PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- A pair of Rhode Island legislators, along with a local labor union, are making the pitch to pass legislation that would create a new council of advisors for CCAP, the program that provides financial assistance to families for child care, as well as set up representation for child care providers at the State House.
The proposed legislation would "give providers and parents a voice... for quality early learning," said a news release from SEIU 1199 New England. Rep. Scott Slater and Sen. Maryellen Goodwin are the sponsors of the legislation.
The Rhode Island Quality Family Child Care Act of 2013 would set up a Parent Advisory Council, primarily made up of parents or guardians who take part in or have taken part in CCAP. The council would advise the governor's office on "the quality, affordability and accessibility of child care offered through CCAP."
The Act also states the right of CCAP providers to choose a union, or "provider representative," to negotiate with the state over the terms and conditions of the providers' participation in the program: training and professional development, benefits, payment procedures, and a grievance resolution process.
CCAP members can then become members of the provider representative -- and pay requisite dues. Those that don't join would have a "service charge" deducted "as a contribution toward the negotiation and administration of the written contract," the proposed Act says.
The proposed Act expressly says the child care providers are not employees of the state, and would not be authorized to engage in any "strike or other collective cessation of the delivery of child care services."
Child care providers "are not covered by any existing labor law," the news release said; it also stated that nearly 80 percent of providers have already joined SEIU.
"Other states, including our neighbors in Massachusetts and Connecticut, have enacted similar measures to strengthen their child care programs and allow those on the front lines to have a voice in shaping the program. Rhode Island should do the same," said Sen. Maryellen Goodwin in the news release.
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