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Who Is the Hero Now?

To : UFT president Michael Mulgrew, On March 15, 2020 , this day will go down in history as the day All Educational systems closed down for Fear of the Pandemic CoVID 19. All but one in the entire city, Independent Family Childcare. You worked very hard to assure the health and safety of children and families by pushing for the schools to be closed during this growing health crisis. NYC public school teachers were supported by the UFT as a part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. Why hadn’t you advocated for the closures of Family Child Care Programs? Providers are just as much at risk. We serve up to 16 children in our homes where our families live. This puts ourselves, our families and our neighbors at risk as NOONE has advocated on our behalf for closures. Please remember that many Providers do not have adequate or any health insurance to protect themselves against what is happening. We are not IMMUNE TO THE VIRUS. Once again, you forgot to represent and support your Family Child Care Chapter. We are on the front line to follow protocol and take care of the children but that does not excuse the UFT for not addressing Providers and preparing our workforce for this monumental task. You are quoted, “The City can find ways – even with the schools closed to keep our children safe, to see that they are fed and to provide other supports for working families”. We need information on any re-defined ratios to accommodate the extra children. Extra supplies? Extra Food? Have the UFT and the City assumed that Family Child Care are prepared for the two extra meals (breakfast and lunch) for each school ager? Currently we are without proper representation in our Chapter. We’ve heard no communication of preparation other than, “…details yet to be hammered out.” It is unacceptable to support one Chapter during crisis and let another know that you have no information at this time. The Public Schools are now closed. Right now, the Division of Early Childhood Education has put into place the supports needed for Network Affiliated Providers should they decide to close their programs and be held financially harmless during this time. This only represents one population of our essential and crucial workforce. What is the UFT doing to support the Independent Family Child Care Provider who are also Union Members? Family Child Care Providers would like the support of the UFT to advocate for the closures of their programs with pay because we did not create this health crisis, same as the teachers, same as the Network Affiliated Providers. We also ask the UFT to advocate on our behalf for incentive pay for those Providers who choose to remain open as this is considered AN OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD. This Chapter, nor ACS has given any information on how to proceed with accounting for the extra full-time days during this period. As Independent Providers, we feel we are penalized, forgotten and in constant Limbo with the UFT. We are considered an essential workforce for the city to operate. We can say that on March 15, 2020, public schools, charter schools, and daycare centers all closed down. All except for the legally Exempt registered and Independent Family Child Care Provider. FAMILY CHILD CARE IS THE LEAST SUPPORTED MODALITY OF CARE AND THE INDEPENDENT PROVIDER NEEDS THE SUPPORT OF THE UFT NOW MORE THAN EVER. Our lives matter. Sincerely, Gladys Jones ECE On The Move

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