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Pennsylvania – Thousands More Vote ‘Yes’ for Child Care Providers United

Twenty thousand home-based child care providers throughout Pennsylvania have joined with 3,700 state-registered and licensed providers to form their own union, Child Care Providers UNITED (CCP UNITED).

Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Child Care Providers

Day of Victory – Pennsylvania child care providers Ethel Soloman (left) and Sherrie Richardson (holding shirt) celebrate after some 20,000 home-based providers joined Child Care Providers UNITED. 

Photo Credit: Vanessa Clifford

 

Twenty thousand home-based child care providers throughout Pennsylvania have joined with 3,700 state-registered and licensed providers to form their own union, Child Care Providers UNITED (CCP UNITED).

An overwhelming majority of the home-based providers voted this spring to join CCP UNITED, which is jointly affiliated with AFSCME and the Service Employees International Union. Although these providers receive a state reimbursement, they are exempt from state certification because they are only allowed to care for up to three children.

Registered providers voted last October to join CCP UNITED. Regulated by the state, they can care for up to six children.

“This is an exciting day for family child care providers and the working parents who depend on us,” says Philadelphia provider Sherrie Richardson. “Now we have one strong voice and can work with the state to improve regulations, increase training opportunities, and win other changes that will raise the quality of child care in Pennsylvania.”

Clearfield County child care provider Bonnie Caldwell, who is also executive director of CCP UNITED, says the union is transforming child care in Pennsylvania. “Studies have linked quality child care in the early years with better academic performance and less problematic behavior among schoolchildren,” she explains. “With our new, unified voice we’ll be able to raise child care standards across the entire state.”

Publicly funded family child care providers have won the right to form a union in 10 states since 2005. The Pennsylvania providers’ victory is part of a national movement to gain dignity and strength by joining with AFSCME, which now represents about 188,000 family child care providers, plus more than 15,000 day care and Head Start workers, in California, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.