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The Unionization of State-Subsidized Home Child Care Providers in Illinois and Its Effect on the State's Child Care Assistance Program

By Daniel Lesser

Earlier this year Illinois became the first state in the country to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with home child care providers who receive subsidy payments through the state’s child care assistance program. Both licensed and license-exempt home providers receive substantial increases in subsidy payments and financial incentives for offering higher-quality care; center-based providers later negotiated corresponding rate increases. The agreement accomplishes major policy objectives of the child care advocacy community, but how the state will pay for it, and whether it will result in significant cuts in the child care assistance program, remain open questions.

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