The state and the recently formed union representing family child care providers in the Connecticut Care 4 Kids program announced an agreement Thursday that will provide for professional development and wage increases. The agreement came after nine months of negotiations between the two parties.
Family child care providers who provide in-home care 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, the governor’s office said. Also, the state will offer incentives for license-exempt providers who seek state licensure, through a one-time, $500 bonus for maintaining their license status. The state now has hundreds of unlicensed family day care providers.
The contract agreement includes general rate increases of 3 percent over the four-year duration of the contract for licensed family child care providers. In addition, rates for children under the age of 3 for licensed home-based providers will reach parity with licensed child care centers by 2016.
Close to 5,000 providers who participate in Care 4 Kids are members of the bargaining unit.
In December, a C-HIT story detailed lapses in the state’s oversight of child care facilities, including a lack of training for providers and infrequent inspections of child care centers and family day care homes.
“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,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Read the press release from Malloy’s office here.