As president of the Crow Wing County Licensed Family Child Care Association, I am writing in response to the Parent Aware advertisement in the Feb. 7 Brainerd Dispatch. Their intent was to make parents aware how easy it is to find quality child care through Parent Aware. What they didn’t mention is this program has been in the works for years and will continue to be in the works for years. Parent Aware is available to very few providers across the state of Minnesota and is not available to any providers in Crow Wing County until 2014. When it becomes available, very few providers will have the opportunity and it is a very lengthy, costly process to achieve all four stars in the program. To them the solution is easy; pass the costs on to parents by raising our rates. We as professional providers know our families can’t afford to pay any more for child care.
As family child care providers, we are outraged by the negative attention we continue to receive. Parent Aware is not foolproof. Just because a provider is not a part of the program it doesn’t make them a bad provider. We have chosen to be the stay-at-home-parent for all children to ensure they attain the love, care, development and early education each and every child deserves. On top of all this, we will be required to attend continuing education and trainings that are very costly and unavailable in our area. This means closing our programs regularly to meet the requirements that are supposed to benefit our programs. We know that inconveniences to families do not benefit them. It is time for families to take a stand and take back their right to make decisions for their family!
Thank you for supporting our area child care providers,