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Child-care unionization will harm children, providers, taxpayers

Family child-care providers are independent small business owners and employers, not workers.

Child-care unionization will harm children, providers, families and taxpayers, just as it has in other states. It is unconstitutional and violates labor laws. Family child-care providers are independent small business owners and employers, not workers. Only 9 states currently have child-care unions. Providers in New York, some (if not all) of whom were paid to be in Minnesota for the legislative hearings and debates, pay $400 —  $700/year, but their subsidy rate has never increased.

A previous letter writer stated that “no decisions should be made about us without us,” yet this vote excludes almost 50 percent of all licensed family child-care providers from a decision that will affect all of us. Providers already have the choice to join AFSCME. Unionization does not give providers anything we cannot do ourselves as we can and do talk with licensors and legislators about issues that concern us and the children and families in our care. She claimed that we will still be self-employed, yet the bill states that we will be public employees. A self-employed public employee? Yeah, that makes sense.

If a vote passes, it forces every provider who accepts children on assistance to pay AFSCME through union dues or fair-share fees. Family child-care providers will have to pass those costs on to the families in their care by raising their rates or they would have to just accept the expense.

Providers have said they will stop caring for children on assistance if they have to pay the union, thus limiting the access to high-quality family child care for low-income children and families who need it most. AFSCME will also take more than $4 million a year from funds meant to help low-income children and families.

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