A Look at the Child Care Provider Contract

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Yesterday, I noted that Providence Journal reporter Katherine Gregg had apparently acquired a copy of the agreement between the state and the SEIU Local 1199 regarding independent child-care providers whose clients receive state subsidies.  Upon my request, at that point, the state finally sent me the contract, too.  The following are my notes while reading the contract.

It’s important to note that it isn’t clear which provisions are actually new.  For example, the provision of vacation time isn’t new; it’s been in the state’s regulations for the program for years.  I haven’t gone through to compare the contract with all pre-existing rules.

Another important note is that it is explicitly left to the legislature to provide the funding for all of these programs, although cuts would require “good faith” negotiations with the executive branch to figure out how to deal with reductions

Pay and raises:

  • A 3% increase in base pay
  • Another $10 per week per infant
  • Another 1% increase in “step pay” for all providers
  • Up to another 3% increase depending on education level
  • $500 bonus for becoming licensed
  • $50 per child per year “registration fee” (provided that families without subsidies have to pay the fee, too)
  • $100 bonus for enrolling in direct deposit
  • Two weeks of paid “vacation” (This is really an existing benefit that allows the provider to be paid for up to two weeks for children who do not attend during those weeks. However, if parents use the funds for an alternate provider, the “vacation” pay doesn’t apply.)
  • Pay for holidays and professional development days

Benefits

  • Efforts to ensure professional development, including college courses (see my prior post for information on the millions of dollars available through the Dept. of Education)
  • $250,000 fund (jointly administered with the union) to supply “training and support”
  • $250,000 “quality incentive pool”
  • One-time gift of a free computer that becomes the “sole property of the provider”
  • Free courses on the computers and software they’ll be using as part of their job
  • Agreement to initiate a “bulk purchasing” program for providers to acquire furniture and playground equipment; books, toys, and puzzles; disability insurance; tax services; home inspection and maintenance services; Internet connectivity; and other items they may think of
  • Agreement to explore enrollment of providers in the same federal program for low-or-no-cost Internet that public schools and libraries receive
  • Agreement to seek to sign up providers for a federal food program (which likely includes an administrative fee for the provider to implement and maintain)

Unionization perks

  • Binding arbitration


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