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Child Care Providers Speak Out in Sacramento on International Workers Day

Urge Legislators to Support Families’ Top Needs: Good Union Jobs and Access to Quality Child Care

Child care providers, including dozens of members of UDW-CCPU members, were joined by mothers, grandmothers, community partners and AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride as they rallied in Sacramento and spoke directly with legislators on May 1st – May Day – for the right to negotiate with the state and to use their voice to make changes to California’s early childhood education system.

May Day is celebrated all over the world as International Workers Day, uplifting the contributions of workers and is an opportunity to highlight inequities working families face as wealth and income inequality is at an all-time high.

“One million families who are eligible for state child care subsidies cannot access them. It is ridiculous,” said UDW-CCPU member Charlotte Neal, who has been a child care provider in Sacramento for over 17 years and who spoke at Wednesday’s rally.

“There’s no good reason why nearly 60% of the state’s child care workers should have to rely on government assistance programs to get by. There’s no good reason people should be driven out of this important profession by poverty wages – not having enough to pay rent, medical care, or food. We deserve better. Our children deserve better.”

Child care providers are rallying to change the inequality facing children and families by pushing for passage of six key bills before the California legislature:

  • AB 378 (Limón) – The Building a Better Early Care and Education System Actthat will empower early childhood educators with the right to negotiate with the state and provide educators with a voice to improve the quality and accessibility of care. California would join 11 other states that provide early childhood educators with collective bargaining rights.
  • SB 234 (Skinner) – The Keeping Kids Close to Home Actwould allow family child care homes to avoid costly and burdensome zoning and permitting requirements in order to help serve more kids and families.
  • SB 321 (Mitchell) – The Strong Start for CalWORKs Families Actwill streamline Stage 1 child care eligibility rules so that all CalWORKs families are afforded the same benefits of stable, reliable, and consistent child care necessary to improve their family’s success and end the cycle of poverty.
  • SB 174 (Leyva) Reimbursement Rates– would require the State Department of Education to create a plan for a single regionalized state reimbursement rate and ensure that the plan’s methodology includes certain things, including that the state’s diverse early childhood education teachers and providers be competitively compensated.
  • AB 194 (Gomez-Reyes) Child Care Access– Requires $1 billion, upon appropriation in the annual Budget Act or other statute, to be made available to immediately improve access to alternative payment programs and general child care and development programs, as specified, for the state’s eligible children and families in need.
  • AB 324 (Aguiar- Curry) Professional Support Stipends – Expands access to stipends designed to facilitate the professional development and retention of providers of high-quality subsidized child care.