On March 22nd, a number of Family Child Care providers from around the state took to the State House to talk to legislators about the importance of our bill. Lissette Lapaix, a provider from Jamaica Plain, and Barbara Martin, a provider from Mattapan, wrote about their experiences at the State House:
Hi, my name is Lissette Lapaix. I have been a provider in Jamaica Plain for 16 years. On March 22nd I had the opportunity to visit the State House with three of my Child Care children and a group of other providers. We visited Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and our state representative Elizabeth Malia. The providers and children in my group wanted to remind them that our bill, that will allow us to form a Family Child Care Union, came out of the committee of Children and Families and is now in the House of Ways and Means, and to ask for their support on this bill.
My children were very impressed with the grandiose building the State House is. Theo Kushmerek, 4 years of age, was especially impressed when he saw Senator Chang-Diaz dressed in yellow outfit; it is his favorite color. When she approached us, we had an animated conversation with us and then sat on the floor to pose for pictures with us. All of us enjoyed the experience. I was so happy that Senator Chang-Diaz was so approachable and made our visit that much more memorable. Sibu, Senator Chang-Diaz’s aide, was kind enough to take pictures for their Facebook page, which I was able to obtain and forward to all my Child Care parents through e-mail.
I am not sure if politics is supposed to be this fun, but our visit to the State House was awesome.
I am a Family Provider from Mattapan, my name is Barbara Martin, and I was part of lobby day on march 22nd, where Family Providers came together to speak out in support of forming our Union. To me, it was a wonderful experience where were able to send a message to our representatives of what our profession needs; to have a voice in early education. I also had the opportunity to speak with representative George Ross, and he was very supportive. He showed a special interest and listen to us. He was very positive in the fact that he understands what people need to better themselves. He worked in many non-profits organizations in the past and I feel this gives him a great perspective in supporting the needs of our community. It was refreshing and hopeful to have spoken to a representative. This meant a lot to me. Now that our bill came out of the committee of children and families, it showed the Family Providers can get this done by coming together. We have worked for a long time, we will keep on fighting, and we will reach more Providers to make our cause stronger by working as a United front.Overall it was a great experience to meet other Family Providers that feel the same as me in support of our Union. We spoke out as a family, we learned along with the children, and more importantly we came closer as a group. My husband of 35 years wrote a beautiful tune that we taught the other Family Providers and children to get our message across at the state house, and we all enjoyed it:
Pass the bill, the child care bill,
Pass the bill, beacon hill.
House and Senate, don’t delay,
Pass the bill, right away!
Photos from our Lobby Day