And Don’t Let Us Catch You Being Neighborly Again

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

State bureaucrats threaten to fine, jail a Michigan woman for watching her neighbor’s kids.

Lisa Snyder of Middleville says her neighborhood school bus stop is right in front of her home. It arrives after her neighbors need to be at work, so she watches three of their children for 15-40 minutes until the bus comes.

The Department of Human Services received a complaint that Snyder was operating an illegal child care home. DHS contacted Snyder and told her to get licensed, stop watching her neighbors’ kids, or face the consequences.

“It’s ridiculous.” says Snyder. “We are friends helping friends!” She added that she accepts no money for babysitting…

A DHS spokesperson would not comment on the specifics of the case but says they have no choice but to comply with state law, which is designed…

…wait for it…

…to protect Michigan children.

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29 Responses to “And Don’t Let Us Catch You Being Neighborly Again”

  1. #1 |  perlhaqr | 

    I’m sure those children will be much safer sitting out by the bus stop with no supervision.,

  2. #2 |  J sub D | 

    Leave ’em standing at the bus stop during a January cold snap with a sign – “Child protective services is why we’re out here”.

  3. #3 |  J sub D | 

    And the busybody neighbor who called the authorities over this needs to be slapped around.

    Of course the jerk’s identity will be protected by anonymity laws, but if anyone finds out, a neighborhood wide shunning of the busybody is in order.

  4. #4 |  dave smith | 

    I love laws that are “designed.”

    Everyone still needs to read Hayek.

  5. #5 |  dave smith | 

    And something else, they do have a choice. I am sure that Michigan DHS is like DHS everywhere else….constant complains of back loads of cases, under funding, etc.

    They could have not gotten to this complaint.

    Meanwhile, some child who really needs some help went without.

  6. #6 |  Bob Dole Lives! | 

    But who is going to protect me from “them”?

  7. #7 |  JS | 

    God I hate what America has become.

  8. #8 |  Bob | 

    It appears that this is the result of a very confusing law, and a an active group of ‘licensed’ day care providers using that to rat out their neighbors for profit.

    Basically, the law says: “Family day care home” means a private home in which 1 but fewer than 7 minor children are received for care and supervision for periods of less than 24 hours a day, unattended by a parent or legal guardian, except children related to an adult member of the family by blood, marriage, or adoption. Family day care home includes a home that gives care to an unrelated minor child for more than 4 weeks during a calendar year.

    It’s incredibly poorly written. If your child visits a friend and you’re not there, that’s a violation.

    One of this woman’s neighbors is probably ‘licensed’ and wants to force the kids to stay there for profit.

  9. #9 |  cb | 

    Even a legislator could see that this is crazy. The laws can be changed.

  10. #10 |  Mario | 

    J sub D @ #3

    And the busybody neighbor who called the authorities…

    …is another mother who is jealous either because the woman’s husband makes more money than hers, or because of some other petty intrigue for which suburbanites are famous.

    The snitch, the politicians, and the social workers all need to get a life. That’s the real motivation behind intrusive laws.

  11. #11 |  Gerald A | 

    I’d keep do it and take my chances in court. Just have a video camera running when the DHS jerks show up.

  12. #12 |  seeker6079 | 

    What Dave Smith said.

    This is where the lazy ones come in. In every enforcement organization there’s folks who like the challenges and folks who like the low-hanging fruit. Going after some psycho is who cuts his gf’s kids, and might cut you, now that’s HARD. There’s a certain type of person who will always put that at the bottom of the priority list.

  13. #13 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Which is more oppressive?

    The government of King George III


    The government under which we presently live?

  14. #14 |  Frank | 

    #2 I like this idea. Post pictures up on the net and hold a press conference.

    #6 “But who is going to protect me from “them”?”

    You’re going to have to do that yourself. The recommended tools for that purpose are tar, feathers and a fence rail. If that fails to work, you can escalate to a tall tree and a short rope.

  15. #15 |  Frank | 

    #13 I’d have to say the current government. But we’ve brought it on ourselves by failing to follow post #14.

  16. #16 |  Sean L. | 

    add, “… except when there is no monetary compensation between parties.” to the law. Problem solved.

  17. #17 |  dave smith |

    Just enforce the laws on child endangerment, abuse, and abandonment.

    Don’t make ANY care situation illegal.

  18. #18 |  Mattocracy | 

    This is why licensing is so dangerous. A license is like like saying I have permission from the government. I shouldn’t need permission from the government to do anything. There are already politicians in Michigan talking about amending this law, but they should really be talking about repelling the law all together.

  19. #19 |  Aunty Nanny | 

    Would the State DCS have any problem if the kids were there for a quick play date before school? Do they regulate how many friends someone’s children can have over at one time for play? Semantics and sophistry should be played to advantage.

  20. #20 |  JRL | 

    More of the same on the other side of the Atlantic:

  21. #21 |  perlhaqr | 

    Mattocracy: This is why I hate CCW laws so much. I should not need a goddamn permission slip to “keep and bear arms”.

  22. #22 |  damaged justice | 

    Semantics and sophistry should be played to advantage.

    Only if you want to play their game. At which they will win, every time.

    “The only way to win is not to play.”

  23. #23 |  Aunty Nanny | 

    @Damaged Justice~Ireland was freed by learning the game, and playing it just as well, if not a wee bit better.

  24. #24 |  Bad Medicine | 

    So… the obvious question (in my mind at least) is “what about babysitters!?” Does this mean they can bust a babysitter as an illegal child care operation???

    Is this what the other side of the looking glass looks like?

  25. #25 |  Steve Verdon | 

    But seeker6709 who will speak for these poor children if not the state. You picked a funny time to suddenly find your libertarian side.

  26. #26 |  Cynical in CA | 

    I am guilty.

    Last year, one of my daughter’s friends was attending an AM onsite daycare at their school that cost her mom $300/mo. I suggested to her mom that she be dropped off at our house in the morning and we would drive both girls to school. Saved her beaucoup bucks and she gave us a nice Omaha Steaks gift certificate for Xmas.

    I deserved to be sent to the foulest dungeon in all of California. San Quentin is too good for me.


  27. #27 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    #25 Steve Verdon,
    You aren’t even trying to understand Seeker’s viewpoint. He believes that the state is a necessary protection especially for those with no other protectors. This is hardly inconsistent with believing that unthinking inflexible application of poorly thought out rules will lead to injustice.

  28. #28 |  Andrew Williams | 


  29. #29 |  BoosMama1979 | 

    so I guess because I “babysit” My husband’s coworker’s son I am violating the law too? Ok then I’ll just tell her to leave her 2 year old at home alone while she goes to work! For peet’s sake the Government might as well control how many times we’re allowed to use the bathroom a day too! Free country my ass