A few weeks ago, I read an interesting article in New York magazine about domestic workers here in NYC. The nannies talked about the low pay, the lack of vacation time and health insurance, and the tricky situation at the heart of child care workers: You’re a member of the family, sort of, and you’re paid, but not that well. There’s a lot of guilt and confusion when it comes to what domestic workers can and should ask for, and Domestic Workers United, a union, is trying to educate women (these child care providers are usually women) about their rights.
And then this week, I learned that more and more states are allowing unions to represent home-based child care providers, which might help them obtain better pay and subsidized health insurance. The National Women’s Law Cente r says that this category includes what we think of as nannies (the sitter works in the family’s home) as well as people who take care of kids in their own home, rather than a daycare center.
What do you think about nannies and other child care providers joining unions? Would you be happy if your sitter did? What kinds of things do you think parents can do to make sure they’re treating their child care providers fairly?