Child Care Collective Bargaining Act Clears House Labor Committee
03/15/2013 – 5:02pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2013 download PDF
CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544
St. Paul, MN – Legislation authorizing home-based child care providers to bargain collectively with the State of Minnesota cleared the House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee today. This legislation would improve care for children and make it more affordable for working parents.
Alexandria child care provider Lynn Barten said, “I run my own small business. Unionizing does not change that. I will still negotiate my price, my hours and my terms with individual parents. This legislation gives child care providers the right to choose whether or not to organize a union. We’re smart. Let us make the choice.”
This bill includes both licensed and legally unlicensed providers who receive subsidies from the Child Care Assistance Program because all children need to be prepared for school and success in life.
“Collective bargaining will help the State of Minnesota maximize its investment in helping working parents to access quality child care,” said Rep. Mike Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park), the bill’s author.
Doreen Aristy, a New York child care provider and member of VOICE (Voice of Individual Childcare Educators) spoke of the positive impact a union has made for child care providers, children and parents in her state. “New York recognizes the right of child care providers to bargain collectively with the state. For us, it’s been a partnership for success. Working together, we’ve improved training and support for providers while increasing quality and affordability for parents,” said Aristy. “Minnesota should learn from our experience.”
Half of Minnesota’s children are not prepared for kindergarten and many are living in poverty with poor nutrition. To address these urgent problems, the state needs to help more children eat and learn in the homes of family child care providers. Ensuring that providers have direct input on the state’s child care system will help the state close the achievement gap and better prepare children for school.