by Korey Hartwich | May 25, 2012
Migdalia Diaz (center) is a child care provider in Middlesex, N.J., and a member of AFSCME Local 2779
Two new studies find that child care providers – who often grapple with inadequate pay, benefits and training – have better access to crucial professional development when they join a union. The result? Improved quality in children’s care.
Researchers at Rutgers University studied the unionization experiences of “family, friend and neighbor” (FFN) child care providers and registered family child care (FCC) providers represented by AFSCME Local 2779 (Council 1) in New Jersey. Participants in the study viewed AFSCME as essential to their job.
“The union is key to help us get training, improve our skills, learn teaching methods, and improve the quality of child care,” said Migdalia Diaz, a child care provider in Middlesex, N.J.
Susan Fago, a child care provider and member of AFSCME Local 2779
Patricia Sinkler a child care provider in Hudson County, N.J., has been a child care provider for 18 years. “Since the union was set up, we have received training more frequently and are working to improve the quality of trainings,” Sinkler said.
Susan Fago, a child care provider in Camden County, N.J., agreed, adding that the chance to exchange ideas with union colleagues has been invaluable.
“The union has given me an opportunity to get to know other child care providers, which has helped me to share ideas, enhance my curriculum and provide better activities for the children,” she said.
A second report from the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI) analyzed the impact of training initiatives in Washington state and found that training boosts providers’ knowledge and skill levels, increases professional connections with other providers, and leads to improved job satisfaction.