The Union Advantage

Union child care providers are bringing change to the child care system and the profession making significant improvements to their work, and ultimately their lives, by working together to build power and solve the issues we face.

Home-based child care providers play an important role in the industry. Since 2002 we have been fighting to have a seat at the table. We have made family child care more visible and communicated to decision-makers and leaders in child care policy that through us is the way to really helping children and families in our state. 

We now have a seat at the table.

Membership keeps you connected with other providers. Our VOICE is being heard.  We are not in this alone. We are a community. 

“Collective action is how we solve the issues we face. When we come together, we win.”

–Nikki Johnson
Dutchess Chapter Representative

A VOICE for change

 United across the state, we have won significant investments in child care and the child care workforce, strengthening child care, making significant changes to the profession and foundational differences for home-based child care providers in New York.

The success of our contract is the product of thousands of conversations over 20 years, the ambition of our child care providers and represents only a small part of our program.

We are always working on the issues family and legally-exempt providers face providing stabilization and support. We administer our own support programs but also work with OCFS and DSS to educate and support our members through local programs and state programs like child care subsidies, Market Rate Surveys, Stabilization and Workforce Retention as well. 

“You can’t really know where you’re going until you know where you have been.” – Maya Angelou 


We are always advocating and provide direct help providers need to successfully navigate the child care business world successfully.

  • Established the first bilingual statewide family child care resource center to assist with registration, licensing, enrollment, and inspections; DSS payments; fraud investigations and training; CACFP, and professional development.
  • Assists with CPS, fair hearings, OCFS license, registration, and enrollment enforcement procedures, zoning and municipal issues.
  • Passed legislation to make adult-child ratios more flexible for providers and families. With new ratios, family child care businesses gained the potential to increase earnings as much as $15,000 per year.
  • Successfully made provider payments more accurate and timely in more than a dozen counties across the state.

All we have accomplished was possible because we are united for strength and power but there is much more to do that requires growth of our union.

Our union’s ability to solve the tough issues grows with each new member. The more members in CSEA/VOICE, the more we can accomplish and break down barriers to make changes that only seem like a dream to us right now. If you are currently not a member, we encourage you to join us. 


A seat at the table at the NYS Capitol and Washington D.C. 

As members of  VOICE, we are members of  the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA).  We join 8,400 registered family, licensed group family and legally exempt child care providers across the state of New York (outside of New York City) and nearly 300,000 CSEA members which include New York State government, counties, municipalities, school districts as well as private sector and many non-profit agencies’ employees. Through CSEA Political Action, we have the support and access to lawmakers and agency heads who make the decisions that govern our work.

We are also members of  The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFCSME). Think of AFSCME as our national union, with whom we are affiliated. We work closely with AFSCME lobbyists in Washington, D.C. to ensure the federal budget, laws, regulations and our issues are front and center with our elected officials in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

We advocate, using our powerful voice, in every level of government to make sure reimbursement rates are fair, subsidy programs work for families and our child care programs are protected.



“I’ve witnessed success after success born out of collective action. Union child care providers are bringing change to the profession and significant improvements to their work, and ultimately their lives, by working together, building power.”

CSEA/VOICE Local 100A President, Heidi Brandt

CSEA/VOICE Local 100A President Heidi Brandt advocates for providers in a state budget hearing on child care with State Senators.  

CSEA Child Care joins partners in advocacy for a rally on the steps of the state Capitol’s Million Dollar Staircase to urge lawmakers to Fund Child Care. Communities Work When We Work. 

We are building power.

Sabrina Hicks



I’ve been in the Union since day one. I have witnessed since the beginning— our Union gets the unseen to be seen by elected leaders, OCFS and DSS. It’s as if we place special requests in a magic hat and together, our Union pulls them out and gets them done. For example, the 50% increase to our reimbursement rates, nearly doubled the earnings for thousands of providers. Additionally, we have experienced increased access to our programs and an expansion of our business for working parents. Furthermore, our efforts led to the implementation of 80 paid absences, which feels like receiving a golden ticket. I plan to use one for Christmas! In the past, I would have had to remain open the day after Christmas, but thanks to our Union, I was blessed with the ability to close and spend time with my family. I am grateful for the support provided by our Union!

Monroe Chapter Member