Parents in all income brackets struggle with the cost of child care, but especially low-wage workers. Family child care providers see their challenges first-hand and have advocated for parents’ needs. Here are a few examples of what we have achieved by coming together:
ILLINOIS: SEIU providers won expansion of the federal Child and Adult Food Program—making these funds available to licensed-exempt providers for the first time, easing costs for parents and ensuring healthier nutrition for children. SEIU providers in other states have been able to follow Illinois’ example.
OREGON: In 2007, Oregon SEIU child care providers worked to improve access for low-income working parents by reducing the parent co-pay by 20% and expanded the eligibility from 150% to 185% of the poverty line. They reduced the steepness of the “benefits cliff” as parents gained earnings.
WASHINGTON: As Washington endured a severe economic downturn and the state budget faced a crisis, family child care providers decided to divert all planned reimbursement rate increases in order to keep parent co-pays stable, preserving parents’ ability to afford quality child care.
MARYLAND: Maryland child care providers kept child care affordable for low-income working parents by holding parent co-payments steady. After the state instituted a wait list for child care assistance in 2011, SEIU providers worked to preserve access for working families – and in February of 2013, providers helped win state funding to reduce the parent waiting list for child care assistance, providing access to care for an additional 2,300 families.