Family child care providers care for 3 to 12 children in their own homes, often with an assistant.
SEIU members have negotiated and won funding increases that have raised wages for family child care. Since organizing with SEIU, family child care providers have won higher rates for subsidized children, won quality improvements and have improved finances for the whole child care profession, including in Illinois, Washington, Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Child care providers in Rhode Island are now negotiating their first contract, and California’s early educators are working toward the same goal.
Parents often choose family child care because of the small size and home-like setting, or for cultural reasons. Family child cares operate under standards set by individual states.
Licensed providers: Open their home child care to general public. They are licensed and inspected by the state government to insure quality curriculum, safety and training. Many, but not all, accept state vouchers for the children of underpaid workers. They are an especially vital part of child care for infants and in rural areas where child care centers are distant.
Informal providers: Low wage parents can also use child care vouchers to pay a neighbor or relative to care for children while they work. By uniting in SEIU, informal providers have been able to gain training in early childhood education and community support for their work.