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Question of the Day

Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* Recommendations made by the Illinois Early Learning Council are reportedly being taken seriously by Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration…

The proposed rule changes, for example, would require day care providers to offer children at least two occasions per day of age-appropriate outdoor time, depending on the weather.

Children would be prevented from remaining still for more than 30 minutes, outside of scheduled nap times.

The rules would ban children younger than 2 from watching television and limit children age 2 and older to watching one hour per day of TV.

The new nutrition rules include a prohibition on serving snacks with high sugar or fat content and on using trans fats or saturated fats as butter substitutes.

Current rules forbid serving desserts with high sugar and fat content but don’t mention serving those items as snacks.

In addition, infants may not have bottles in their cribs, and older children may not carry no-spill cups throughout the day or night unless the cups contain only water.

All of this, according to the Erickson report, is being done to circumvent childhood obesity.

QUESTION: Should these proposed restrictions on unhealthy snacks and amount of down time be enacted? Please answer in comments below and explain your answer. For example, if “Yes,” then should there be other items on this list? If “No, then would you approve of any of these recommendations?

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        


49 Comments
  1. - Anonymour - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 7:22 am:

    The children need to be still more than 30 minutes if they want to grow up to be legislators.


  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 8:12 am:

    Meh, they’re all good common-sense proposals but I don’t know that the GA needs to weigh in on it. I think most parents and daycare center operators can figure it out.

    It’s not like the state has the means to enforce it, anyway.


  3. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 8:13 am:

    What’s the “over-under” on the number of “nanny-state” references on this thread? And since this deals with pre-schoolers, is “nanny-state” still a pejorative?


  4. - OneMan - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 8:31 am:

    Wordslinger has a good point. Considering what our old day care provider had to deal with when dealing with the state… She ended up videotaping the inspector and he stopped entering the facility (her home) when she did I am not sure how this is going to be enforced.

    It sounds nice, but when it comes down to it, it is mostly unenforceable and will likely make day care more expensive, that along with the minimum wage hike he is proposing (raising costs at day care as well) is going to just raise costs.


  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 8:32 am:

    OneMan, according to the story, home daycare providers are not included in the proposal.


  6. - And I Approved This Message - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 8:38 am:

    If you have a preschooler who remains still for more than 30 minutes outside of scheduled nap times you should seek immediate medical attention.


  7. - Joan P. - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 9:07 am:

    Honest to god, I thought this came from The Onion.


  8. - TooManyJens - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 9:11 am:

    They’re good guidelines, but should be left as that.


  9. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 9:19 am:

    Common sense…how do I get a state job inspecting facilities making sure these guidelines are met? Who do I have to marry?


  10. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 9:20 am:

    How does “Voices For Illinois Children” weigh in on this?


  11. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 9:31 am:

    I agree with TooManyJens–good guidelines but unenforceable.


  12. - Tom - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 10:18 am:

    after years of trying to lose weight, I finally have come to realize, a diet high in fat and protein makes me less hungry and I lose weight. I eat butter all the time. The food police don’t know what they are talking about. Let parents decide.


  13. - Tom - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    BTW, these are not common sense proposals. Most low fat foods have had their fat content replace with sugar. Low fat milk is worse for a person wanting to watch their waist line than whole milk. Fat satiates you. It controls spikes in your insulin levels. It just has to be the right kind of fats. Think about this: the conventional wisdom of low fat is what people have been saying for the last 40 years. Just look at how fat we have become in those 40 years. These rules are continuing the problem.


  14. - None of the Above - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 10:29 am:

    Nanny state?

    How in the world do you implement the proposed rules as to food? Every time a school district tries to provide students with nutrious meals most of the food ends up uneaten and tossed into the garbage. One of the reasons that so many schools served up sugary foods was that it was the only way to get the children to eat anything.

    Of course, is it asking too much for the parents to accept responsibility for feeding their own children?


  15. - Responsa - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 10:33 am:

    Heh. Have any of the authors of these recommendations actually ever had children? The points just seem more rhetorical and fantastical than, you know, doable or enforceable.

    We know the term “nanny state” irritates some people (like Word) but then exactly what are we allowed to call this type of silliness as a substitute euphemism? “Get off my lawn” is pretty overused too. But they both get the point across. Any suggestions?

    No Gov. Quinn, let’s not further bog down the GA on a shiny object. They have plenty on their plates already. How’s that pension thing coming along, BTW?


  16. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 10:41 am:

    We don’t need more regulations in this area. Many of these pre-school regulations provide no flexibility and may not be the best option for all individuals. Case in point… my girlfriend’s 4.5 year old son goes to a pre-school/daycare… the state mandates that the children have nap/quiet time everyday… when her son naps it takes forever (literally hours) for him to fall asleep at night… he is often up playing in his bed until 10:00 p.m. or so… if he misses his nap he crashes around 8:00 p.m. While my gf encourages the daycare operator not to nap her son… since she is required by law to offer quiet/nap time her son falls asleep during that time… if he was allowed to play/learn instead he wouldn’t fall asleep.


  17. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    This piece came out on the slowest news day of the year — but it still beat out Jack Franks’ release calling for a special GA session to fire Metra board en masse.


  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    ==Of course, is it asking too much for the parents to accept responsibility for feeding their own children? ==

    What exactly is that supposed to mean? Kids need to be fed during the day. Or are you against school lunches of any kind?


  19. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    Sorry. That was me above.


  20. - Downstater - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    The “nanny state” alive and doing harm in Illinois.


  21. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:01 am:

    ==The “nanny state” alive and doing harm in Illinois. =

    I think some of the recommendations are kind of silly but I hardly think a proposal on children’s nutrition and exercise is “doing harm.”


  22. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:06 am:

    The state licenses daycares, does it not?

    The state pays for a great deal of daycare, correct?

    Seems relevant. Especially since the behaviors being targeted are already not practiced by “good” (privately-paid expensive daycare) but are not unusual in daycare available to low-income folks using state aid.


  23. - woodchuck - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    If they’re going for “rules” then it will be through the JCAR process –not the entire GA. It would be interesting to see the argument if the proposed rules have statutory authority (primary question for JCAR members, then to look at the fiscal impact on the regulated entities).


  24. - Yogi - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    This is an over reach of government and would be difficult to regulate However, they could be used as guidelines for daycare centers to consider. Also, why the assumption that all overweight children go to daycare? I’ll bet there are stay at home Moms that talk on the phone all day while junior eats cookies and watches TV,


  25. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    Is this a social experiment, or does evidence compel these measures? Maybe TV is good for us.


  26. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:26 am:

    Hello? There are already regulations. It takes 2 seconds to google them and find a summary.

    http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/docs/cfs105052.pdf

    These changes appear to add specifics to general instructions (this kind of physical activity qualifies as the mandatory “large muscle exercise” ), or clarify loopholes (you can’t serve banned food by calling it “snack” instead of “dessert”).

    None of it is that big of a deal or a change, unless one is against licensing day care as a principle.

    In which case…well, luckily, that’s a fringe opinion held by shrieking paranoids.


  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:26 am:

    “…but I hardly think a proposal on children’s nutrition and exercise is “doing harm.”

    Unless the administration creates a new ‘bureaucracy’ loaded with patronage appointees to implement & monitor it. Wouldn’t be shocking to see that.


  28. - Mongo - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:29 am:

    I am all in favor of these as a guideline. Obesity is a critical problem and worse, it leads to many secondary health conditions that have a great fiscal impact.

    Downstater, really, “The nanny state alive and doing harm in Illinois.” How, pray tell, does this set of get-em-active proposals do harm?


  29. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:32 am:

    The children of this state are a great asset, like a great river - our children are like the mighty Mississippi River. And, if you toss too many cupcakes into the river they will clog it up and there will be more flooding in Cairo. So, to save the children we have to end cupcakes in Illinois.

    Now, who could be against that?


  30. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    No to all. Parents can make these choices with day care providers. Just means more paperwork, more rules, ultimately higher day care prices becuase of meddling legislature.


  31. - Angry Republican - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    “We know the term “nanny state” irritates some people (like Word) but then exactly what are we allowed to call this type of silliness as a substitute euphemism? “Get off my lawn” is pretty overused too. But they both get the point across. Any suggestions?”

    Try using paternalism instead


  32. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    As has been pointed out, daycare centers are licensed and subject to regulation. Many also take a lot of taxpayer money.

    It’s hardly “nanny-state” or paternalistic to set rules for commercial daycare providers, particularly when it’s on the taxpayer dime.

    Unless you think they should just get the money and have no accountability. Is that a good business practice?


  33. - Yossarian Lives - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    I don’t see anyone suggesting that all overweight children go to daycare. But most of us would agree that having government inspectors coming into people’s homes and regulating what they feed their children would be a vast overreach. I know I would.

    A parent paying a daycare center to take care of his or her child is a business transaction. Parents pay caregivers to provide some minimal level of care. I think, in its role of protecting consumers, the government is justified in definining that minimal level of care and making sure parents get what they pay for.


  34. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:49 am:

    Are the day care operators supposed to stand over the kids with a stopwatch?


  35. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    Here’s my idea for enforcement. Just like tobacco/cigarettes we use undercover agents. We send undercover 18 month olds in to the day care and see if they let them watch TV. Then, we bust ‘em!!

    Or, we can go in some internet chat rooms and pretend to be an infant looking to keep a bottle in his crib. When the person comes to the mall to give us the bottle, we rush in and arrest them.

    I should run for office with these great ideas.


  36. - Responsa - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    ==A parent paying a daycare center to take care of his or her child is a business transaction. Parents pay caregivers to provide some minimal level of care. I think, in its role of protecting consumers, the government is justified in definining that minimal level of care and making sure parents get what they pay for.==

    Wait. Isn’t this new proposal supposed to be all about obesity which affects only a subset of children — as opposed to providing a level of basic care as in heat, physical safety, teacher competence, etc. which, as you point out is what parents of all children expect and pay for from daycare? Let’s not move the goal posts too far here.


  37. - Gregor - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 12:43 pm:

    You know, not every daycare is run by a PhD. in child psychology and early learning. Many small ones are run by one or two, good-hearted, caring people who love taking care of kids, and they may not have much graduate level education. For them, clear guidelines can only help. Without them, and the enforcement component, the smaller daycare operations could become simple 8-hour kid warehouses for the folks on low incomes, out there trying to work and save money.

    Also, not all parents have a great model of parenting to follow themselves these days, when kids are having kids of their own. The guidelines used by the daycare become a model that carries over into the home, and this can only be a good thing, long-term.

    The nanny-state argument people sometimes forget that the entire world is not living in an identical background, with all the same advantages. Raising a smarter, healthier new generation can only help us all as a community and society.


  38. - Yossarian Lives - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 1:12 pm:

    Very good points, Gregor.

    Obesity affects a subset of children (too large a subset), but they are not always readily identiable. They don’t necessarily come to daycare already overweight. Genetic factors affect weight gain, to be sure, but so does diet. How is a daycare center to know which of its young charges will become overweight or obese if given a diet of high-sugar, high-fat foods? Also, I’d argue the intention of the rules is (or ought to be) to promote health in young children, not just prevent obesity. A high-sugar, high-fat diet is good for almost no one - whether or not the person is or becomes obese.


  39. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    === Also, not all parents have a great model of parenting to follow themselves these days, when kids are having kids of their own. The guidelines used by the daycare become a model that carries over into the home, and this can only be a good thing, long-term. ===

    This implies that those in government had better parents and are better parents and thus know more than the rest of us.


  40. - leonard - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 2:37 pm:

    Anon-I’ll vote for you—-I’m sure there’s sincerity in the proposal,but no consideration for common sense or implementation.


  41. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 3:01 pm:

    ==This implies that those in government had better parents and are better parents and thus know more than the rest of us.==

    No, it doesn’t. It recognizes the realities out there. There is nothing wrong with the government setting standards or guidelines for things. The kind of logic in your statement implies that the government shouldn’t be doing anything at all and knows nothing at all. Bull.


  42. - Judgment Day (Road Trip) - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    That’s what we need - more mounds of paper. First off, all these ‘wonderful’ ideas will have to be tracked. You are basically going to have to turn any daycare operation into an assembly line (who did what when, how many times, etc.).

    We’re not going to have kids, we’re going to have pre-school laboratory test humanoids. Having had some regulatory involvement on the fringe with some pre-school daycare programs, I’m developing a picture in my mind over how this is going to work, and it’s not pretty.

    We probably should consider either (a) bar codes, or (b) RFID chips on each pre-schooler.

    I’ll second the comment made by Joan P.:
    “Honest to god, I thought this came from The Onion.”


  43. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 3:09 pm:

    LOL, JD, try the decaf.


  44. - Judgment Day (Road Trip) - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 3:26 pm:

    Actually, the more I think about it - this has real potential for a great standup comedy routine. I mean, think about it - what daycare operator wants to feed preschoolers more sugar? The little darlings will be bouncing off the walls and ceilings. You wouldn’t be able to keep them still for 30 seconds, much less 30 minutes.

    That’s it! - we’ve identified Pat Quinn’s true calling - standup comedy.


  45. - None of the Above - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    Obesity? Why? Hasn’t there been a President’s Council on Physical Fitness since the Sixties?

    The greatest threat to children’s waistlines is inactivity. Television and video games are to blame. It pains me see so many empty baseball diamonds in park districts. In addition to organized leagues, we held sandlot games constantly back in the day. Boys did not need to be put on Ritalin because they were burning up their excess energy in sports.

    Nostalgia.


  46. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 3:59 pm:

    DuPage Dan:

    The river runs free. It runs for the people. The river speaks the truth.

    P.S. Were you quoting Pat Quinn?


  47. - Responsa - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 5:45 pm:

    Yes, Keyser Soze. Barring an actual flood, when the mighty Mississippi River is referenced here–especially in nonsensical run-on sentences– it’s usually somebody’s attempt to mimic the governor’s tic.


  48. - Juvenal - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 6:02 pm:

    The day care operators interviewed in the story support the changes or say they are already implementing them, but the blogsters argue they are a bad idea or unenforceable.

    Friends, you oughta see a doctor about that knee-jerk.

    If it makes ya feel any better, liberals are probably just as guilty, although not quite as often. Life is much simpler when you are automatically against any government regulation, no matter how common sense.

    Liberals actually have to know a bit about the government program that is being cut before they are outraged.

    Who watches the Watchmen?


  49. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 8:34 pm:

    No, on just about everythin on THAT list, except for the one, perhaps, regarding avoidance of snacks to little ones with too much sugar or fat (and trans fats) except that a clearer definition OF said foods too high in fat or sugar is needed–i.e. what’s noted is too vague…! The others are just too intrusive and/or restrictive Orders by the Government on how to raise kids–i.e. something loving Parents or Guardians (or licensed Caregivers already under regulations) can decide well-enough…!


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