When a parent sends his or her child to day-care, this is typically not a decision taken lightly. The parent has probably investigated countless day-care centers and asked trusted friends for recommendations. Cost is often a consideration, but safety is even more important. After all, we're talking about entrusting strangers with the care of one's child.
At least parents can take some consolation in the knowledge that state governments license day-care centers, providing some quality assurance. Government inspectors may utilize surprise visits to examine the criminal records of center employees, potential health and safety violations, and other items which most parents would find distressing. At least, that is the case for secular day-care centers.
You see, in Florida only secular day-care centers can be inspected by licensing officials. Faith-based day-care centers are off limits and actually exempt from state licensing requirements.
Florida is one of a dozen states that has such exemptions, which are meant to lessen the red tape faith-based groups have to go through but, according to critics, can also open a loophole that shields some day-care facilities from badly needed oversight.Unfortunately, efforts to close this inappropriate loophole required the death of an innocent 2-year-old from being left in a center van in Daytona Beach in 2001. Five years later, and the loophole remains due to political squabbling.
Not surprisingly, some of the faithful Christians who operate these exempt centers oppose any sort of regulation. Others actually converted their centers to faith-based operations to avoid having to deal with state inspectors. If granting licensing exemptions for faith-based day-cares isn't an example of Christian privilege, I don't know what is!
Tags: Florida, day-care, child care, parenting, Christian, faith, faith-based, church and state, law, regulation, Christian privilege