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Child care union is good for providers, children, families

The Minnesota Senate voted in favor of workers’ rights. They chose to let the workers decide their employment futures. Because of the Senate’s vote, child care providers can make their own choice to unionize; and for that, I thank those senators who voted yes.

I’ve spent many years as a child care provider. It’s a tough job and many times not glamorous, but I love doing it. The services I provide to families in my community are necessary and valued. Unfortunately, funding for child care assistance programs has dropped by more than $11 million between 2008 and 2011. Minnesota has also cut reimbursement rates and funding for training.

With cuts like these, every year becomes more difficult to keep my small business afloat. My situation however, is not unique. From talking with other child care providers, I see their frustration and we wonder what can be done to improve our situation. If we had more control over the rates, rules, and policies directing the care we provide, we could directly raise the standards and quality of care we provide. The option of unionizing gives us that chance.

So I say thanks Senator Eken for voting yes to give me and many other providers a chance for a seat at the table. Your yes vote is good for providers and the children and families they serve. — Wendy Novak, Child Care Provider, Dilworth