Today, in response to the state legislature voting to pass the 2021-22 budget, just as the state prepares to reopen on June 15, Child Care Providers United (CCPU) released the following statement from Max Arias, CCPU Chairperson, on behalf of the 40,000 child care providers represented by the union:
“We are grateful for the investment and support in early education included in the legislature’s budget, exemplifying how vital child care is to our economic recovery and the future of California’s children. As passed, the legislature’s early learning proposal supportS a full economic recovery in our state by investing in the child care infrastructure working families are relying on to get back to work. Specifically, the rate proposals included in the budget represent the kind of significant investment providers need after years of stagnant pay. As we negotiate our first contract, we need to lift the poverty wages paid to this majority Black and Brown women-led workforce by the State of California.
“As California reopens and Governor Newsom declares victory over COVID-19, too many women still can’t go back to work. 2.3 million have left the workforce since the pandemic began, many due to a lack of affordable and accessible child care. Thousands of California family child care providers closed their businesses or lost their jobs during the pandemic due to increased costs and insufficient pay, and many may never return.
“Child care providers are calling on the governor to improve pay through agreement with CCPU both in a meaningful way and in time for inclusion in the final state budget, allowingproviders to stay open, grow their industry, and right the historical inequities that have kept their pay far below minimum wage. As the state reopens, other essential workers will continue needing child care. We need the state to commit to increasing rates so that providers can reopen and affordable, high-quality child care can be available to more working families.”