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A day-care employee washed the hands of a toddler at a home day care.

Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

Letter of the Day (May 18): Child-care union

  • May 17, 2013 - 5:59 PM

Don’t buy the spin coming from the Star Tribune Editorial Board (“DFL’s day care overreach,” May 16). Child-care providers across Minnesota want a union and have delivered 874 handwritten letters to their legislators in support of it. The idea that we are merely on a wish list for the union is demeaning to every provider who has fought so hard for this.

The editorial writers rhetorically asked how a union would improve day care. They could have picked up the phone and asked. We in-home based providers are thousands of dollars cheaper than day care centers. New York saw a 13 percent increase in the number of in-home based providers who take subsidized children after a union went into place. More in-home providers will save Minnesota families thousands of dollars per year. This paper can have its own opinions, but not its own facts.

The idea that every provider should be able to vote, regardless of whether she or he takes state subsidies, is nonsensical. Providers who don’t take CCAP children don’t have a relationship with the state that directly impacts their financial situation. It would be like allowing private school teachers to vote on a union for public school teachers.

It’s offensive to suggest that a union for providers is a lifeline to labor. A union will be our voice. Organizations like Ready for K and Child Care WORKS, have closed their doors due to lack of funding; associations have been ineffective in keeping CCAP rates from being cut.

Don’t let the opinions of editorial writers fool you; child care providers want a union.

MARLINE BLAKE, Minneapolis

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