Investing in child care is an investment in our future

This Mother’s Day, join me in celebrating all of the hard-working moms across the country

By: Eboni Warren, Head Start Associate Teacher, Berkeley, CA

By: Eboni Warren, Head Start Associate Teacher, Berkeley, CA

From the skyrocketing cost of child care to early educators earning some of the lowest wages in the country, our nation’s child care system is in crisis.

For parents, greater work demands, inflexible schedules, and low pay – are very real barriers preventing us from accessing quality and affordable child care

I understand this dilemma very well. With a daughter of my own, I often struggle to find affordable child care. The irony, of course, is that I am an early educator myself.  But without earning more, I have very few options. That’s why I’m a part of the movement to fight for $15 and affordable child care for all. I’m standing up for the next generation so they won’t have to fight the same battles all over again. It’s exciting to see what we can accomplish when we work together.

This Mother’s Day, I invite you to join me in celebrating all of the hard-working moms across the country who not only fight for a better future for their own family, but a better future for all families. Here are some examples of how moms like me are making a difference around the country.

Child Care Providers are in the Fight for $15 and Union Rights:

From Los Angeles to Kansas City to Boston fearless women have been integral to the Fight for $15, standing side-by-side with fast-food, home care, and other underpaid working people to call for $15/hr, a voice on the job and quality, affordable child care. 

On April 14th, on a worldwide day of action,  I joined more than 1,000 leaders and activists in the Child Care Fight for $15 movement as we led marches, lobbied lawmakers, and held walk-a-days, panel discussions and press conferences in over 20 cities across the country. This day of action capped off a year of successful activity since child care providers joined the Fight for $15.


Making our voice heard around the country:

One of the most powerful tools moms across the country are using to help build momentum is putting pressure on elected officials to solve the child care crisis. Countless women have shared their stories about the urgent need for child care reform. Through their stories they are engaging elected officials, advocates and hard working Americans to better understand why our child care system is in crisis and to inspire leaders to join the movement. 

Maricarmen Macias, a child care provider from Chicago, was inspirational as she advocated for child care investment last year. Along with other workers, she met with presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at a roundtable discussion in Chicago. “Child care providers are responsible for children’s development...I love my profession, but I also have to support my own family. It’s time to invest in our profession and our nation,” she said.

In November 2015, Child care worker Jannell Lankford spoke at an event at the U.S. Capitol alongside Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Rosa DeLauro, and other child care advocates at the launch of the Economic Policy Institute Women’s Economic Agenda. While at the event Lankford shared why she’s fighting for $15/hour, union rights, and quality, affordable child care: “People who care for children aren’t paid enough to provide for their own.” 

Policy & Legislation:

Our activism has also extended into politics. Moms, alongside other child care workers, parents and community supporters, shared their stories with members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), testified at several Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) hearings across the country and spoke at the unveiling of the Child Care Access to Resources for Early-Learning (CARE) Act. Senator Casey (D-PA) even said that child care providers "should be paid as individuals that take care of our future." 

At each event we warned leaders about how poverty pay harms our families and our future, and called on them to expand access for struggling families and demand $15 per hour pay for all early educators.

Together, hard-working women are helping to creating a country where every child has access to the early learning and care that positions them for academic success and a strong future, where every parent who needs access to go to work can access it and where everyone who works hard is paid enough to care for their own family.
On Mother’s Day, let’s make sure these women receive the recognition they deserve.

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