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Dolls Of Different Races Required At Daycare Centers

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Walk into any reputable daycare center and you know what to expect: activities in every corner, snack time, rest time, non-stop play and, of course, children running free alongside their little buddies and a slew of nurturing caregivers. Typical, right? Not if the Colorado Department of Human Services gets it way. They’ve issued a new set of proposed regulations for all childcare centers that some say treats caregivers like children themselves.

Some of the proposed rules (98 pages of them) include:

  • Offering dolls in at least three different races.
  • Not restricting boys and girls to gender-specific role playing.
  • Prohibiting teachers from eating fast food in front of the children.
  • Not serving sweetened drinks or whole milk to kids over 2 years old except with a doctor’s note.
  • Food items, glitter, shaving cream, cotton balls and googly eyes are prohibited as potential choking hazards.
  • Toddler and infant classrooms must have a minimum of 10 pieces of each art material (such as 10 crayons, 10 paint brushes, etc).
  • Classrooms must have at least 10 visual displays scattered throughout room, with two “representing nature realistically” and two “presenting diversity in a positive way.”

While many of the rules seem sensible – I know I’d feel confident sending my child to a daycare center with these types of regulations – childcare providers are worried about the state prohibiting them from making common-sense decisions. “The problem comes in when the rules and regulations become so one- size-fits-all, focused on quality rather than health and safety,” Weld County childcare operator Sandy Bright told the Denver Post.

Others say the state has reached a whole new level of micro-management. Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado lobbyist Cindy Sovine, for instance, tells the Denver Post that many of the rules are not supported by academic research: “It’s like dictating to restaurants what they’ll serve on the menu and the ingredients in the items, when they already have to comply with health and safety rules.”

(Photo: childrensfactory.com)