April 09, 2008
April 9, 2008
LOBBY DAY – CCPT/Kansas/AFSCME members and some of the children they provide care for spent a day at the Capitol in Topeka this month visiting lawmakers to urge them to support subsidy increases and other improvements in their working conditions.
Photo Credit: Anthony Bush
About 100 family child care providers from throughout the state lobbied their legislators at the Capitol in Topeka in March, seeking an increase in subsidy rates that have not been raised since 2002.
Tina Amour, a family child care provider in Lawrence, says:
“We are gaining an audience with the decision makers and establishing our rightful place for what we do.”
As part of their campaign to win respect for themselves and their profession, the providers also are working to change a rule that can penalize those who are found to have more children in the house than allowed by law, even if the reason is because a parent is late to pick up a child.
The newly minted lobbyists are just a few of the 7,000 registered and licensed providers who are members of Child Care Providers Together Kansas/AFSCME. Their new union was recognized last July after Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) signed an Executive Order granting them statewide collective bargaining rights.
The success of the Kansas providers is part of a national movement among child care providers to gain dignity and strength by joining with AFSCME, which represents – in addition to Kansas – about 150,000 family child care providers in California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
To read more about Child Care Providers Together Kansas/AFSCME and what its members are doing to improve their work lives, check out this story in The Lawrence Journal-World.