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Unionizing childcare is a bad idea

Letter to the Editor

— Unionizing does not promote higher quality education standards.

When it comes to unionizing childcare, the discussions have revolved around increased pay (for the provider), increased reimbursement rates (for the provider) and professional development and training (for the provider). Very seldom do we hear discussion about child development or improved early education.

As an independent childcare provider, I am able to set my own rates. These rates are fair and reasonable for the families I serve and allow me to live at the level of comfort I have chosen. With a union, these are added costs of doing business. If I were forced to pay dues, or agency fees, I would be forced to impart some of those fees on my clients. How is increasing the costs of doing business and having to pass along some of those costs going to benefit the children or families I serve?

I am for professional development and training to better myself as a provider, but there are programs available through the state that are not mandated or regulated by a union. The state pays for providers to become nationally accredited, pays higher reimbursement rates for achieving quality standards and offers low cost or free workshops, classes and certifications that help me further the development of children. These same programs offer assistance opportunities to parents to reduce the costs of childcare.

I don’t believe the union truly emphasizes the best interests of children, as education and growth benefits for children fall by the wayside in union discussions. I believe a union will create more regulation and demand on me and consume valuable time that would otherwise be spent on the development of children.

Martha Sullivan DeGraaf

Registered Home Provider

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