Parents and local officials should be allowed to make their own decisions about child day care, without the intervention of the federal government, Sen. Malcolm Wallop said Thursday.

The Wyoming Republican and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told those gathered at a public forum at the Cheyenne Family Practice Center that guidelines for child care should originate at the state and local level, not in the nation's capital."Each state and community has different needs, which vary greatly," said Hatch. "What works in California may not necessarily work for states like Wyoming and Utah."

Businesses also should take on more responsibility for providing child care, he said. "Quality day care is becoming a major problem," said Hatch. "We feel it would be better to have a parent at home with the child, but that just is not possible in many cases now. We want to encourage the best possible child care, whether it be in the home or in a licensed situation."

Hatch and Wallop outlined a proposal through which federal funds would be used to allow for more equitable funding at all levels of society. Hatch's proposal encourages in-home child care, and at the same time would help states set up advisory committees to oversee and encourage quality day care.