Letter: Bill would ensure parity for all child care programs

Please support my bill H.404, an act to ensure parity for all child care programs. This bill has been sponsored by 51 state representatives, including Stephan Hay. This bill had been introduced to the Joint Committee on Education and had a hearing on July 2, 2019. This bill if passed will eliminate the disparity in pay between child care centers and family child care providers like me. As a family child care provider, I have business expenses just like the center-based program; and yet I am paid at a lower rate than a child care center provider.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care data 20% of licensed family child care (FCC) programs have closed from 2014 to 2018, bringing down the number of programs from 7,000 to 5,787. FCC is an important option for families and children, offering in-depth provider, child and family relationships, and flexibility in schedule, small group size, multi-aged and sibling accommodations, home-like environment, diversity, and continuity of care from newborn to school-age, and little staff turnover.

There are 160 House of Representatives and 40 state senators in Massachusetts. We need to convince 108 more members of the House of Representatives and 39 state senators to co-sponsor and push this bill to the house and senate floor for a vote. So, anyone who cares about the families and the children who are enrolled in the family child care programs should contact your state representative and senator and ask them to co-sponsor this bill.

Marites MacLean