In December 2011, Connecticut’s family child care providers voted 95%-5% to organize together to improve their working conditions and designate CSEA-SEIU Local 2001 as their union. The more than 4,500 providers who care for thousands of children through the state’s Care4Kids program were responding to the low wages, lack of access to affordable health care, and system inefficiencies that make their own economic standing precarious.
Ironically, these same child care providers are the support for thousands of low-wage working families, who are themselves struggling to gain their place in the middle class.
And they are the hope for a fairer society. Family child care providers support children’s social and emotional development and academic success, shrinking children’s achievement gaps in their earliest years and preparing them to be good students and productive citizens.
Family child care providers in Connecticut care deeply about their profession and the families they serve, and want to make child care work better for everyone. Now they see a way forward by working together with the state. Enabling family child care providers to organize for a voice in shaping child care policy is a wise investment in our children, our economy and our future.