This is a response to Lynne’s post regarding her support for Question 3. The following is an email from my mother,who works in a family day care system in Lawrence. She is strongly opposed to this question. I personally still do not know where I stand on this issues, it is very complicated for me, but I thought the perspective of someone who works in this field might add to the debate.
It sounds wonderful the way she is describing it, however, it will limit the number of families that will be helped through subsidized care. The regulations she is referring to are licensing regulations. These are standard throughout the industry. In fact, they are less strict for home day care providers than they are for center-based. Those regulations are not going to go away because home day care providers are unionized. Those regulations are there to protect the children in care. Home day care providers are independent business people. Unless they are contracted with a family day care system, they are not mandated to accept state subsidized children. Therefore, if they feel the reimbursement is too low, then they have the option of choosing not to accept vouchers. What will happen if a bill like this is passed is that the state will be forced to raise reimbursement rates. That means that out of the money available to help low income working families, more money will be going to each provider and less money will be available to help low income families resulting in higher paid providers and fewer families being served. When these low income working families can’t access child care, they can’t work. THen one of two things happens – they go on welfare or they leave the state.
By the way, this is not just a union forming of family day care workers. This is service workers something , something union trying to increase it’s membership in the state, giving it more power. Most of our family day care workers are against this bill because they understand in the long run, it will cost them more money and they will be forced to compete for private paying parents.
Two other things to keep in mind:
Most well-run family day care providers make in excess of 40K.
If this measure passes, many of the smaller family day care systems, which provide lots of training and support, especially to non English speaking family day care providers will simply close their doors, leaving these providers to fend for themselves. Many of the non English speaking providers will lose valuable support and as a result will not doubt close themselves.