The 40,000 child care providers in California represented by Child Care Providers United (CCPU) responded to Governor Newsom’s January 2021-22 budget proposal with this statement from Rosa Carreño, a child care provider in Santa Clara County:
“Governor Newsom was clear today: California’s recovery will create greater inequity if parents – especially women – cannot access quality child care. As women of color who support our nurses, grocery store workers, and delivery drivers, we have been sounding the alarm on California’s child care crisis since even before the pandemic began.
“In the past year, close to 6,000 of my fellow providers have closed their doors, many to never reopen again due to a lack of inadequate support from the state, as we paid out of pocket to sanitize our homes, hire additional employees to support students participating in distance learning, and purchased countless amounts of PPE. We took days off to go to state buildings and demand state leaders put action behind their words and invest in the essential service we provide.
“We appreciate that this budget takes initial steps toward stabilizing our early care and education system — allocating funding for 4,500 more child care slots. For the frontline workers in low-wage jobs who have spent years waiting for slots to open, this small investment is welcome relief, but more investment is needed to meet the needs of families, particularly those with infants and toddlers.
“Additionally, federal COVID relief funding is an urgent lifeline for providers pushed to the brink of closing, and ensuring California’s allocation meets needs providers and families have raised and gets to them as soon as possible is a critical, timely priority.
“Because child care providers formed our union last year, we are now in a strong position to speak for the needs of the child care workforce and the children and families we serve. We look forward to continuing to sit down with the state to collectively bargain, using the strength we gain from standing together and our experience on the frontlines to bring our child care system out of its current crisis.”