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May 4 2018

D.C. Licensing Law Would Devastate Ilumi Sanchez

by Charlotte Hays

IIumi Sanchez takes care of children for a living. But this could be coming to an end as D.C. is on the verge of passing a law requiring day care providers such as Ilumi to have an unnecessary college diploma. If passed, this law will put Ilumi out of business.

If you were taken care of as a child by someone like Ilumi, whom you still love, or now entrust your children to someone like Ilumi, you need to watch this Institute for Justice video in which Ilumi speaks about what this law will do to her. It will also have an effect on the working  mothers people like Ilumi serve.

In releasing the video, IJ said:

Taking care of a child takes a lot of things—patience, creativity, and kindness rank high among many other attributes—but the one thing it doesn’t take is a college degree. But don’t tell that to Washington, D.C. regulators in the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), which recently enacted a regulation requiring the city’s day care providers to either obtain a college degree, or look for another job.

For Ilumi Sanchez, a D.C. day care provider who has taken care of dozens of children since 1995, the regulation—which takes effect next year—will be devastating. Between the time she spends watching nine kids during the day and taking care of her family in the evening, earning an unnecessary college diploma is a non-starter. That is only compounded by her limited English skills and the five-figure cost of tuition. Once the regulation takes effect, Ilumi’s only choice will be to either shut down or move elsewhere and leave behind the families that have grown to see her as a part of their family.

The proposed DC law is just one of the latest in these licensing laws that help keep unemployment high and sideline dedicated people who want to make it on their own such as Ilumi. In Arizona, for example, blow drying without a license can land you in jail.

Carrie Lukas earlier explianed why this new regulation is such a crucial women's issue ("How a New D.C. Regulation Is Pushing Women to Lean Out").

This Wall Street Journal oped tells the story of an unlicensed Good Samaritan who got in trouble for giving free haircuts to the homeless. It also tells the story of Sandy Meadows, who had been working as a florist in a supermarket before it was discovered that she did not have a license. Forced out of work, she died destitute.

We should fear for Ilumi Sanchez unless this licensing requirement is stopped.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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