In 2016, the District of Columbia’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (“OSSE”) enacted regulations requiring many of the city’s day care providers to go to college or lose their jobs. These disastrous regulations will have career-ending consequences for Altagracia Yluminada (“Ilumi”) Sanchez, who runs a day care in her home in Northeast D.C. OSSE’s new regulations require Ilumi and others like her to get an associate’s degree in an early-childhood field by the end of 2019. Ilumi has worked with children since she came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic in 1995. Although she has a Child Development Associate credential (“CDA”) and was trained as a lawyer in her home country, Ilumi does not have the associate’s degree now required under OSSE’s new regulations.
But she does not need that degree: Nine sets of parents already trust Ilumi to care for their children, despite the fact that she has not studied Shakespeare or learned calculus. There simply are not enough hours in the day for Ilumi to go back to school. She is also worried about her English fluency—she can speak and understand well, but she cannot read and write at a college level.
Ilumi is only one of hundreds of day care providers in homes and in centers who stand to lose their livelihood.