MONTPELIER (AP) - Prospects are looking bright for a years-long effort to allow workers at small child care centers in Vermont to unionize to negotiate rates and working conditions with the state.

The Senate on Friday is expected to give final passage to the child care unionization bill being pushed by an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. The measure would then go to the House, which previously had passed similar legislation only to see it die in the Senate.

The bill would cover about 1,400 child care workers in home-based settings with up to 12 children. It would not cover staff in larger child care centers.

Lead sponsor Sen. Richard McCormack says many of the child care workers who would be allowed to unionize currently make less than $20,000 a year.