Teaching Profession

Child-Care Group, AFT Become Unified Policy Voice

By Linda Jacobson — October 16, 2002 2 min read

The Center for the Child Care Workforce—a 24-year-old group that has worked to improve compensation and working conditions for providers of early-childhood education—is merging with the American Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation and will cease to exist as a separate entity, leaders of both organizations announced last week.

Marci Young, the deputy director of the CCW, called the change a “natural progression” for the Washington-based organization and said linking with the foundation, the nonprofit research arm of the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union, would give the group “the capacity to really influence public policy in a new way, with a unified voice.”

For the 1.2 million-member AFT, which represents some 5,000 early-childhood teachers, the addition of the CCW reflects the union’s growing emphasis on preschool education.

"[AFT President] Sandy Feldman has made it clear that she has a commitment to early care and education,” Ms. Young said, adding that the move gives members of the early-childhood field a “direct link to the K-12 workforce.”

In a speech last summer, Ms. Feldman called for “universal” preschool for all 3- and 4- year-olds, calling such an initiative “preventive medicine for children who don’t have exposure to the kinds of experiences that produce early learning and social skills that serve as building blocks for success in later grades.”

And earlier this year at the AFT’s annual convention in Las Vegas, she urged Congress to push for an extended-year kindergarten program that would give disadvantaged children four additional months in school—two months before the regular academic year starts and two months after it ends.

Unionizing Grows

In recent years, a growing number of Head Start and child-care centers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Minnesota have turned to unionization as a means to bargain for better pay and benefits.

And in Seattle, members of the Child Care Guild, an affiliate of the Service Employees Union International, were instrumental in getting the legislature to create a pilot “career ladder” program that provides wage increases based on a provider’s experience, level of education, and responsibility.

“If you expect people to have higher education requirements and have higher standards, you need to pay these people more than you pay parking lot attendants,” said Leslie K. Getzinger, an AFT spokeswoman.

Mark R. Ginsberg, the executive director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children—a Washington-based professional organization that includes teachers, administrators, and researchers—called the merger a “powerful collaboration.”

Meanwhile, the AFT’s executive council voted last week to affiliate with the Illinois Dental Hygienists Association, marking the first time any association in the dental profession has joined a labor union. The association, however, will still maintain its membership in the Chicago-based American Dental Hygienists Association.

In a press release, Debra Grant, a member of the IDHA, said the group’s affiliation with the teachers’ union “should help provide us with more legislative clout on issues we care greatly about, such as access to the poor, the elderly, and schoolchildren.”

The AFT already represents some 63,000 nurses, psychologists, and other health-care professionals working in schools, hospitals, clinics, and home-health agencies throughout the country.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Districts Are Centering Relationships and Systemic SEL for Back to School 21-22
As educators and leaders consider how SEL fits into their reopening and back-to-school plans, it must go beyond an SEL curriculum. SEL is part of who we are as educators and students, as well as
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
The Fall K-3 Classroom: What the data imply about composition, challenges and opportunities
The data tracking learning loss among the nation’s schoolchildren confirms that things are bad and getting worse. The data also tells another story — one with serious implications for the hoped for learning recovery initiatives
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Student Well-Being Online Summit Student Mental Health
Attend this summit to learn what the data tells us about student mental health, what schools can do, and best practices to support students.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Nearly 9 in 10 Teachers Willing to Work in Schools Once Vaccinated, Survey Finds
Nearly half of educators who belong to the National Education Association have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
4 min read
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site setup for teachers and school staff at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., on March 15, 2021.
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site set up for teachers and school staff in Reading, Pa., on March 15.
Matt Rourke/AP
Teaching Profession Q&A Nation's Top Teachers Discuss the Post-Pandemic Future of the Profession
Despite the difficulties this school year brought, the four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award say they're hopeful.
11 min read
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
Courtesy of CCSSO
Teaching Profession Teachers Are Stressed Out, and It's Causing Some to Quit
Stress, more so than low pay, is the main reason public school teachers quit. And COVID-19 has increased the pressure.
7 min read
Image of exit doors.
pavel_balanenko/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion Should Teachers Be Prioritized for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Not all states are moving teachers to the front of the vaccination line. Researchers discuss the implications for in-person learning.
6 min read
Teacher Lizbeth Osuna from Cooper Elementary receives the Moderna vaccine at a CPS vaccination site at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.
Chicago public school teacher Lizbeth Osuna receives the COVID-19 vaccine at a school vaccination site last week.
Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP