By Bill Mattox, JMI Resident Fellow
The Florida Department of Education’s plan to close the Gwen Cherry Child Development Center has aroused protests from Cherry parents and “Whole Child advocates” who – rightly – point out that having a consistent caregiver promotes healthy child development, especially in the critical first few years of life.But rather than blaming state officials for making a decision that most Florida taxpayers would consider prudent (see previous blog post here, Cherry parents should be questioning whether Whole Child advocates left them vulnerable to having “the blanket pulled out from under them” by pushing for a $2,000-a-year “perk” that other state employees did not receive.Indeed, in many ways, the Cherry closing is a good object lesson for state legislators and other Floridians who might be tempted to think that (in good economic times) the state can afford to dole out special “goodies” to favored constituencies.  Because in tough economic times, these “goodies” are apt to be taken away.  And the people who will suffer most when this happens will be the very children that the Whole Child lobby claims to represent.