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We cannot have a strong ECE system without a strong workforce to support it.

The following story was inspired by the testimony SEIU Local 99 member and Family Child Care Provider Deanna Robles gave at the state Assembly’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education tour of Cerritos College’s Child Development Center.

My name is Deanna Robles and I am a family child care provider in and a member of SEIU Local 99

It’s inspiring to be here among all these early care and education advocates. Today and every day, we are raising our voices together, just as we partner every day to raise strong children and lift women and families out of poverty.

We’ve reached a critical point in California. After years of activism, we are beginning to make real strides for child care.

Recent legislative and budget wins have signaled that we are on our way to creating a system that lifts families out of poverty and expand access to the care that helps our kids succeed in K-12 education and beyond. Even if these are just baby steps.

But we still have a long way to go to create a child care system that truly works for everyone.

I’m here because I just want to remind all of you not to forget about the early care and educations workers like me who do this important work. We cannot have a strong ECE system without a strong workforce to support it.

ECE workers like myself will not stop until we have a union and the right to collectively bargaining with the state for improvements. We ask that this commission support these efforts.

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