It’s no secret the pre-pandemic norm did not prioritize our children, working families, or essential child care providers like me all across the State of California. However, through our union, child care providers of all races and backgrounds are committing to achieving a future that leaves no family, child or front line worker behind. We’re not new to overcoming challenges. For nearly two decades we fought for collective representation through our union to address the root causes enabling the disparities of access to child care for essential workers. The same workers who’ve always been the backbone of our economy—made only clearer amidst the pandemic.
Nancy Harvey, child care provider in Alameda
Child care providers are predominantly Brown and Black people, who have never neglected our responsibility and we’ve demonstrated our willingness to sacrifice to support the future of our children. The truth of the matter is, the State of California has not valued us or respected us as people and educators in this society. We provide education and care for California’s children and are essential to working families’ ability to make a living wage while struggling to survive ourselves. Child care for all can only become reality when the child care workforce is lifted.
We’ve made clear to every elected official in California the importance of building an equitable child care system. In order for this to happen, we must safely reopen our economy and ensure that people from all backgrounds and zip codes are able to find high-quality and affordable care in their neighborhoods.
Most of us truly want similar things in life – a good job that provides good benefits, a decent retirement plan, and the ability to provide for our families. Through our union, we are ready to continue being voices for working families. We have a significant opportunity to change history for the better – a new history that achieves racial justice for all workers and makes child care for all a reality.