As rents and inequality have soared, many workers haven’t had much to celebrate with a Labor Day picnic. The working moms and dads whose children I care for rarely get a holiday off — and that means neither do I. Long hours and irregular schedules are common for parents working nonstop to lift their families out of poverty. I’m one of them.
But this Labor Day, I’m hopeful. Family child care providers like me are on the verge of winning a major victory with a three-fold effect: helping us improve opportunities for ourselves, the children in our care, and their parents who are struggling to get by.
The bill will end a decades-long, unfair exclusion that locked 40,000 family child care providers out of the right to collectively bargain.
After 16 long years of organizing, talking to elected officials, and forming our union, family child care providers are close to gaining the right to collective bargaining with the State of California. If we are successful, we’ll gain a seat at the table where decisions over pay, training, and workplace safety are made. We will have a real say in improving and expanding the early education system for children who are facing significant opportunity gaps – and strengthen early learning for all California children in the process.