Raising California Together Coalition Lauds Presidential Focus on Child Care Solutions
Raising California Together released the following statement today from Raising California Together coalition Co-Chairs Tonia McMillian, family child care provider and Mark Freidman, Mayor of El Cerrito in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Raising California Together is a broad coalition of child care providers, agencies, parents, educators, clergy and interfaith networks, unions, small businesses, women’s and children’s advocates, community groups, and public health organizations united to press for local, state, and national policy solutions to increase access to quality child care and early learning choices.
“In his State of the Union address, President Obama acknowledged that our staggering economic inequality and our nation’s child care crisis go hand in hand. Families in low-income jobs don’t have a shot at the American Dream without help paying for care that keeps their kids safe while they work. Another generation of children in struggling neighborhoods will be consigned to poverty unless we expand access to early learning that puts them on a path to success in school and in life.
“Consider that wages for family child care providers in our state average just $4.98 an hour and it’s clear that our leaders in Washington, DC and in California must take the opportunity this year to avert a triple threat to our economy: the crisis of low wages, the shortage of quality child care that leaves one million of California’s youngest children without early learning opportunities, and the poverty crisis facing the child care workforce our economy depends on.
“But tonight, President Obama did more than acknowledge that families are struggling and need affordable, high-quality child care. He put forth real solutions such as adding slots for families who need child care assistance and increasing the child care tax credit from $1000 to up to $3,000 per child. More importantly, President Obama led his conversation on middle class solutions with child care, proposing to treat child care like the national economic priority that it truly is by making child care more available and more affordable for every middle-class and low-income family and terming child care a ‘must-have’.
“We laud the President for elevating child care to the national discussion three years in a row and we stand with the Fight for 15 in our commitment to change the fundamental conditions facing California’s working families by strengthening child care that gives kids, families and child care providers an opportunity to succeed in the Golden State. We call on Congress and elected leaders in California to share the President’s vision and leadership in supporting solutions our families need.”