They are mothers and grandmothers to their own children, partners in mothering and the women we lean on every day – we honor California’s 60,000 child care providers on this Mother’s Day for the endless care and devotion they provide children and families year-round.
But as many women and mothers know, Mother’s Day and weekends rarely mean rest, even as many families kindly will celebrate us with flowers and lunches today. Instead, for many women today is a day to try to make up for a persistent wage gap, perhaps working a second or third job.
Because even in progressive California, women are paid 86 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual wage gap of $7,227. For child care providers that gap is even wider. Though child care providers work as part of the state’s early education system, we are still excluded from California’s minimum wage and earn an average of just $4.98 an hour.
The best way we can all celebrate Mother’s Day is by standing with child care providers in our 15-year fight to win the right to unionize and collectively bargain with the State of California. It is through a union we can help put the middle-class dream back in reach for child care providers, helping us to make ends meet and freeing up their/our weekends to spend quality time with our own families.
“Working women and mothers must stick together to close the wage gap and create a better path forward for all California families,” said Katina Richardson, a mother, grandmother and 19-year veteran family child care provider in Alameda County.
“I’m proud to provide a safe place where children can learn and thrive, build up their self-esteem and experience unique educational opportunities. And as I teach my children, when someone is mistreating you, you must speak up and voice your opinion to create change. That’s what a union would do for child care providers – help us to speak up, voice our opinion and make change.”
On Mother’s Day, celebrate the women and mothers in your life by signing child care providers’ petition demanding dignity and respect for our workforce and building a better California for all families together.