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Mace Introduces Bill to Abolish DC Regulation Requiring College Degree for Child Care Workers

March 2, 2021
Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-01) today introduced legislation to repeal burdensome District of Columbia licensing requirements for childcare workers. Senator Mike Lee (UT) is sponsoring the Senate companion bill.
In December of 2016, the District of Columbia issued regulations requiring certain child-care workers to have either an associate or bachelor’s degree, depending on the type of childcare they provide.
“It is absolutely ludicrous those who wish to care for children have to obtain a college degree to do so. Yet this is exactly the case in Washington, D.C.," said Rep. Mace. "As a member of the Oversight Committee, which oversees the governance of the Federal City, it’s my job to provide sensible solutions to those struggling in our nation’s capital. Unemployment in D.C. is almost in the double-digits, and parents pay more and wait longer for child care in D.C. than anywhere else in the country. My bill with Senator Lee repeals this absurd regulation, giving parents affordable child care options while providing greater work opportunities for those who wish to care for children.”
These regulations disproportionately harm low-income workers and families in need of childcare, those looking to become childcare providers, and increase the already astronomically high price of childcare in the District,” said Sen. Lee. “My bill would repeal these harmful regulations to increase opportunity for childcare workers, and help provide more affordable, flexible childcare for District families, which is needed now more than ever.
Read the full bill text HERE.
Under Article One of the Constitution, Congress has the power to exercise legislative authority over the District of Columbia. The bill, called the Child Care Worker Opportunity Act, would assert that authority to repeal D.C. regulations requiring childcare workers to possess and associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, or any college credits in order to provide childcare in the district.
See support from outside organizations below:
“Child care workers and parents are both hurt by ridiculous regulations on daycare centers, like those in Washington, DC, which require that all child care workers have college degrees as a condition of employment. The Child Care Worker Opportunity Act would provide relief by rolling back that regulation. This is great news for parents struggling to pay for care and also for qualified, patient, and caring people working in the child care sector.”
-- Carrie Lukas, President, Independent Women’s Voice
“Washington, D.C. has the highest cost of childcare in the nation. These regulations serve to further increase the cost and reduce the accessibility of childcare, while also burdening childcare workers with unnecessary debt. I'm grateful to see Senator Lee and Representative Mace for working towards addressing these challenges.”
-- Shoshana Weissmann, Fellow, R Street Institute
"Parents don't need a college degree to raise a child. So why should child care workers require a degree to take care of a child? The District of Columbia's requirement that certain child care providers obtain an associate or bachelor's degree is absurd, and unfortunately, it is likely responsible for barring otherwise qualified child care workers from earning a living, as well as driving up the overall cost of child care. During a pandemic when so many are struggling to find good work – and so many parents are struggling to find affordable, flexible care for their children – licensing requirements like those of the District are especially cruel. Sen. Lee's Child Care Worker Opportunity Act is a compassionate and commonsense measure to help working families, and APP fully endorses it."
-- Terry Schilling, President, American Principles Project