Child-care providers fighting for a living wage
Thank you for Katie Johnston’s story about inequality in Massachusetts’ child-care system (“Separate but unequal,” Page A1, May 2). I understand how these families have to balance child-care needs with work and putting food on the table. As a family child-care provider for more than a decade, I have struggled to make ends meet while providing quality child care to low-income families. Low reimbursement rates for providers make it nearly impossible to earn a living wage caring for these children, let alone to continue their education, as I am doing at Springfield College.
That’s why I fought through my union, SEIU Local 509, for a contract with the Department of Early Education and Care that raises these rates; our members just overwhelmingly ratified the historic agreement. It’s just a first step, but a momentous one, as it will get us closer to ending the tension between our need to care for our own families and our work caring for the Commonwealth’s neediest children.