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?