Clear case of government going too far!

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  • #1
Astronuc
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State to mom: Stop baby-sitting neighbors' kids
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090929/ap_on_re_us/us_baby_sitter_backlash_mich [Broken]
IRVING TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Each day before the school bus comes to pick up the neighborhood's children, Lisa Snyder did a favor for three of her fellow moms, welcoming their children into her home for about an hour before they left for school.

Regulators who oversee child care, however, don't see it as charity. Days after the start of the new school year, Snyder received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continued, she'd be violating a law aimed at the operators of unlicensed day care centers.

"I was freaked out. I was blown away," she said. "I got on the phone immediately, called my husband, then I called all the girls" — that is, the mothers whose kids she watches — "every one of them."

Snyder's predicament has led to a debate in Michigan about whether a law that says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers needs to be changed. It also has irked parents who say they depend on such friendly offers to help them balance work and family.

On Tuesday, agency Director Ismael Ahmed said good neighbors should be allowed to help each other ensure their children are safe. Gov. Jennifer Granholm instructed Ahmed to work with the state Legislature to change the law, he said.

"Being a good neighbor means helping your neighbors who are in need," Ahmed said in a written statement. "This could be as simple as providing a cup of sugar, monitoring their house while they're on vacation or making sure their children are safe while they wait for the school bus."
. . . .
Is it requisite that legislators not think when they write laws?
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Jasongreat
Is it requisite that legislators not think when they write laws?
It sure seems like it, I have heard common sense is dead and it seems there are far more stories in the news lately supporting that claim instead of stories that remove my doubts, it seems interesting that in a bill to end unlicensed daycare they dont even mention or define day care, just a time frame (4 weeks, what a vague term, is that 8hrs a day or any time just the date, is it a work week 5 days or a full week 7 days, is it a time thing such as a number of hours that add up to 4 weeks). Nor did they include any exceptions such as neighbors watching neighbors kids or for baby sitters. I think in legislatures zeal to make all encompassing laws they have moved in a direction of keeping bills so vague that the most people possible may fall under their definition of what is wrong, that way they can charge the most people possible(bolsters stats) and if you want too lose money by missing work, spend money to hire a lawyer(not surprising that lawyers write laws to support lawyers), and pay the court for their time you just might be able to fight it and get off. The bright spot is it seems she has lots of backing to help her get the charges dropped and to help keep others getting snagged by this law down the road.
The thing that disturbed me most is that she was turned in by another neighbor, with neighbors like that who needs enemies, what ever happened to treat your neighbor like you would like to be treated?
 
  • #3
turbo
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I hope we don't have inane laws like that here (there is enough bad legislation around already). It is not uncommon for parents around here to build an outdoor shelter at the end of their driveway, and to allow neighborhood children to use it too, so they can wait together for the bus, out of the rain and snow. My neighbor built a really nice one, with a large bench, windows all around, etc. What's wrong with providing a safe, comfortable place for kids to wait for the bus to come pick them up? It's certainly not day-care, and it's not taking money out of the pockets of licensed day-care providers.

BTW, apart from the improved safety for the kids (adult supervision) there is a little matter of their comfort. Waiting for the bus in the winter in northern states can be tough on little kids. In addition, if the neighborhood kids are always in a central location, there are fewer stops for the bus to make. It's a win-win.
 
  • #4
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State to mom: Stop baby-sitting neighbors' kids
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090929/ap_on_re_us/us_baby_sitter_backlash_mich [Broken]
Is it requisite that legislators not think when they write laws?
Reading only the quoted part, I would have to agree with some of the things in it. When things go wrong, who will be held accountable?

Few months ago, a 7-12 yrs old boy babysitting killed few months old baby. I have read some other stories where these kind of things happened.
 
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  • #5
Office_Shredder
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Reading only the quoted part, I would have to agree with some of the things in it. When things go wrong, who will be held accountable?

Few months ago, a 7-12 yrs old boy babysitting killed few months old baby. I have read some other stories where these kind of things happened.
What, so you want to license baby sitters next? Why does there need to be a clear line of legal responsibility for anyone to do anything just because it involves kids?
 
  • #6
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It seems the neighbor who filed the report might be the real culprit - makes you wonder what their motivation could have been?
 
  • #7
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Is it requisite that legislators not think when they write laws?
Who are they, who actually write laws? At the national or state level, I can't imagine congress critters sitting down with a stack of law books composing law.
 
  • #8
mgb_phys
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Not just the Americans.
Imagine the shock of OFSTED (UK education standards quango) discovering that two policewomen were looking after each others children when they were on different shifts.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-banned-babysitting-friend-says-children.html

Apparently since they look after each others children this is "payment in kind" hence payment, hence they need to be registered as profesional childminders and undergo background checks by the local police, err ??????
 
  • #9
mheslep
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State to mom: Stop baby-sitting neighbors' kids
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090929/ap_on_re_us/us_baby_sitter_backlash_mich [Broken]
Is it requisite that legislators not think when they write laws?
I saw that. So in Michigan, the state services are paid to harass people for this idiocy, but at the same time Michigan is too broke to https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=2369772&postcount=206"its dead?
 
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  • #10
mheslep
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Reading only the quoted part, I would have to agree with some of the things in it. When things go wrong, who will be held accountable?
After reading this story about neighbors helping neighbors, helping out with the kids and then asking 'who will be held accountable' - how do you come to that mindset? I'm sure a similar mindset was behind the bureaucratic actions and laws resulting in this story. Why do you not immediately say the parents are now and always responsible for their own kids?
Few months ago, a 7-12 yrs old boy babysitting killed few months old baby. I have read some other stories where these kind of things happened.
Yes, tragedies. How do you imagine the Michigan Department of Human Services can end all that?
 
  • #11
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After reading this story about neighbors helping neighbors, helping out with the kids and then asking 'who will be held accountable' - how do you come to that mindset? I'm sure a similar mindset was behind the bureaucratic actions and laws resulting in this story. Why do you not immediately say the parents are now and always responsible for their own kids?
Yes, tragedies. How do you imagine the Michigan Department of Human Services can end all that?
There have been so many cases lately where religious/school authorities, parents, or neighbors were (sexually) abusing the children. So government need to do something which looks better than ignoring the issue (doing nothing). There could be better laws to prevent or deal with these issues but I am not sure if any of them would be applicable to all kind of situations.
 
  • #12
Averagesupernova
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My guess is that someplace, somewhere, in Irving Township Michigan there is a licensed daycare provider that feels their toes are being stepped on and thinks that it is their right to provide daycare for profit before anyone else has the chance to provide it for free. While Jasongreat has a good point about lawyers making laws to support lawyers, it is not always true in state government. While many that make up the federal government are lawyers, it is less so in state government. I believe that state government is often made up of people who seek to make the local laws benefit themselves. It isn't just lawyers. So, yes, I am implying that there are reasons why the way a law is written and interpreted is left vague so that people like the baby-sitter tattle-tale in Michigan can pick and choose who to whine about. This way, if no one cares, sure, the law is being broken but it doesn't matter since no one cares. However, when someone feels their toes are being stepped on they can complain since the law is probably vague enough to make charges stick. Those who make the laws know them better than anyone else so they are always able to be the first to take advantage of them. It isn't a lack of common sense, it is quite the opposite. For the record, I'm not saying the tattle-tale in Michigan is a licensed daycare provider, but I'm sure any licensed daycare provider in Irving township is quite happy that she blew the whistle.
 
  • #13
What, so you want to license baby sitters next? Why does there need to be a clear line of legal responsibility for anyone to do anything just because it involves kids?
So you decide to be a good neighbour and look after your neighbours kid. The kid happens to hurt themself while in your care. How many thousands of dollars are you capable of paying out in when you are held accountable the child who was under your care at the time of the injury?
 
  • #14
turbo
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So you decide to be a good neighbour and look after your neighbours kid. The kid happens to hurt themself while in your care. How many thousands of dollars are you capable of paying out in when you are held accountable the child who was under your care at the time of the injury?
Homeowner's insurance should cover visitors, as long as you are not charging for the service.
 
  • #15
mheslep
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... For the record, I'm not saying the tattle-tale in Michigan is a licensed daycare provider, but I'm sure any licensed daycare provider in Irving township is quite happy that she blew the whistle.
Agreed, that's a good bet.
 
  • #16
Homeowner's insurance should cover visitors, as long as you are not charging for the service.
It may or may not. And personal injuries can be expensive after adding up pain and suffering and all of that. How many thousands of dollars do you think a standard homeowners insurance policy would cover?


I'm not necessarily agreeing with what happened in the story but these are the sorts of reasons why they have these laws. What happens when a kid dies or becomes permanently handicapped and the person looking after the kid at the time is sued for millions of dollars? Day cares have insurance specifically for this purpose. The neighbour doesn't.
 
  • #17
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So you decide to be a good neighbour and look after your neighbours kid. The kid happens to hurt themself while in your care. How many thousands of dollars are you capable of paying out in when you are held accountable the child who was under your care at the time of the injury?
When babysitting, I've always watched other people's children much closer than my own - that's not to say I neglected my kids.
 
  • #18
Jasongreat
It may or may not. And personal injuries can be expensive after adding up pain and suffering and all of that. How many thousands of dollars do you think a standard homeowners insurance policy would cover?


I'm not necessarily agreeing with what happened in the story but these are the sorts of reasons why they have these laws. What happens when a kid dies or becomes permanently handicapped and the person looking after the kid at the time is sued for millions of dollars? Day cares have insurance specifically for this purpose. The neighbour doesn't.
While I agree with the "reasons" you state as to why they have made these types of laws. To answer your last question my guess would be that the kids parents wouldnt be getting a million dollar payday if the other parent didnt have insurance. Why should they? Are we entitled to a pain and suffering free life, and if we dont get it, we are entitled to a millions of dollars? Accidents happen and that is a part of life we cant control, it sucks but its true.
 

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