Family child care providers care for up to 12 children in their own homes, often with an assistant. Since 2005, providers in Illinois, Washington, Oregon, Maryland and Maine have united in SEIU and won quality improvements by having an official voice with their state’s governments. In Washington state, SEIU Local 925 unites over 12,000 family child care providers. Parents often choose family child care because of the small size and home-like setting, or for cultural reasons. Family child care providers operate under standards set by individual states.
Licensed providers: Open their home child care to general public. They are licensed and inspected by the state government to insure quality curriculum, safety and training. Many, but not all, accept state vouchers for the children of low wage workers. They are an especially vital part of child care for infants and in rural areas where child care centers are distant.
Licensed exempt providers: Low wage parents can also use child care vouchers to pay a neighbor or relative to care for children while they work. By uniting in SEIU, informal providers have been able to gain training in early childhood education and community support for their work.