Reporting Pat Kessler
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota has some of the highest child care costs in the country for center-based day cares.
Soon, less costly private in-home providers will get the chance to organize a union. But will it drive up day care costs for families?
Gov. Mark Dayton could have unionized all of Minnesota’s 11,000 in-home child care providers immediately, but his executive order covers only the ones who get public subsidies.
Only 5300 of Minnesota’s 11,000 private in-home providers get public subsidies, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Subsidies which are widely different based on a parent’s income and county.
Privately funded day care providers and parents are not affected.
The families of nearly 34,000 children get low-income subsidies in Minnesota, averaging about $900 a month. One purpose of a union is to pressure the state from cutting that money.
THAT’S NOT THE WHOLE STORY…
When public subsidies for child care are cut, parents often drop out. Providers can raise rates, but often, simply, close.
There are other states with child care unions, according to the office of Gov. Mark Dayton:
1. Connecticut (2011 Exec. Order) – only those receiving subsidies
2. Illinois (2005 Exec. Order) – only those receiving subsidies
3. Iowa (2006 Exec. Order) – regardless of subsidy
4. Kansas (2007 Exec. Order) – regardless of subsidy
5. Maine (2008 Legislation) – regardless of subsidy
6. Maryland (2007 Exec. Order) – only those receiving subsidies
7. Michigan (2006 Interlocal agreement) – regardless of subsidy
8. New Jersey (2006 Exec. Order) – regardless of subsidy
9. New Mexico (2009 Legislation) – only those receiving subsidies
10. New York (2007 Exec. Order) – regardless of subsidy
11. Ohio (2008 Exec. Order) – regardless of subsidy
12. Oregon (2005 Exec. Order; 2007 Legislation) – regardless of subsidy
13. Pennsylvania (2007 Exec. Order) – regardless of subsidy
14. Washington (2005 Exec. Order) – regardless of subsidy
15. Wisconsin (2006 Exec. Order) – regardless of subsidy
WHAT TO WATCH…
The Bureau of Mediation Services will send out union ballots Dec. 6 and the counting begins Dec. 20. It takes 50 percent, plus one, to form a union.
That’s Reality Check.
To check the resources used for this Reality Check, click on the links below.
MN Dept of Human Services: Child Care Assistance Program
Resources For Child Caring: Anoka County 2011 Child Care Rates
National Women’s Law Center
Minnesota Child Care Union Information
History of AFSCME/SEIU Organizing Child Care Workers
FAQ Union Questions For Child Care
Minnesota Child Care Statistics
Child Care Union Costs By State
Resources For Child Caring: Child Care Statistics
Child Care Industry Study On Unions
Union Reasons for Child Care Unions