Today, the 30 member Child Care Providers United (CCPU) Negotiations Team released an open letter to Governor Newsom calling on him to meaningfully raise providers’ rates.
You can read the open letter in English and Spanish.
This letter follows months of negotiations between family child care providers and state officials on providers’ first union contract, and raising providers’ rates is the most contentious issue. Unfortunately, providers are still waiting for any substantial pay proposals from the state that acknowledge the poverty conditions providers experience and the vital role they play in California’s economy. The Newsom administration has expressed a commitment to historic new investments in child care. Still, these investments fail to address the most pressing need in ensuring a stable child care workforce, a workforce composed predominantly of Black and brown women, which was in crisis long before the COVID-19 pandemic.
As California “reopens” today, thousands of working parents cannot go back to work due to an inability to access affordable, quality child care. As providers continue to close due to poverty pay and growing costs, it is more important than ever that the state ensure them a living wage so that California can recover from this pandemic and the economic crisis facing our state can end.
In California, child care providers currently take home between $3.20 to $9.50 per hour — based on the cost of 75% of all surveyed providers’ reported rates from 2015. There have been no statewide COLAs or other adjustments to these rates to keep up with inflation. As a result, providers make far below the current $14/hour minimum wage. Serving hot meals, purchasing additional cleaning supplies, paying a mortgage and utilities, paying their aides, and investing in education materials, including internet and laptop costs, to support distance learners are only some of their expenses. The Black and brown women who serve as the backbone of California’s child care infrastructure deserve fair compensation for the quality early childhood education they always provide our youngest and most vulnerable learners.