The Missouri State Board of Health made a puzzling and somewhat frightening decision Thursday to strip away rules governing faith-based daycares in the state.
The board stripped away the rules, which were not specific laws, deeming them unenforceable.
Among the rules negated by the board are guidelines on sanitation and pointing out the need for child care workers to come to their jobs sober.
According to a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the move is dangerous attempt at political gamesmanship.
Health officials are trying to force the state legislature’s hand at creating stiff laws regulating faith-based child care.
Public daycare owners are outraged.
A statewide family resource group is angered that the move is ultimately an attempt adopt the same licensing structure for faith-based daycares as public ones and remove their ability to steer their own curriculum.
This comes across as a stunning lack of judgment on both sides of the issue.
The issue is not about tightening regulations or fretting over educational changes that haven’t happened.
The issue is about children’s safety, period.
For all the great work that is undoubtedly done at faith-based daycares, rules have their place to protect children and that should always be the primary concern.
Licensing laws and curriculum provisions are things that reasonable adults should be able to negotiate. Children’s safety should never be an item for political football.