First Contract for Kansas Child Care Providers

March 11, 2009

Historic Day
HISTORIC DAY – Kansas home child care providers and several officials of two state departments gathered recently to sign the providers’ first contract as members of CCPT/AFSCME. (Photo Credit: Don Zavodny)

Seven-thousand registered or licensed home child care providers, who came together in 2007 to form Child Care Providers Together Kansas (CCPT) /AFSCME, celebrated another milestone in February by signing their first contract with the state.

“This gives us a voice,” says Scott Keller, who runs a group child care home in Wichita and was recently elected president of Kansas CCPT Local 644, part of Kansas/Missouri Council 72.

“As we move forward and the membership continues to grow, we will have an impact on important regulatory and legislative issues.”

The contract establishes the framework for strengthening ties between the providers, two state agencies and the Legislature. Specifically, it adopts a list of provider rights and sets guidelines for licensing, professional development and the payment process. In addition, the state agencies involved in overseeing child care agree to work with CCPT to gain support in the Legislature to increase the rate of subsidies that have not been raised since 2002.

“Through CCPT and AFSCME, we have a bullhorn to make sure we’re heard,” says Keller.

The AFSCME affiliate was recognized in July 2007 when Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) signed an Executive Order granting the state-regulated child care providers statewide collective bargaining rights.

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