Michigan Authorities Attack Woman for Babysitting Neighbor Kids

Baby Sitter BacklashWhen I heard this story last week, to be honest, I couldn’t believe it. I mean really. All this woman is doing is trying to be nice to her neighbors children. Now she’s in for a fight and I for one hope she wins it.

This is all she’s doing: “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.” Apparently this is the law: “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 centersSnyder’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.”

So here’s a concerned neighbor who’s a genuinely nice loving and caring woman who wants nothing for herself. All she’s trying to do is help the working people in her neighborhood by making sure a few kids are safe and taken care of each morning before school. Would these people rather these kids be left alone? Or left at the bus stop for 40 minutes?

It’s not really clear to me who “told on her” or how anyone really even found out that she was doing this to begin with and why in the world does anyone care? Does anyone but me think GET A LIFE to whoever this is bothering so much?

What do you guys all think? We are always talking about how we don’t have good neighbors anymore and how our kids won’t grow up like we did with all the caring of neighborhoods. Why in the world should this woman be punished for helping out?

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15 Responses to Michigan Authorities Attack Woman for Babysitting Neighbor Kids

  1. SKL says:

    A couple of thoughts. First, my best guess is that there is someone in the neighborhood who wants to offer paid before-school child care, and this nice lady is messing with “demand.” Or maybe there is a vindictive parent whose kid had a bad morning at this lady’s house.

    Second, maybe she really is getting a buck or two here and there but not reporting it. Which isn’t fair to the people who do report it and have to be licensed, etc., etc.

    But I agree that if this lady is really doing this for free, someone must be misinterpreting the law. I mean, based on that, any home where kids gather often to play would have to be licensed. Since my kid sister and her best friend were together every day, were both of their moms violating this law? What’s the difference?

    Maybe whoever wrote the law was cynical and assumed that nobody would truly give care to another’s child, on a regular basis, for free. It definitely sounds like the law is too broad, regardless of the actual facts in this case.

    • Joy says:

      I’m thinking this isn’t a daycare provider because if they had these 3 kids in the morning for an hour or 40 minutes, they would be taking up a “spot” and they are gone all day. Know what I mean? When you are licensed, you are only allowed “so many” kids and whether they are with you all day or not, they are taking up a spot so I’m not sure that would do a daycare person any good.

      • SKL says:

        Yes, but if they are just starting out, they may have lots of open slots. Or maybe they have more people on hand for before/after school.

        My kids’ school seems to have overlapping “slots.” During the early and late parts of the day, there are fewer young kids present because some parents drop off around 9am or pick up as early as 3:30pm. So they can take on before/after-school kids and still maintain their ratios. (They also charge a lot less for before/after school care.) But maybe there are different laws in MN, so this might not work there.

  2. Laura says:

    And even if she WAS getting a couple bucks here and there… if they continue through and are able to completely prosecute her, and make this ridiculous law stick, what does that do to our babysitters? Are they all now going to have to be licensed by the state? Are we now going to have to pay minimum wage, social security, etc., etc., etc.?

    This is pathetic. Those folks in Michigan need to go back to Real Life 101 and get a grip.

  3. Tosha says:

    I agree with SKL but whats the difference in these kids coming to this woman’s house before school to wait on the bus and them coming over after school everyday to play with her kids for a few hours? Kids are always at my house playing. They stay here hours every single day and sometimes their parents run to the store or what have you.. Do I need a license to have some kids playing at my house since they do it everyday? its absurd.. where does it stop?

    • Laura says:

      It doesn’t stop. That’s the problem. And that’s why we have to take a page from (WARNING: HARRY POTTER GEEKAGE AHEAD) Mad-Eye Moody’s playbook:


      because if we’re not constantly watching our government, fighting it back, they’ll completely take over, and tell us that it’s for our own good.

  4. Mrs.C says:

    When I read this, it made me so angry. I used to be a mom who allowed some kids to hang out with mine until the bus came. Of course, we lived in the country, and countryfolk generally not only mind their own business, but helping neighbors is a way of life.

    I guess some people would rather see latchkey children, than a good Samaritan helping her neighbors.

  5. Sue says:

    Thanks for writing this mum! I agree with everyone above. I’m glad Tosha made the point about kids coming over to play after school. If this woman were watching the kids all day long, then there might be an issue, but an hour in the morning to make sure the kids are safe before school is not an issue.

    This is what I could find for Minnesota for situations that do not need a license…

    Subp. 3.Exclusion from licensure.Under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.03, the following day care situations are excluded from licensure under parts 9502.0315 to 9502.0445:

    A.day care provided by a relative to only related children; or

    B.day care provided to children from a single, unrelated family, for any length of time; or

    C.day care provided for a cumulative total of less than 30 days in any 12-month period; or

    D.the exclusions contained in items A and B are mutually exclusive.

    It doesn’t specify what constitues “a day” (is it any length of time spent at the daycare sight in one 24 hour period?) or whether providing childcare for financial gain requires a license. Unfortunately, this woman could “technically” get in trouble for this here in MN too, but I’m wondering if all of us look at our state’s law about childcare, if the same would apply. Just because someone is licensed doesn’t mean it’s a safe place to go either. We just had a news story about a daycare man abusing the kids in his care. I know people who provide a loving and safe and fun place for kids to go while there are licensed daycares I wouldn’t send a rat to let alone my kids. How do those people get through the system while this lady is just trying to do the right thing? I understand why we have laws in place/why they are needed, but where is common sense? Shouldn’t the kids’ safety be the most important thing here? And like Tosha said, where does it stop?

  6. nikki says:

    This is thee most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in a long time! The one thing I have noticed is a lot of the licensed daycares care more about the money than they do the children. Frankly this down right just pisses me off! IDK what else to say!

  7. Just a Mom says:

    I think this poor lady being in truoble is absolutely assinine!
    Whoever complained about this should be thankful that the kids are being watched by an adult and not hanging out in the streets causing trouble!

  8. James says:

    Sombody needs a beating with the stupid stick and it aint the nice neighbour who is keeping the kids safe!

  9. Beth says:

    Could you come to my neighborhood and watch and make sure that my kids are protected as well. Especially when the school sent my 6 yr old home to an empty house today. If I had a neighbor like you I could teach him to go and knock on your door and know that he would be safe.

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