In Our Own Words

Winning Recognition for Our Skills and Education

“Now that we’ve organized our union, I feel we’re being heard and as workers we feel more like a cohesive group. We’ve also made some inroads expanding benefits available to our part time co-workers. The coolest thing about organizing is seeing the power in taking a stand, as individuals and especially as a group.”

Louise Miller
Activity Supervisory, Hopkins Kids and Company

In the West St. Paul Schools, we won changes so that staff who work as both school paraprofessionals and child care staff can combine hours across programs for better health insurance and other benefits. Supporting these staff members is a win for the students and the learning process. The real, human relationships I build with kids in a child care setting really help when I work with them academically.

Mark Krey
Special Ed Paraprofessional, West St. Paul School Age Care

Now I feel like I have a voice in the district’s decision regarding my benefits, wages and hours. As a union steward, I like to help get others engaged with the negotiation process.

Amanda Reineck
Bright Start Instructor, Wayzata Home Base

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A Seat at the Table

“Every day in my home I help kids learn, develop social skills and grow up in a healthy and loving environment. But it’s getting harder and harder to keep my doors open. Joining thousands of SEIU Kids First providers will give us the power to make the changes that support working families.”

Michelle Morehouse

Family Child Care Provider, Austin

“I think it is important that we as providers have a say when changes are being considered at the Legislature. These changes affect how we operate our child care and affect our children.”

Ann Herold
Family Child Care Provider, St. Cloud

“We need to stand united as child care providers so we can continue to provide programs that children and parents need and deserve.”

Kelly Martini
Family Child Care Provider, Avon

“If we want to bring quality to child care in Minnesota, we must first recognize providers and listen to the valuable input they have. Union representation is the first step to increased respect for our profession and having our voices be heard.”


Elizabeth Brylski

Family Child Care Provider, St. Cloud

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A Union Can Help Us Achieve Our Goals

“It is important to me to have affordable health care and to have a voice at the Capitol. Children deserve quality care and families need assistance. The union can help us achieve these goals.”

Rhonda “Roni” Feit
Family Child Care Provider, Rock County

“We have a high premium on health care coverage and we need [an] affordable health care plan. We need a voice to continue quality care.”

Amber Nath
Family Child Care Provider, Rock County

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Quality Child Care Starts With Us

“I’m excited about joining other providers across the state to work on quality improvements to our industry that benefit our children, parents and providers. Providers need to work together to ensure that children are a priority in our state!”

Susan Kiefer
Family Child Care Provider, Taopi

“Quality child care starts with us. We need to be strong, vocal advocates for quality early childhood education. By forming our union, we will work together to make sure our elected officials hear our voices.”

Melissa Smith
Family Child Care Provider, Prior Lake

“It is very important to vote for children and in-home providers because families should be together.

[In family child care] the very young, middle, and older kids learn skills from each other — skills that include…manners and social skills.”

Terry Bicknell
Family Child Care Provider, St. Cloud

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“This Isn’t Babysitting”

“I’ve always thought of myself as an educator — I have a library, curriculum, I make sure we do crafts and music, all this to prepare our children for school. We deserve to be treated as professionals. This isn’t babysitting.”

Paige Morgan
Family Child Care Provider, Winona

“I’m voting yes because I want a voice in legislation and I can’t take time off to go to St. Paul, myself”

Angela Hughson
Family Child Care Provider, Austin

“I’m voting for our union because this is our time to make a difference for ourselves and the children we care for.”

Barb King
Family Child Care Provider, Waseca

“I feel that our Union will support us, as providers.  Especially in improving the way rules and laws of the State of Minnesota are implemented. We need a Union!”

Sherlyn Brown
Family Child Care Provider, Russell

“There are misconceptions about self-employment and the care providers give.  If half of the Minnesota providers unionize themselves, our voice will be heard loud and clear!”

Sharla Boyer
Family Child Care Provider, Mankato

“Hoping with a union we will have a say regarding cuts in daycare assistance, licensing fees, etc. As a single mom I’m also hoping a union will give me access to reasonable and cost-effective health insurance for my family”

Leslie Heddens
Family Child Care Provider, Rochester

“It’s important to have health insurance at a reasonable cost – we need some choices. We have seen cuts to food subsidies and that makes it harder for providers, families, and kids. We need someone to support us with our fees and rates. Organizing will benefit us as providers. We offer constant care, activities and education. We don’t just plop them in front of the TV. We provide care for 12 hours a day to help our parents and their kids.”

Avis Erickson
Family Child Care Provider, Stewartville

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“No More Important Work”

“I believe there is no more important work than raising our children and our state should support providers and listen to them.  Parents like me depend on stable, quality child care and having a union will give providers a seat at the table to ensure that their professional expertise is valued and supported.”

Angela Noble
Parent, Waseca County

As a small business owner, it is important to me and the community I live in that we continue to support other small businesses such as the 11,000 family child care providers in our state.  The peace of mind that comes from knowing your children are in a safe, stable home where they are learning is priceless.

Colleen Hess
Parent, Wabasha County

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Sharon Born: It Can Be Better

Sharon Born, a family child care provider in Waseca County, shares why she joined the SEIU Kids First movement in Minnesota. This is the first in a series of video messages from child care providers sharing in their words the many reasons for forming a union at this critical time.

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