Today, the 40,000 child care providers in California represented by Child Care Providers United (CCPU) announced an agreement with the state, pending legislative approval, that will help keep the doors of family child cares open to essential workers, support the distance learning needs of children, and will help family child care providers support their own families given the increasing costs of COVID-19 precautions. This initial agreement provides some additional funding for subsidized providers, more paid closure days due to COVID-19, and a streamlined process to continue to address providers’ and families’ challenges related to COVID-19. Leaders of the union made the following comments on the agreement:
“This agreement brings relief to child care providers like me who were struggling to survive even before COVID-19 hit us with extra costs and lost revenue,” said Lucrece Lester, a child care provider in Contra Costa County. “I’ve had to close my doors three times in the past year due to potential COVID-19 exposures, losing far more days of pay than compensated by the state. With this new agreement, I can feel confident I’ll be able to re-open rather than join nearly 6,000 of my fellow providers who shut their doors for good last year.”
“As chairperson of CCPU, I’m tremendously proud of the 40,000 child care providers who wrote letters, made phone calls, and held socially distant events for more than a year to stabilize a child care system in crisis and push forward on our goals to strengthen child care to serve California’s families and ready young people for lifelong learning. This agreement shows the strength workers have when they stand together in their union to demand their voices be heard,” said Max Arias, Chairperson of CCPU.
“This agreement includes funding for providers to help address increased child care operational costs from distance learning, PPE, cleaning supplies, and more, along with 16 more paid COVID-19 closure days, which may also be applied retroactively. California’s child care providers have been waiting for this relief for far too long, and we’re glad to see the state stepping up to support us,” said Johanna Puno Hester, Vice Chairperson of CCPU.
CCPU will continue to negotiate its first collective bargaining agreement with the State of California that addresses provider compensation and benefits, training and professional development, and other priorities. This agreement represents an important first step and we hope to continue to work collaboratively with the State of California to build a 21st-century, high-quality child care system in California that meets the needs of every child, parent, and early educator.