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Family Day Care Providers Can Bargain Collectively

A new law gives more power to people who care for children in their home.

Editor's note: The following is a press release:

Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill into law that gives family day care providers the ability to unionize and receive professional develoment.

The law gives nearly 4,000 qualified family child care providers who offer subsidized early education and child care services to low-income and other at risk children through the state the ability to unionize and collectively bargain with the state over subsidy rates, reimbursement and payment procedures, recruitment/retention of providers and professional development opportunities.

“Family child care providers play a critical role in preparing our youngest residents for success in the classroom and lifelong learning,” Patrick said. “This bill will ensure they have a strong voice in our continued efforts to deliver high quality educational opportunities for all children in Massachusetts.”

Family day care providers care for young children in their homes, under the supervision of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). They must be licensed and are subject to quality review.

“This legislation will give family child care workers the voice they deserve, ensuring they have the benefits and tools to provide the highest quality of care for our youngest residents,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Joanne Goldstein said.

The law also allows eligible family child care providers to collectively bargain with the EEC on matters of educational and training opportunities and recruitment and retention of qualified providers, helping to ensure that programs are providing high quality care and education opportunities for children at an early age. 

"Today is a great day for the more than 4500 family child care providers across the state who have fought together to gain a voice in the critical work they do," Susan Tousignant, President of SEIU Local 509, said. "They are on the front lines every day caring for the most vulnerable children in our Commonwealth. We proudly welcome them into SEIU Local 509 and look forward to working with them, the Administration, the Legislature, and other stakeholders to improve and to expand early child hood education in Massachusetts."

What do you think of this new bill? Will it provide caregivers with better benefits?

Helen DeCoste September 18, 2012 at 03:17 PM
It's about time family childcare providers get the recognition they deserve and may finally get some long awaited benefits.
Conni DiLego September 19, 2012 at 03:25 AM
This is a very,very good thing! It's vital that these caregivers get an open door not only to the possible health benefits and recognition, but PRIMARILY that they will have increased opportunity for continuing their education and obtaining the tools they need to give our kids the best possible experience, with happier, more satisfied, better educated and prepared caregivers. A big high five to the gov on this one! (and of course to everyone that worked so hard to get it passed!)
Grace Richardson September 26, 2012 at 07:28 AM
This new bill signed into law considers family child care educators as State Public employees with the right to Collectively Bargain with the State for rates, regulations and work conditions. However, Family Child Care educators will not have the right to Health Care; Retirement or Pension plans like other State Public employees. And unlike the Chicago Public School Teachers, under this Bill Family Child Care Educators will not have the right to strike!

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