Day care providers need a 'voice'

Day care providers need a 'voice'

Arlene Violet's column April 25, "Bill would unionize child care providers," displays a stunning lack of knowledge about the important role early childhood educators play in our education system and our economy.

I've been a child care provider in Cumberland for 18 years. I've seen many children enter my care as infants and leave as young people, ready for kindergarten and beyond.

I consider myself an educator. The children in my care learn to read and write, they learn their colors, they can count and do math. They learn manners, teamwork, and respect.

We have the skills it takes to help children learn. We go to training sessions and conferences, get advice from other child care providers, and have years of experience.

Because of the education I offer, the children in my community enter kindergarten ready to learn and parents can go to work knowing their children are learning and safe.

This job is tough.

I work days, evenings, and weekends so my parents can go to work. In what little free time I do have, I get the curriculum ready for the week ahead. I deal with all the issues any small business owner needs to deal with, from accounting to advertising.

I love my job, I love teaching children, and I love watching them grow.

All providers like me are asking for is a voice so we can come together and work with the state to improve family child care for all Rhode Island children.

Dawn Newman