Souad Adnane



The District of Columbia (DC) Office of the Superintendent of Education (OSSE) issued in December 2016 new educational requirements for childcare workers, according to which, all childcare center directors in the District must earn a bachelor’s degree by December 2022 and all lead teachers an associate’s degree by December 2020 (Institute for Justice, 2018). Moreover, DC has one of the lowest staff-child ratios in the country. How are regulations pertaining to childcare workers’ qualifications and staff-child ratio affecting the childcare market in DC? The present paper is an attempt to answer this question first by analyzing the effects of more stringent regulations on the cost and availability of childcare in the U.S based on existing studies. It also uses the basic supply and demand model to examine the possible impact of the new DC policy on the cost, quality and supply of childcare in the District and how it will affect working parents, especially mothers. Next, the paper discusses the impact of deregulation based on simulations and regressions conducted by studies covering the U.S., and implications for quality. It concludes that more stringent childcare regulations, regarding educational requirements and staff-child ratios, are associated with a reduced number of childcare centers and a higher cost, and eventually affects women’s labor force participation.

Keywords: Childcare, Availability, Affordability, Quality, Educational Requirements, Staff-Child Ratio, Working Mothers, District of Columbia, United States

Received: 26.02.2019
Accepted: 22.04.2019
Published online: 17.05.2019

JEL Classification: G30, L25

How to cite this paper: Adnane, S. (2019). The impact of regulations on labor markets in the U.S. Corporate Law & Governance Review, 1(1), 36-40.

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