AFSME Local 602 - MSU Moorhead

The Hardest Part of the Job

Kim Foss, a provider in Grand Rapids: "I want input on stuff that affects me."

Like many entrepreneurs, child-care providers face all the challenges of running a small business, including late payments, licensing, state and local regulations and, often, long hours.

“You work a lot of overtime without getting paid,” says Kathy Stevens, of Brainerd. It’s not unusual for providers to be open 12 hours a day – and sometimes longer if parents are working odd shifts, or are just inconsiderate.

Beyond that, Stevens says, add set up, preparing curriculum, shopping, meals, and cleaning up.

Long hours also eliminate most opportunities for time off, even for necessities like medical appointments, funerals, or being sick.

“My parents don’t have a lot of back-up, so I feel I need to be here,” says Kim Foss, a provider in Grand Rapids.

When Robert Ellis Sr. worked a regular job, he says, “I could take sick days, get away from the job. We can’t do that. We feel we have to be here for parents, no matter what.”

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