Colorado Child Care Rules Could Require Racially Diverse Dolls, 'Culturally Sensitive' Activities

Filed under: In The News

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Day care providers may be required to have diverse doll collections. Credit: Amazon

Want to be a licensed day care provider in Colorado? You could face a mountain of rules if a newly proposed set of regulations from the Department of Human Services is approved.

The Denver Post reports the 98 pages of proposed rules came out of a 2000 law requiring Colorado to come up with child care quality standards in all sorts of areas, including nutrition and special needs services. But a number of lawmakers and child care providers say many of the proposed rules are a shining example of a one-size-fits-all mentality.

Some of the rules, according to the newspaper, include:

  • All doll collections much represent three races.
  • 10 pieces of each art material required per toddler and infant classroom -- think 10 crayons, 10 paints, 10 brushes, etc.
  • Potential chocking hazards, including food items, glitter, shaving cream, cotton balls and "googly eyes" are a no-no.
  • Each room much have at least 12 books, plus one additional book for each child in the class.
  • At least 10 visual displays required per room, with two "representing nature realistically" and two "presenting diversity in a positive way."
  • No sweetened drinks or whole milk, and only 20 minutes of screen time per day.
  • "Activities shall be culturally sensitive and represent diversity."
  • "Boys and girls shall not be restricted to gender-specific role playing."
"The problem comes in when the rules and regulations become so one- size-fits-all, focused on quality rather than health and safety," Sandy Bright, a Colorado child care center operator, tells the Post.

Human Services Department director Reggie Bicha tells the newspaper the rules are just an early draft and feedback will be taken before they are set before the State Board of Human Services to be approved.

"We certainly want to move forward to strengthen child care so kids are ready to learn," Bicha tells the Post. "At the same time, we have to promulgate regulations that are smart, that are achievable and that are not overreaching."

State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, tells the newspaper some of the current child care regulations are already making it too expensive for parents to afford to send their kids to the facilities.

"I think they're just ratcheting up to a whole new level of micromanagement," he tells the Post.

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