Slowly forcing moms to stay home with their infants?
I got in a conversation with my daycare provider last night when I picked up my kids. We were talking about the rules for in-home daycare providers and how they keep getting more and more strict on the rules for infants.
For example, a few years ago our county made a new rule for licensed providers that when you put an infant down for a nap, they cannot have anything in the crib with them. No blankie. No stuffed animal. No nothing. Not even if the parents are willing to sign off and say it's ok to do with their child. Still can't. At the time, my DCP had her first grandson and was watching him along with the other daycare kids. He would not sleep at all unless he had his little blankie with him. The parents wanted him to have his blankie. He was the DCP's own grandson. But still, since it was during her daycare hours she couldn't do it. If her licensor walked in and saw the child asleep with a blankie, she would get written up and could lose her license. This is all effective up to 12 months of age.
Now she is telling me that there are more rules about how a baby sleeps. (I can't remember if she said these are already in effect or soon will be). Up to 12 months of age, the baby has to be sleeping in a crib or pack n play, with nothing in there, on it's back. If baby rolls, the DCP is to roll baby back onto it's back. DCP is supposed to physically go in and check on baby every 15 minutes. If baby falls asleep elsewhere (such as in DCP's arms) then baby is to be immediately placed into the crib or pack n play. If baby arrives in an infant carrier car seat asleep in the car seat, DCP must immediately remove baby and place baby in the crib or pack n play. Remember, this is all in effect up to 12 months of age.
My daycare provider said she is *this* close to not accepting infants anymore. She said she knows other in home providers who are leaning the same way. They make it soooooo difficult for these providers to care for infants up to 12 months of age with these rules in the name of safety. My DCP said soon no one will be taking infants anymore and mothers will be forced to stay home for the first year. (This is where my title question comes from). I don't know how it is in daycare centers but I can't believe their rules are any more relaxed. Who are all these rules helping? It doesn't help the daycare provider if she has infants that are tired but can't/won't sleep based on the rules. It doesn't help the parents who come at the end of the day and pick up a cranky, overtired little baby. Who exactly is it helping? And are we starting down a road where parents will have to stay home for the first year because if, God forbid, something happens to the baby under anyone else's care then it becomes a litigious nightmare?
I want to add that supposedly the newest rules come from an incident that happened in my town. A grandmother was caring for her infant grandchild. The baby fell asleep in her arms in an upright position (head on grandma's shoulder). Grandma fell asleep on the rocker with baby in that position. When grandma woke up, baby had suffocated against grandma's shoulder. Because of this incident, the authorities decided to add more rules for licensed daycare providers even though this incident had nothing to do with daycare. Grandma was not acting as a licensed provider at all. Grandma was just acting as a grandma.