There is a mighty group of family child care providers in San Diego this weekend for the 2018 California Democrats State Convention. Women from across California are asking Democratic party activists attending the convention to help improve the lives of our littlest learners and the women who care and educate them by supporting family child care providers’ right to collectively bargain with the State of California. More specifically, they are asking activists to sign their petition.
While family child care providers will undoubtedly see many friendly faces at the convention, they aren’t taking support for their fight for granted. Child care provider Tonia McMillian said she knows sharing her personal story with lawmakers and convention delegates is vital to child care providers building their coalition of supporters and gaining momentum in their effort.
“When I look someone in the eyes and remind them I’m not covered by basic labor laws such as minimum wage or workers compensation but I’m responsible for educating and developing children – babies and toddlers – jaws drop. How can we say we value early childhood education and children in this state but not build the educational foundation, including supporting providers as professionals? It doesn’t add up,” said Tonia McMillian.
Without the right to collectively bargain:
- Nearly half of all child care workers in California will continue to rely on some form of public assistance to make ends meet.
- Many child care providers will continue to work two or three jobs and still scrape by to pay the rent.
- Turnover in the profession will continue to remain stubbornly high. This hurts child care providers’ ability to raise their own families and support the working moms and kids who are counting on them.
- State funding needed to close the achievement gap will continue to lag and keep one million young learners are locked out of early education.
This is the call to action at the convention and beyond – if California wants to build a strong present and future, it’s time to support family child care providers with the right to collective bargaining and a strong union!