The Family Child Care Providers Chapter signed and ratified its second contract with the state’s Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) in 2014. It expires in 2017. The chapter’s previous contract was signed and ratified in 2009.
Highlights of our current contract include:
$20 Million for Health Care: Our contract includes $20 million to provide all non-Medicaid eligible providers with dental and vision benefits. (Medicaid recipients already receive dental and vision coverage).
$15 Million for Professional Development: The contract also provides for substantial funding for professional development to improve the quality of the learning environment offered by providers.
Some of the money is dedicated to providing state-mandated courses for providers to receive or renew a license; the 10-hour course required for informal (legally-exempt) providers to qualify for the enhanced market rate; and classes in CPR, first and the use of automated external defibrillators.
Money will also be used to develop programs to help providers earn credentials like child development associate or national accreditation and to support and expand successful programs like our own Successful Beginnings in Early Literacy Development program to help providers introduce best practices in literacy instruction into their programs.
$8.5 Million for “Quality Grants”: Eligible providers who apply will receive a $350 grant for the purchase of program materials, including books and educational toys. All licensed and registered providers are eligible for a grant; informal (legally-exempt) providers must have worked for at least one year as a provider and meet certain professional development requirements before they can receive a grant.
Dispute Resolution Process: The contract includes a dispute resolution process that providers can use to resolve payment and contract disputes as well as licensure and inspection issues. It protects providers from unfair treatment.
Market Rate: Another key contract provision commits the state to working with the union to streamline and simplify the market rate application form. (The “market rate” is the rate that providers are paid by the state per child. It is recalibrated and reassessed every two years based on a survey and providers must apply to receive it). The state has also agreed to review with the union the methodologies used to create the market rate survey and to calculate the market rate. Reviews will be conducted every two years.
Provider Rights: Network and informal (legally-exempt) providers also have their own unique rights under the contract.
A Seat at the Table: We, as a union, now have a seat at the table with the various government and non-governmental agencies that regulate our work.
- The New York City Administration for Children’s Services, New York City Department of Health, WHEDco, child care networks, New York State Department of Health and other city and state entities that deal with child care providers must meet regularly with union representatives.
- All new child care and CACFP regulations must be discussed with the union before they are issued.
Union members receive additional benefits beyond those provided by the contract.
As a card-carrying UFT member, you will be covered by a $7,500 life insurance policy and will be able to vote in any union election and participate fully in the life of the union.
You’ll also receive the UFT Child Care Provider Chapter’s Providers United newspaper, a UFT photo ID card and will be eligible for special member discounts for outings, baseball games and other activities through the UFT’s Just for Fun Department.