ST. PAUL (AP) - The prospect of unionizing has divided in-home child care providers in Minnesota.

The care givers filled a Senate hearing room Thursday night where two committees held a joint hearing on the issue. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union want to represent the state's 11,000 licensed family child care providers.

Supporters say unionizing would provide a united voice in licensing and subsidy debates. Opponents say they deal with parents directly and don't need a union to represent them.

Rochester child care provider Jackie Harrington of Rochester is fearful that the home-based business owners would lose their independence if they're unionized.

Gov. Mark Dayton says he's considering whether the issue should be presented to providers in a statewide vote.

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