Supporters of a bill that would allow child care providers to participate in collective bargaining with the state’s Department of Health and establish a state fund to provide grants to childcare providers stand outside the Alaska State Capitol early Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Supporters of a bill that would allow child care providers to participate in collective bargaining with the state’s Department of Health and establish a state fund to provide grants to childcare providers stand outside the Alaska State Capitol early Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Child care providers rally outside Capitol in support of increased funding

Supporters say new bill would provide necessary support and resources

Around a dozen people stood outside the Alaska State Capitol early Friday evening holding signs in support of a bill that would allow child care providers to participate in collective bargaining with the state’s Department of Health and establish a state fund to provide grants to child care providers.

“It’s advocating funding that is going directly to child care providers which are flexible and we can use to all of the shortfalls we are experiencing,” said Kayla Svinicki, executive director of Little Moon Whole Child Foundation Inc., which led the rally. “We need to be able to meet the need of the kids, we need to be able to meet the needs of the workforce.”

The child care rally was one of two events held outside the Capitol on Friday. Earlier in the day, public sector employees rallied for changes that union leaders and lawmakers said could improve retention of employees who provide critical services.

Svinicki said the bill will better the well-being of the child care industry in Alaska which currently is struggling to find support and resources to provide adequate care to meet community needs.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Zack Fields, an Anchorage Democrat, and had a second hearing Friday in the House Labor and Commerce committee.

Fields attempted to pass a similar bill in the previous session, however, it died in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. He said this time around he thinks the bill has strong support, but will likely evolve as it moves forward in the Legislature.

“It’s great to see consensus within our community all working together to address a problem that is really urgent,” Fields told the Empire after the hearing.

Destiny Starr, a staff member at Little Moon Whole Child Foundation Inc., said she came to the Capitol to express her support for the bill because she said it would provide much-needed funds to the child care industry in Alaska.

Starr said as a single mother of two, the wages offered in the industry are inadequate and are not enough to support her and her young children.

“We need more money and we need more support,” she said.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 20

Here’s what to expect this week.

Bartlett Regional Hospital’s crisis stabilization center during its unveiling on June 14, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Bartlett Regional Hospital shuts down programs at recently opened Aurora Behavioral Health Center

Crisis stabalization program halted at center due to lack of funds and staff, officials say.

A car on Gastineau Avenue is partially buried by a mudslide that occurred during record rainfall on Sunday, July 14, 2024. (Photo by Simba Blackman)
New July rainfall record set for Juneau with a week to go; Suicide Basin nears 2023 fill level

No more heavy storms expected this month, according to forecaster.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. Board of Trustees votes for a new chair and vice chair during a meeting in Fairbanks on Wednesday. (Screenshot from APFC livestream)
Ellie Rubenstein resigns from Permanent Fund board, Ethan Schutt displaced as chair in wake of email allegations

Trustees elect new chair, vice chair Wednesday morning; Rubenstein announces resignation hours later

Police and other emergency officials treat Steven Kissack after he was shot on Front Street on Monday, July 15, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Names of officers involved in death of Steven Kissack released, along with more details of standoff

JPD states Kissack threatened to kill officers; one officer who fired gun cleared in 2016 shooting.

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, speaks on Jan. 4, 2024, at a town hall meeting on the possible Albertsons-Kroger grocery merger. The meeting was held at the Teamsters Local 959 headquarters in Anchorage. Peltola said on Tuesday she has not decided whether to support her party’s likely candidate, Vice President Kamala Harris. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Rep. Mary Peltola withholds support for Kamala Harris, is ‘keeping an open mind’

Congresswoman says she’s considering Harris presidency’s affect on Alaska as an oil-dependent state.

People arrive for a service at Resurrection Lutheran Church on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Lawsuit: Resurrection Lutheran Church leaders have been ousted, clarity in ‘ministerial work’ needed

Pastor Karen Perkins, two others targeted in long-brewing feud at church known for helping homeless.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, July 21, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, July 20, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read