Last Wednesday, State Representative John W. Scibak joined his colleagues in the Legislature in passing a bill to improve the quality of child care services, creates jobs and give a voice to child care providers across the Commonwealth.
“I’d like to commend Representative Kay Khan, Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities, for her work in advancing this important legislation,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “This bill recognizes that child care providers are an important part of our Commonwealth’s workforce and play a critical role in improving the education and care of our youngest children.”
“I am so pleased that my colleagues have recognized the importance of this legislation and what it does for our children and families in the Commonwealth,” said Chairwoman Kay Khan. “This bill will aid in job creation and allow for the enhancement of family child care by providing support and incentives for training and education. It will also give our families a sense of security by offering reliable and trustworthy child care while giving providers a sense of empowerment.”
This legislation aims to improve quality early education and care by encouraging providers to obtain more education and training, to open up their homes to children in need of child care and making care more accessible for families across the state. In doing so, H.3986 will create jobs for both providers and parents who may not have had the opportunity to previously work. This bill also enhances the quality of family child care by allowing for negotiations over the development and expansion of training and education.
Currently, as independent contractors, Massachusetts child care providers are unable to unionize, however this legislation creates a legal mechanism to do so. Allowing providers the opportunity to unionize will make it easier to recruit and retain a stable workforce of family child care providers that children and families can depend on.
This bill only applies to individuals who provide home-based child care services and receive a voucher or contract payment from the state. The bill does not affect center-based providers or exclusively privately paid providers.