Licensed Family Child Care Providers
General Rate Increases
Care4Kids reimbursement rates will increase by 12% over the 4 year duration of the contract. These general rate increases shall be provided to all licensed Family Child Care Providers and apply to all age groups – infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children.
• Effective January 1, 2014 Care4Kids general rates will increase 3%
• Effective January 1, 2015 Care4Kids general rates will increase 3%
• Effective January 1, 2016 Care4Kids general rates will increase 3%
• Effective January 1, 2017 Care4Kids general rates will increase 3%
Additional Rate Increases for Children under the Age of Three
For years licensed centers have been paid at a higher rate than licensed family child care providers for the care of infants and toddlers. Thanks to this contract, rates for licensed home-based providers will reach parity with licensed centers by 2016. These increases for children under three are in addition to the general rate increases mentioned above.
• Effective January 1, 2014 Infants and Toddler Program rates will increase 8.25%
• Effective January 1, 2015 Infants and Toddler Program rates will increase 8.25%
• Effective January 1, 2016 Infants and Toddler Program rates will increase 10%
• Effective In January 2017, increases will be made to maintain parity with licensed centers.
License-Exempt Family Child Care Providers
General Rate Increases
The new hourly rate reflects an increase of 29% in the first year (from $2.23/hr to $2.90/hr). The rate will increase by 3% in the second year. The rate for license-exempt providers will be one-third (1/3) of the State’s minimum wage. The weekly payment for the unit of care shall be determined by practices currently in place for quarter-time, half-time and full-time plus care.
Minimum Wage 1/3 Minimum Wage
• Minimum wage effective January 1, 2014 $8.70 $2.90
• Minimum wage effective January 1, 2015 $9.00 $3.00
• Minimum wage effective January 1, 2016* $9.00 $3.00
• Minimum wage effective January 1, 2017* $9.00 $3.00
*If the minimum wage for the State of Connecticut increases on January 1, 2016 or
January 1, 2017, the minimum wage for this program shall increase in relation to the new minimum wage.
Care 4 Kids Family Child Care
Contract Highlights 2014
Licensed and License-Exempt Providers
Service Recognition Bonus
All family child care providers with more than one year of service with Care 4 Kids shall receive a one-time lump sum payment as soon as the contract is approved:
• Licensed Providers — $80
• License-Exempt Providers — $40
Family child care providers shall be paid $75 for attendance at the Office of Early Childhood’s new four-hour mandatory orientation program. This will include an orientation to the Care4Kids program, training on the eligibility and billing process and on becoming licensed; information on the quality enhancement programs that are offered through the Office of Early Childhood and other specialized training as determined by the Office of Early Childhood. New providers will have 60 days to attend
the orientation. Existing providers will have until January of 2016 to complete the orientation.
In order to encourage families, friends and neighbors to obtain their license, the Office of Early Childhood will reimburse these license-exempt providers for their licensing fee. After one year, the newly-licensed provider will receive a one-time $500 bonus for maintaining that licensed status.
The state will allocate $750,000 over the life of the contract for professional development. Funds may be used to gain certification in CPR, First Aid, medical administration; to further one’s knowledge of child development, behavioral management, financial management, early literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL); and to attain a college degree related specifically to early childhood. Special recognition and a one-time lump sum payment (to be determined) will be given to those providers who have or who achieve a Child Development Associate and/or NAFCC accreditation.
The Office of Early Childhood will distribute information concerning the availability of monies available to family child care providers for renovations required to residences to become a licensed family child care provider or group home and for rehabilitation and capital equipment to improve the quality of care.
A Stronger Voice for Union Members
A formal problem-solving procedure with opportunity for arbitration is established to address payment issues with the State and Care4Kids program while maintaining Family Child Care Provider rights in relationship with parents.
Labor Management Committee
The Union and the State will have regularly scheduled Labor/Management Committee meetings both on a state-wide and a regional basis to discuss issues of concern to family child care providers.
Future Policy Decisions
An agreement was reached to establish a seat for the Union within the Governor’s Early Childhood Cabinet. In addition, a work group made up of Union and State representatives shall study the access that providers have to health care insurance following the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act and explore the payment issues around non-standard hours of care.
Why have providers chosen to join together in SEIU Kids First?
Connecticut Family Child Care Providers who participate in the Care 4 Kids program voted 95% to 5% in December 2011 for SEIU. Together we’ll have a strong voice for child care. Under the Governor’s Executive Order, we can now meet and confer directly wit the state about what we need to improve our profession and to successfully teach and care for young children. But legislation is needed to win full collective bargaining rights.
Will we become state employees?
No, we will continue to be independent business people and control our own business and day-to-day decisions. But under pending legislation we will be able to reach binding agreements with the state over funding, training, and other matters related to our participation in Care4Kids.
How will our union work?
Now that we’ve voted to form our union we can choose our leaders and reach out to all Care 4 Kids providers so their issues and opinions can be addressed when we officially meet with the state.
How can we make sure that we keep our new rights?
The Executive Order gave us the ability to begin meetings with the State. It also established a working group (including family child care providers) to recommend a law giving us full collective bargaining rights. In February, the working group issued a report setting forth a path to codifying those rights. Our next goal is to have legislation passed. Providers will need to call, write, and visit their legislators to make sure the right to negotiate legally binding agreements becomes law.
Will we pay dues? How much will they be? Will everyone have to pay?
Providers will decide who will pay dues and how much. We will only pay dues after we have bargaining rights written into law by the legislature and we vote to approve a contract that we feel is worth paying dues for. Of course, union membership is completely voluntary–but by uniting many, many family child care providers we will have the strongest voice with the state.
If we win improved rates, will fewer children be served by Care 4 Kids?
No. Across the United States, SEIU Kids First providers have been a strong voice for children and their parents. Since organizing their unions, providers have worked with legislators and state officials to expand access for thousands of children and families. In Oregon, providers helped thousands more families afford quality care. Providers in Washington have worked hard to keep parent co-payments low, even in bad budget years. And in Illinois, more providers signed up with the state child care program after rates improved, giving parents more choices.
What improvements have providers in other states been able to win by joining SEIU Kids First?
By joining together, child care providers have been able to improve state-paid rates, so that more experienced child care providers can stay in business and care for young children. Working together, SEIU Kids First providers in Illinois and Washington have won affordable health care to ensure consistent care for children and reliable services for working parents. Illinois and Washington providers also won workforce development improvements, including higher rates if they meet quality standards and get extra training. Even in bad state budget years, providers have won improvements like dedicated provider hotlines that get parent eligibility and payment problems solved quickly and efficiently.
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.