The regulation of day care is 100 years old this year.In the past 15 to 20 years, however, day-care regulation hascome to consume $47 million of taxpayers' money. Today, all50 states and the District of Columbia have some day-care regulations. More significant, day-care facilities are also subject to a host of local zoning, building, health, fire, andsafety statutes. These regulations, which vary from state tostate and municipality to municipality, can dictate everythingfrom the time a facility opens to the width of the exit door.The intent of these regulations is to ensure minimum health andsafety standards for the children and to guarantee responsiblecare by the day-care provider. Unfortunately, many requirements do little to achieve these aims, while a major effect ofregulation has been to raise the cost of day-care services,driving providers underground and limiting the number of children who can benefit. Unnecessary regulations are stifling thesupply of day care at a time when the need has never beengreater and shows every sign of continuing to surge.