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Shiver in the cold, kids. That bad woman isn’t licensed

Submitted by on Tuesday, 9 February 2010 No Comment

We have a raging health-care crisis that we cannot solve.

Unemployment has “dropped” to 9.7 percent, but that’s a trick. The real number is much higher because we no longer count people who are so discouraged that they’ve quit looking for jobs.

We’re fighting obesity, illiteracy, homelessness, hunger and God knows what else and we can’t seem to make a dent.

Don’t worry, though, because we can solve society’s real problems by stopping neighbors from acting neighborly.

They seem to have mastered that last fall that in Michigan, where the state went after a mother who let kids stay at her home for less than an hour before school because their parents had to be at work. The reason, according to MSNBC: The woman didn’t have a license and a neighbor, upset because the kids were being kids, called to report her.

Under Michigan law, it seems, anyone who cares for children other than his or her own for more than 28 hours a year is running a day care.

“I said that the children should be able to come into my house if it’s raining or there’s a snowstorm,” Lisa Snyder told MSNBC last fall. “The lady said to me, plain and simple, ‘Tell the parents to buy an umbrella.’ She was serious.”

It gets better.

Apparently in Michigan, even dropping your kids off to play with friends could trigger the licensing requirement if you run errands while they’re playing. Oops. I’ve gone grocery shopping the past two weekends while Big Guy was at a friend’s. I had no idea I was putting the friend’s mom at risk for arrest.

In the aftermath of the incident, a Michigan state representative introduced a bill to allow neighbors to help each other and the state quickly said it would quit enforcing the law in cases such as Snyder’s.

There must have been something in the air last fall. About the same time of the Snyder incident, two British police officers were threatened with arrest because they watched each other’s children on their days off.

On the off chance the ill wind has not blown over, I’m going to have to be careful not to tick off the neighbors.

In California law governing day cares – which was changed just this year to require in-home day cares to have emergency medical training – there’s nothing restricting the regulations only to paid providers.


Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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