, 4:12 P.M.

Idaho’s day-care wars didn’t end in ‘09, but new law this year could settle issue

When Idaho passed landmark legislation two years ago to, for the first time, require state licensing of day-care operations that served fewer than 13 kids, the state's day-care wars didn't end. Instead, social conservatives in the Idaho House who opposed the whole idea of day-care regulation - including some who said mothers should just stay home with their kids - blocked approval of the rules to implement the new law two years running, though it took effect anyway under temporary rules.

Now, a compromise reached at the close of this year's legislative session between the House and Senate has brought changes to the law that all sides expect to settle the issue, in part by removing all maximum group sizes for child care operations and restructuring required staff-child ratios. Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, said, "It is simple, it's easy to understand, and it's easy for people to comply with." Broadsword, who along with Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, revamped HB 129 to remove House-backed changes including no longer counting kids of providers in staff-child ratios, said, "I think that everybody had the best interest of the children of Idaho at heart. We just saw different ways to get there." You can read my full story here from Sunday's Spokesman-Review.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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