Child care professionals are an integral part of the Vermont landscape. We place children at the forefront of our businesses, and we provide educational experiences to children and valuable and trusted care while parents work and attend school. We take advantage of continuing education and use creativity to keep children learning and engaged on a daily basis.
Vermonters for the Independence of Child Care Professionals believes that S.316 would undermine our work by failing to encourage higher quality standards for providers. The bill would weaken quality by authorizing a union to bargain over the allocation of reimbursement rates.
S.316 would not provide higher wages or health care. In fact, for most providers across the state, this bill will result in a net loss in our operating budget. A subsidy increase is a parent benefit, not a provider benefit. Providers will still have to pay dues out of their pockets, resulting in a loss.
A majority of child care professionals are independent business owners who provide services out of our own homes. We set our own wages, vacation schedules and hours. We manage our own working conditions, choose to save for retirement, and select and pay for our health care insurance. Further, providers across Vermont have stated that they will no longer accept families receiving subsidy in order to avoid having to pay union dues or agency fees. This does nothing to increase the quality or availability of child care in Vermont.
S.316 would eliminate the voices and rights of the child care professionals who have significant impact on the most critical development stage in life. This is not only a strong and clear infringement of our First Amendment right to petition our government, but it removes the emphasis on the ever-important child and falsely places the emphasis on child care professionals at the expense of a union.
Elsa Bosma organized the group Vermonters for the Independence of Child Care Professionals and owns a day care facility in Shelburne.MORE IN Commentary
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