Child care workers in California plan to file for a massive union election Wednesday that will cover an estimated 40,000 people, potentially reshaping jobs within the state’s government-funded child care system for low-income families.
The election marks the culmination of a grueling 16-year campaign by unions to organize family child care providers who are reimbursed by the state. Although such workers are not government employees, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a law in September granting them the right to bargain with the state over reimbursement rates and other working conditions.
Supporters hope a successful campaign will ultimately improve tens of thousands of difficult, low-paying jobs and pump more money into a child care system stretched thin. The workers in the election are overwhelmingly women and predominantly people of color, licensed to provide child care out of their homes for to up to 14 kids. Latina women make up about a third of the providers.