WA lifetime ban on childcare work held unconstitutional

On February 21, 2019, the Washington State Supreme Court declared that a state regulation imposing a lifetime ban from ever obtaining a childcare license, or having unsupervised access to children in childcare, is unconstitutional as applied to Chrystal Fields.  The lifetime ban was triggered by Ms. Fields’ 1988 attempted second degree robbery conviction for trying to grab a woman’s purse in front of a drugstore.  (The licensing agency has a list of 50 permanently disqualifying convictions, one of which is robbery; an attempted offense is treated the same as a completed offense.)  The court held that the licensing agency’s failure to conduct an individualized determination of Ms. Fields’ qualifications violated her federal right to due process.  Fields v. Dep’t of Early Learning, No. 95024-5 (Wash. Feb. 21, 2019).  The full decision is available here.  A brief discussion of the case follows.

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