Child Care & Early Learning

More than 35,000 home child care providers and child care center teachers and staff are united in SEIU Child Care & Early Learning, a division of SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana. Every day, we provide essential child care and early education that helps prepare young children for school and supports working parents. Whether we are a teacher in a pre-k classroom or Head Start classroom, a licensed home child care provider or a family, friend or neighbor caregiver, we all play an important role in young children’s care and early education.

Home child care providers first began building our union in 1996, when we struggled to get by on low rates and with no benefits. Illinois home child care providers were the first in the country to unite our voices in SEIU and since then we’ve negotiated two ground-breaking contracts for home child care providers in the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program– winning rate increases, rate add-ons for quality care and first-ever healthcare for thousands of Illinois child care providers.

Now center-based child care, Head Start and pre-Kindergarten workers– teachers, assistant teachers, family service workers, teacher aides, group workers, food aides, paraprofessionals and more—are uniting in SEIU for a stronger voice for quality care and early learning jobs.
Together, we’re fighting to make sure that all families have access to the quality, affordable care and education for their children and that caregivers and early childhood workers are recognized and respected for the important work we do.

Governor’s Budget Slashes Nearly $60 Million from Child Care

In another hit to working families, Governor’s Budget cuts $59.4 Million in funding for federally mandated Child Care Assistance Program extension despite legislature approval. In budget documents released Tuesday, Governor Rauner declared he would cut nearly $60 million for an …

Amid Layoffs, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Workers File Unfair Labor Practice Charge

After Closing Head Start Facilities in Chicago, YMCA Reneges on Promise of Severance Pay for Laid-Off Teachers Chicago: Laid-off YMCA Head Start teachers and teachers’ assistants will hold a press conference outside of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Headquarters at …

We Fought, We Won

For years we have been repeating “When We Fight, We Win.” This statement is absolutely true.   We have been putting pressure on Governor Rauner all summer long to demand he stand up for child care. We have marched to …

Rauner Child Care “Restoration” Comes Amid Back-Door Assault on Workforce

CHICAGO-Following is the response of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Vice President Brynn Seibert to the breaking news the Rauner administration seeks to restore some eligibility to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) after implementing disastrous cuts in 2015 that have left …

Thanks mom, for helping teach me how to collect dues – and so much more!

Over the years, many people have asked me: “how did you build the union from only 7 members in 1983, to representing over 90,000 today? How did you organize really low-wage workers like homecare and childcare providers, when no one …

Governor Rauner Signs Legislation to Partially Restore Child Care Assistance Program to Vulnerable Families

But still moves back-door cuts to throw thousands of parents, children off the vital program On August 28th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 3213/SB1705 which would restore access to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) for families enrolled full-time in …

Child Care Providers Give Testimony on Mandatory Training Requirements to Illinois House Human Services Committee

Child care providers, parents face looming crisis to Child Care Assistance Program which could leave thousands of children without care. On Tuesday, August 22, the House Human Services committee met to hold a Subject Matter Hearing surrounding a looming crisis in …

SEIU Healthcare Files Suit Against Rauner For Defunding Child Care Training

Rauner’s Once Again Pushing the Child Care Assistance Program Toward Crisis CHICAGO (Aug. 4)–SEIU Healthcare Illinois, the union that represents nearly 20,000 child care providers, filed a lawsuit against the State of Illinois today for failure to make agreed upon …

Greg Kelley: The caregivers are the ones owed a higher wage

The following op-ed from our union president, Greg Kelley, appeared in the State Journal Register on July 29th. In a recent online article from WCIA-TV titled “Rauner pays new staff lucrative salaries,” the governor said Illinois citizens “owe” his highly-paid …

Rauner’s Neighbors Oppose His Back Door Child Care Cuts 

Child care providers and children who marched to governor’s Winnetka home were met with support On Tuesday, hundreds of children, parents, and child care providers marched in Winnetka to Rauner’s home to protest his administration’s efforts to undermine child care …

Hundreds of children march on Governor Rauner’s multi-million dollar home as child care crisis looms.

To protest threat of massive purge, 700 children and providers marched on Rauner’s Winnetka estate.   Nearly 700 children and child care providers marched on Governor Rauner’s mansion in Winnetka, Illinois, to protest backdoor cuts to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). …

 Hundreds of children to march on Governor Rauner’s multi-million dollar home as child care crisis looms

To protest the threat of a massive purge to the Child Care Assistance Program, hundreds of children and child care providers will march on Rauner’s Winnetka estate TUESDAY, July 25th at 11:15 AM. Hundreds of children and child care providers …

Child Care Providers Speak Out Against Rauner’s Back Door Cuts

Governor Rauner is at it AGAIN! And Child care providers are speaking out and fighting back! Earlier this year, Governor Bruce Rauner and DHS introduced mandatory training and monitoring for all Child Care Assistance Program providers —licensed or unlicensed. The …

Child Care Providers Hold Pop-Up Preschool in Protest of Governor Rauner’s Continued Attacks on the Successful Child Care Assistance Program

Childcare Providers and their allies denounce Governor Rauner’s allegiance to billionaires while Illinois kids and working parents struggle with cuts to child care assistance  Chicago- After years of cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program and regressive tax policy, frontline …

At Long Last and After Too Much Damage, A Budget: Gov. Rauner Must Sign and End the Nightmare

SPRINGFIELD–Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley on passage of an Illinois budget: “At long last and after too much damage, the General Assembly displayed political courage today by taking the tough votes and making the …

Pritzker “Walks A Day” in Shoes of Child Care Worker Who Would Benefit from $15 Wage

Urges Rauner: “Sign the Bill” & Pledges to Protect Child Care in Illinois CHICAGO-Surrounded by children enrolled in the state’s badly-damaged Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker “walked a day” in the shoes of a low-wage child …

BREAKING: Senate Follows House in Passing Historic $15 Minimum Wage Bill

Truest, Best, Fastest Way to Help MILLIONS of Illinois Workers; Gov. Rauner MUST SIGN NOW  SPRINGFIELD-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley following passage tonight in the Senate of Senate Bill 81, legislation to raise the …

Early Childhood Workforce Study Will Give Illinois Better Footing to Face Challenges in Care

  HB 3167/SB 1619 Passage Deserves Praise SPRINGFIELD-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Executive Vice President Faith Arnold following passage in the Senate of House Bill 3167/Senate Bill 1619, authorizing a study of the child care and early education …

BREAKING: Historic Victory as $15 Bill Wins in House; On To Senate

2.3 MILLION Workers are Closer to a Raise  SPRINGFIELD-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley following passage today in the Illinois House of Representatives of Senate Bill 81, to raise the minimum wage to $15 by …

House Majority Sends Bill to Study State of Early Childhood Workforce to Senate

SPRINGFIELD – By a broad majority, the House this week sent a bill to study the state of the early childhood education and child care workforce to the Senate, as low wages continue to plague the industry. Sponsored in the …