Family child care providers in the Connecticut Care 4 Kids program are receiving their first raise in 12 years.
Home-based child care providers, union officials and Gov. Dannel Malloy today announced an agreement between the State of Connecticut and CSEA/SEIU LOCAL 2001 after nine months of negotiations.
"This is another sign of our commitment to raise the level of quality in child care settings, and increase opportunities for young children to be in safe and healthy learning environments that encourage learning," Malloy said. "By increasing wages and providing professional development opportunities for Care 4 Kids home-based family child care providers, we are investing in our children and those who care for them."
The state Department of Social Services Currently operated the Care 4 Kids program.
Family child care providers will undergo a four-hour orientation program that will include specialized trainings and information on the quality enhancement programs offered by the Office of Early Childhood and funding will also be made available to provide for a safe, secure and nurturing environment in the family provider's home, according to the governor.
Licensed-exempt families, friends and neighbors who seek licensure will be reimbursed for their licensing fee and will receive a one-time $500 bonus for maintaining their newly-licensed status.
The contract agreement includes general rate increases of 3 percent over the four-year duration of the contract for licensed family child care providers.
Unlicensed family child care providers will also see a rise in wages based on the newly adopted minimum wage.
Approximately 5,000 providers who participate in Care 4 Kids are members of the bargaining unit and serve roughly 3,560 children.
The agreement will go to union members to vote over the next few weeks and then go to the legislature for approval.
Once approved, the agreement will be effective Jan. 1, 2014.
-reprinted from NBC