Employers like Paula Gamez, owner-director of Sunnyside Early Learning Center in eastern Washington, who believes union involvement in the sector could promote stable staffing and secure access to training "to help increase the knowledge base" of early childhood educators. * In Montana, bargaining has helped Head Start professionals deal with budget shocks in the workplace, and unions have been pivotal in helping the frontline have a persuasive voice thousands of miles away, successfully encouraging Congress to pass a landmark Head Start reauthorization bill. The landmark vote "brings us one step closer to professional status and gives us a strong voice to help people understand the many talents, roles and responsibilities we take up in this profession," says AFT member and child care provider Tammie Miller, who was active in the organizing drive. * Oklahoma offers universal prekindergarten to any 4-year-olds whose parents want them to be enrolled, and nearly 90 percent of children take advantage of the opportunity either through district programs or through Head Start.
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