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California Faith Leaders Call on Gov. Brown to Bolster Child Care System

Faith leaders from across California are calling on Governor Jerry Brown to strengthen the state’s early education workforce to boost working women and their children. A diverse group of faith leaders are urging Governor Brown to sign SB 548 (De León), the Raising Child Care Quality Act, in a joint [letter] released today.

“We write to you as members of diverse faiths with a shared concern: the economic security of California’s women and the families they support,” the letter declares. Signed by faith leaders across California, the letter notes that “child care providers are essential partners of working mothers, helping them meet the demands of low-wage jobs with long hours, irregular hours, and little notice of schedules.” Today, one in four Californians lives in poverty, undermining early education opportunities and reinforcing an achievement gap that divides students by race and language.

The letter comes as Pope Francis wraps up a historic visit to the United States this week, putting a focus on income inequality. The message from the clergy leaders reiterated the Pope’s call for broadly shared prosperity rather than an “economy of exclusion;” they wrote: “SB 548 is necessary…to strengthen and stabilize a workforce essential to our economy and California’s next generation.“

“It is clear California must soon adopt a comprehensive program to strengthen and invest in childcare,” the letter declares. “By providing a baseline training for every provider in the state, SB 548 is a first step to help California stabilize the child care workforce that provides the flexible, around-the-clock child care working mothers need to lift their families out of poverty.”

SB 548 is a critical step forward to stabilize the child care profession that has lost 30% of providers in less than a decade. SB 548 would implement a baseline training program for every child care provider in California, a critical step to help California meet new federal requirements. At the same time, it will strengthen the child care profession by supporting providers in delivering high-quality care and learning that will prepare the next generation of Californians to succeed.

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