Terry McAuliffe. Photo credit: The Virginia Star

by James C. Sherlock

Updated 26 October 1:48 PM

The progressive dream of government control of children from birth is approaching reality in Virginia.

Terry McAuliffe shares that dream and wants to lead Virginia to that promised land.

Governor Ralph Northam and the Democratic General Assembly have established state control of our youngest children, but will struggle to fund it. And if a progressive government could pass those new laws in 2020, future state governments can repeal them.

McAuliffe wants to be Governor to opt in for Virginians to the early childhood education provisions of the federal “Build Back Better” program.

To complete the government control of children from birth with federal money. Under federal regulations and requirements. Wrench control of toddlers from their parents with two sets of laws.

Who says progressives don’t like walls.

Every parent in Virginia should pray he never gets the chance. And vote to prevent him from being in position to do so.

Child capture by the Commonwealth

The Code of Virginia was modified in 2020 with laws enabling child capture by Virginia amid a blizzard of progressive statutes passed by a Democratic General Assembly and signed by a Democratic Governor.

For anyone who thinks an actual General Assembly member or administration staffer wrote any of these bills, I have a bridge across the East River to sell you.  

My personal candidate for that honor is the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development.  

In the university cycle of life, the measurable loss of math and literacy skills by first grade by kids who had completed the Virginia Preschool Initiative are considered not failures but rather opportunities for continuing research.  

New laws bring new grant money. New chances to excel.

State control?

§ 22.1-289.03. Early childhood care and education system; establishment.

“A.  The Board (of Education) shall establish a statewide unified public-private system for early childhood care and education in the Commonwealth to ensure that every child has the opportunity to enter kindergarten healthy and ready to learn. Such system shall be administered by the Board, the Superintendent, and the Department and shall be formed, implemented, and sustained through a structure that engages and leverages both state-level authority and regional-level public-private partnership assets.

B.  It is the intent of the General Assembly that the system established pursuant to subsection A shall 

  • provide families with coordinated access for referral to early childhood education programs, 
  • provide families with easy-to-understand information about the quality of publicly funded early childhood care and education programs, 
  • establish expectations for the continuous improvement of early childhood care and education programs, and 
  • establish shared expectations for early childhood care and education programs among the Department of Education, the Department of Social Services, local school divisions, and state and regional stakeholders.

C.  The system established pursuant to subsection A shall consist of a combination of programs offered through (i) the Virginia Preschool Initiative, pursuant to § 22.1-289.09, or any other school-based early childhood care and education program; (ii) licensed programs, pursuant to Article 3 (§ 22.1-289.010 et seq.); and (iii) unlicensed programs, pursuant to Article 4 (§ 22.1-289.030 et seq.).

“Unified public-private system.” Exactly.

Who wouldn’t want “coordinated access for referral,” “easy to understand information,” “continuous improvement,” or “shared expectations for programs” among government agencies.?

The reference to the Virginia Preschool Initiative was a giveaway — the “tell.

For anyone who thinks that the words in § 22.1-289.03 were what the General Assembly meant, see next the law that provides guidelines for implementation.

§ 22.1-289.09. Programs designed to promote educational opportunities. That law begins with a “finding” by the General Assembly that was proven untrue in Virginia before the law was written.

A. The General Assembly finds that effective prevention programs designed to assist children at risk of school failure and dropout are practical mechanisms for reducing violent and criminal activity and for ensuring that Virginia’s children will reach adulthood with the skills necessary to succeed…

The four-year Virginia Preschool Initiative (+) pilot final report in 2019 revealed that any learning advantages gained in VPI expired before the end of the first grade. 

And it admitted that all pilots of the same program design had encountered the same lapse rate.  

But the left-wing education schools who structured the program and led it for four years were completely unfazed. The goal of the VPI program was not education, but control. Mission accomplished.

So the “finding” on which the law was predicated is not a mistake, but rather a lie. A lie considered necessary to assure state control of children from birth.  

They never stopped to wonder what would be taught to these kids if conservatives regained control of the state. They cannot imagine anyone as totally captured by dogma as they. And they control the system.

The progressive education establishment will fight a rearguard action. Not everyone in the VDOE could be fired, and the tenured professoriate could not be.

Governor Youngkin will appoint an education department management team to fight them. Governor McAuliffe will be on their team.

Child capture by the federal government

Federal control?

The Build Back Better Act in its currently published form admits that it will spend at least an estimated $450 billion — in the very near term– on the capture of children into government-controlled preschool and childcare programs.  

The bill mandates that childcare and pre-school workers have college degrees and be paid the same as elementary school teachers. They will of course be regulated by state departments of education. It is designed to drive out current providers and replace them with the products of education schools.

That will provide early childhood education graduates to teach two-year olds. 

It will have the very intended effect of driving up the costs of child care and pre-school to levels that few parents will be able to pay, thus making permanent the necessity for federal, state and local governments to fund and control that industry.

A win-win, and designed to be a permanent one, for the Left.

Please note the words from the House Education and Labor Committee print of the Act:

“For the first three years of the program, the federal share is equal to 100 percent of the state’s expenditures for preschool services, and no state match is required. In subsequent years, the federal/state share changes to 90/10, 80/20, 70/30, and 60/40. ”

“States would be required … to ensure that payment rates cover the cost of high-quality child care and living wages for early childhood staff, as well as pay parity with similarly credentialed elementary school teachers.”

Also notice in that same document the words “parent” or “parents” appear only once:

“families with a parent engaging in an eligible activity would be eligible for, and entitled to, child care assistance through a child care subsidy or grant-funded child care slot.”

No word on what those eligible activities may be. I guess that is still being negotiated.

If the federal law is passed, Virginians will be subject to it if Virginia opts in.

Terry McAuliffe will opt in.

I’d like to see the cost estimates for Virginia. McAuliffe doesn’t want to see them right now. During the campaign.

Regulations and requirements in Build Back Better

Heritage.org reports on the regulations and requirements of the law:   

Regulations and Requirements. The approval needed from the federal government (states must submit applications to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services) means that there are implicit and explicit standards set by government bureaucrats as to what may happen in a local preschool or daycare center. The legislation states that the minimum quality standards to be eligible for funding match those of the ineffective federal Head Start program.

Additional regulations and requirements meant to “support quality,” such as wage supplements, college degree requirements for preschool workers, and low child-to-staff ratios, will inevitably lead to higher costs for taxpayers.

First, preschool and childcare wages would no longer be set by the market. Childcare workers would have mandated minimum wages, and the pay scale for preschool staff would be pegged to the salaries of elementary school teachers, who currently have higher certification requirements and education levels. The proposal also requires that all lead pre-K workers have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field, despite there being no evidence that formal education beyond a high school diploma makes someone a better caretaker.

Similar requirements in Washington, DC, are part of the reason why it is now the most expensive area for infant care in the country, exceeding $24,000 annually. Washington, DC, requires daycare directors to hold bachelor’s degrees, and childcare workers to have an associate’s degree — the most aggressive credentialing requirement in the country.

Second, preschool providers must implement federally approved limits for student-to-teacher ratios and the number of children in a classroom. Given that these limits tend to be lower than those in elementary school, and paired with the pay requirements, it is not unlikely that the cost to tax- payers soon exceeds the current K–12 average per pupil of about $15,450.  For example, a 2015 report finds that “an increase in the child–staff ratio requirement for infants by one infant is associated with a decrease in the cost of childcare of between 9 and 20 percent.” The same report finds that it would also “reduce the annual cost of childcare by between $850 and $1,890 per child across all states, on average.”

Third, states are required to have a system of provider licensure. (Sherlock note: Licensing in Virginia was moved into the VDOE on July 1.) There is a robust literature on the negative effects of professional licensing laws, which lead to industry capture of established providers, drive up costs, and create barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and workers. For example, if one wants to become a licensed childcare provider in North Carolina, the entire process will take 401 days. It is then no surprise that childcare-provider licensure has also shown to reduce overall availability of childcare services, particularly in lower-income areas—the same population that Congress claims to want to help… 

Distribution of Seats. In an attempt to provide “mixed delivery pre-school services,” preschool seats must be “distributed equitably among childcare (including family childcare), Head Start, and schools within the entire state.” If demand for any one of these three options exceeds one-third of students in the state, there will predictably be shortages in the types of providers that parents desire. This type of central planning and the imposition of seat-distribution criteria will only restrict choice.

Please note how the Biden program, designed by ed school “experts,” will fully complement UVa’s Northam/McAuliffe program.

The progressives who dominate the education education schools and teachers unions are nothing if not organized to capture our children for the state. 

Bottom line

States will have to opt in to the federal program.

Once the children are captured and parents stripped of options for child care and early education, the state can introduce whatever “education” program it wants.  

Anyone think that Terry McAuliffe won’t opt in?

Ask Randi Weingarten, the radical head of the American Federation of Teachers.

Last week she rolled out a million-dollar ad buy for McAuliffe in the Northern Virginia market.

Update 26 October 1:48 PM

Note: I looked for the potty training, diaper changing and vomit cleanup sections of both federal and Virginia law, but those instructions, apparently, will be provided in regulations.

Only college graduates need apply.

Most of our mothers would not have made the cut.

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24 responses to “Biden and McAuliffe to Complete the Roundup of Toddlers by the State”

  1. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar

    Hitler-Jugend, Bund deutscher Arbeiterjugend

  2. Given the ever-expanding scope of government overreach by the Federal Government (assisted by Democrat enablers on the State level), people need to invoke the U.S. Constitution, 10th Amendment.

    The 10th Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively , or to the people.” Although Congress has broad powers under U.S. Constitution, Article I, Congress does NOT have unlimited authority to enact laws that exceed the scope of Article I or ignore the Tenth Amendment. People should consider invoking the Tenth Amendment to counter the Democrats’ push to enact a sweeping range of laws (or provisions of laws) that ignore the plain language of the Tenth Amendment.

    And, when Democrat state officials try to facilitate federal overreach by “opting in” to unconstitutional federal programs, the people need to use lawful political and legal mechanisms to hold those state officials accountable for seeking to strip the people of their constitutional rights.

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      Just elect Glenn Youngkin, and we won’t opt in.

      1. Even if Glenn Youngkin wins this election, at most that only means there is a delay until a future Democrat Governor tries to “opt in.”

        People need to consider whether the Virginia Constitution grants a Governor authority to make an “opt in” decision, especially one that has the practical effect of sacrificing parts of Virginia’s powers protected by the Tenth Amendment.

      2. Merchantseamen Avatar

        I will vote for the guy but I don’t trust him.

        1. DJRippert Avatar

          The alternative is this guy …


          1. More to come about “Fast Terry” in the next day or two…

        2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
          James C. Sherlock

          Replacing the current Board of Education will prove a huge start.

    2. You might find this article interesting. It includes a brief history of federal meddling [I mean involvement] in education. There are many people who think the formation and continued existence of the federal Department of Education was/is unconstitutional.


      One thing I am sure of is that since the federal DOE was formed and began operating in 1979/80, the quality of public education has been in decline.

      1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
        James C. Sherlock

        You will notice that neither the state nor the federal government mentions where all of these credentialed teachers will come from. Because they have no idea.

        1. I did notice that.

          Maybe they have a plan to ‘fast-track’ some students in the UVA School of Education and Human Development.

          1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            Actually, the state has already built a “ladder” for regular day care and pre-school workers to reach nirvana. College degree. Many, many requirements along the way, all taught by ed schools.

      2. Thanks for the reference.

        The problem of federal funding being used to impose conditions that ignore or circumvent provisions of the U.S. Constitution is a serious one. Too often, the Congressional “power of the purse” is being used to impose conditions, requirements, and restrictions on States and individual Americans that exceed the scope of Congressional authority under U.S. Constitution, Article I.

        People need to consider whether accepting federal money is really a wise decision or a foolish acceptance of a fiscal Trojan horse.

      3. sherlockj Avatar

        I looked for the potty training, diaper changing and vomit cleanup sections of both federal and Virginia law, but those instructions, apparently, will be provided in regulations.

        Only college graduates need apply.

  3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    “The bill mandates that childcare and pre-school workers have college degrees and be paid the same as elementary school teachers.”


    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      This is only good news if you are a college graduate looking for work changing diapers. But perhaps you fill that bill.

      1. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        It also is short sighted and shrinks the pool of employee’s who work in early childcare. A good number of them either have associates degrees and or are in the process of earning their Bachelors.

        Nothing like adding more people to the unemployment line.

  4. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    I hear Arte Johnson saying, Very interesting. But what is the object of controlling children? Who benefits? The autocratic state? Is Youngkin’s promise to pass the largest education budget in history a solution? Pardon me, but the screed here is far too dripping with conspiracy ideology. Lotsa verbiage, little rationality.

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      If you like the two government programs I laid out, vote for McAuliffe.

  5. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    Thank you Captain!. Very informative and frightening too. Trick or Treat!

  6. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Do you approve of the general aims of the legislation–to provide good education to young children? Or, do you object to the methods used by the education schools to deliver that education? If it is the latter, then why focus on the law rather than on the methods being taught? If it is the former, then how do you reconcile your objection to the government regulating how young kids are taught with your strong advocacy of government regulation of nursing homes?

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      Good questions Dick.

      “Do you approve of the general aims of the legislation–to provide good education to young children? Or, do you object to the methods used by the education schools to deliver that education?” My answer is I object to both.

      In answer to the implied question, yes, I desperately want disadvantaged children to succeed. The nation’s future depends on it. But I reject the notion that their success depends upon them being captured by law just after weaning to attend government schools.

      The law goes too far.

      The ed schools are crumbling from lack of students. They are particularly challenged attracting students to early childhood education courses. The law is designed to drive out traditional child care businesses and replace them with the woke. It requires college degrees for work that demonstrably does not require it. The requirement is nothing more than a government give-away to the education schools and teachers unions, core Democratic constituencies. It is how the left assembled as government funds the left organized as higher education and white collar unions.

      The obvious question, answered neither by the state nor the federal government, is who do they think is going to pay for college to change diapers. Their answer to that is forcing current providers to go to ed school or be regulated out of their businesses.

      As for the methodology being used, every major controlled study I or anyone else has seen finds the exact same outcomes. Disadvantaged kids, given a one and now two year head start, lose by the spring of first grade any gains they have make compared to their disadvantaged peers who did not get the extra education
      I have no idea why the results are like they are, but neither do the ed schools.

      I don’t think I’m out on a limb calling the methodology failed. Perhaps if the kids were put into good public charter schools, they could continue to grow, but you know the left will fall on its sword to prevent that.

      Richmond Public Schools is so afraid of competition from charters that they have a policy that any charter that they should ever approve, if any, must let the RPS bureaucracy pick their teachers, and swap them out at will.

      Would you start a charter school under those conditions?

      1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
        Dick Hall-Sizemore

        Poor kids start out with significant disadvantages that are difficult to make up. The current private sector consisting of day care centers does not provide them with sufficient tools. If they call themselves pre-school, they are primarily day care. If there is be a change, government must require it. However, I don’t think anyone is proposing that qualified teachers change diapers.

        You and I both agree that the methodology used in these day care centers, pre-school programs, and kindergartens must be at fault. Unfortunately, no one is looking at that. I would support public charter schools, but only certain kinds of charter schools. I need to do some research and gather my thoughts before I set out what I would like to see.

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