This June, more than 2,000 family child care and home care providers took to the streets of Sacramento to demand a contract that better reflects the true cost of providing affordable, quality child care in our state.
After months of stagnant contract negotiations with the state, union siblings from Imperial County all the way up to Siskiyou County hopped on busses and made the long journey to the state capitol. We sacrificed sleep, but it was a small price to pay to ensure our voices were heard. And that’s exactly what we did! Together, we made the windows in the Capitol rattle as we chanted and marched around the Capitol and reminded our legislators what’s at stake—our children’s future.
We called on Governor Newsom to keep his promises to child care providers and made our asks clear: family child care providers need an increase in reimbursement rates, retirement benefits, accessible health care, paid time off, and the elimination of family fees.
Before the day’s end, the state legislature approved $1 billion in the state budget for family child care providers—a huge stepping stone that soon led to new tentative contract with the state that includes:
• Rate increases for subsidized children and a pathway to implement provider payment based on the actual cost of providing care
• $80 million for a historic, first-of-its-kind retirement fund
• Ongoing funding for healthcare and training
• A two-year extension of payment by enrollment, not attendance
• Modifications to the number of hours for part-time care, allowing more kids to qualify for full-time rates
• And so much more!
Our power is undeniable, especially when home care and child care providers fight side-by-side to ensure our diverse communities can grow and thrive. As we grow, we’ll continue to work hand-in-hand and raise each other up to fight for and win a better future for us all!
To learn more on the contract, visit: www.udwa.org/ccpucontract
Lo Logramos! Unidos en cuidado por los proveedores de cuidado infantil
Este junio, más de 2,000 proveedores de cuidado infantil familiar y cuidado en el hogar salieron a las calles de Sacramento para exigir un contrato que refleje mejor el costo real de brindar cuidado infantil asequible y de calidad en nuestro estado.
Después de meses de negociaciones contractuales estancadas con el estado, los hermanos sindicalizados desde el condado de Imperial hasta el condado de Siskiyou se abordaron autobuses e hicieron el largo viaje hasta la capital del estado. Sacrificamos el sueño, pero fue un pequeño precio a pagar para garantizar que nuestras voces fueran escuchadas. ¡Y eso es exactamente lo que hicimos! Juntos, hicimos vibrar las ventanas del Capitolio mientras cantábamos y marchábamos a su alrededor y les recordamos a nuestros legisladores lo que estaba en juego: el futuro de nuestros hijos.
Le pedimos al gobernador Newsom que cumpliera sus promesas a los proveedores de cuidado infantil y aclaramos nuestras peticiones: los proveedores de cuidado infantil familiar necesitan un aumento en las tasas de reembolso, beneficios de jubilación, atención médica accesible, tiempo libre pagado y la eliminación de las tarifas familiares.
Antes de que terminara el día, la legislatura estatal aprobó mil millones de dólares en el presupuesto estatal para proveedores de cuidado infantil familiar, una gran ayuda que pronto condujo a un nuevo contrato tentativo con el estado que incluye:
Nuestro poder es innegable, especialmente cuando los proveedores de atención en el hogar y de cuidado infantil luchan juntos para garantizar que nuestras diversas comunidades puedan crecer y prosperar. ¡A medida que crezcamos, continuaremos trabajando juntos y ayudándonos unos a otros para luchar y ganar un futuro mejor para todos nosotros!
Para obtener más información sobre el contrato, visite www.udwa.org/ccpucontract.
CHÚNG ĐÃ LÀM ĐƯỢC ! Đoàn kết lo cho nhân viên giữ trẻ tại gia
Tháng Sáu này, hơn 2.000 nhân viên giữ trẻ và nhân viên chăm sóc tại gia đã xuống đường ở Sacramento để yêu cầu có một hợp đồng phản ánh đích thực chi phí của dịch vụ giữ trẻ chất lượng, với giá phải chăng ở tiểu bang.
Sau nhiều tháng trì trệ đàm phán hợp đồng với tiểu bang, các anh chị em nghiệp đoàn từ Quận Imperial đến tận Quận Siskiyou đã đi xe buýt và thực hiện cuộc hành trình dài đến thủ phủ của tiểu bang. Chúng ta đã hy sinh giấc ngủ, nhưng đó là một cái giá nhỏ phải trả để đảm bảo nguyện vọng của chúng ta được lắng nghe. Và đó chính là những gì chúng ta đã làm! Cùng nhau chúng ta đã khiến các cửa sổ ở điện thủ phủ rung lên khi chúng ta hô hào cổ động và diễn hành quanh điện để nhắc nhở các nhà lập pháp về những gì đang bị đe dọa là tương lai của con cái chúng ta.
Chúng ta kêu gọi Thống đốc Newsom giữ lời hứa với nhân viên giữ trẻ và nêu rõ lời yêu cầu của chúng ta như: nhân viên giữ trẻ tại gia cần tăng tỷ lệ hoàn trả, quyền lợi hưu trí, bảo hiểm sức khỏe dễ tiếp cận, giờ nghỉ được trả lương và loại bỏ phí gia đình.
Trước cuối ngày, cơ quan lập pháp tiểu bang đã phê duyệt 1 tỷ đô la trong ngân sách tiểu bang cho nhân viên giữ trẻ tại gia —một bước tiến vỹ đại giúp sớm ký hợp đồng dự kiến mới với tiểu bang bao gồm:
Không thể nào phủ nhận sức mạnh của chúng ta, đặc biệt là khi nhân viên chăm sóc tại gia và nhân viên giữ trẻ sát cánh tranh đấu để đảm bảo các cộng đồng đa dạng của chúng ta có thể phát triển và thịnh vượng. Khi chúng ta phát triển, chúng ta sẽ tiếp tục cùng nhau hợp tác và nâng đỡ lẫn nhau để đấu tranh và đạt lấy một tương lai tốt đẹp hơn cho tất cả chúng ta!
Để tìm hiểu thêm về hợp đồng dự kiến, hãy truy cập www.udwa.org/ccpucontract.
Families of four with incomes of up to $96,300 are eligible for subsidized child care, under new state income limits, and those with incomes under roughly $85,000 will pay no ‘family fees’ for it
Child care providers across California are voting on an agreement some advocates are hailing as “transformative” for the beleaguered industry.
The state has promised and set deadlines to overhaul its reimbursement model for providers of subsidized care, which advocates believe is key to solving the shortage of child care in California.
The state has also agreed to significantly reduce, and in many cases eliminate, the fees that low-income families must pay to receive state-subsidized child care.
In a state where child care for the youngest children typically costs more than $19,000 a year, California provides financial help for some low-income families toward it. Families who make 85 percent of the state median income or below — that’s up to $96,300 pre-tax annually for a family of four — are eligible for subsidized child care, according to the state’s income limits for the current fiscal year.
But the subsidy system doesn’t reach four out of five young California children who qualify for it, The San Diego Union-Tribune found in a January investigation.
And for the low-income families that it does serve, the subsidized care used to come at a hefty price.
Families have had to pay 10 percent of their monthly income as a “family fee” or co-payment for their subsidized child care — as much as $607 a month.
Federal law requires states to charge family fees on a sliding scale for subsidized care. But it leaves it up to states to decide how much and which families to charge.
Advocates for years have criticized California’s fees as inequitable and unaffordable for low-income families, noting that other states charge much less. South Dakota, for instance, charges no more than $82 a month; Oregon charges up to $130 a month and Washington state charges up to $215.
California has used COVID-19 aid to waive family fees since the onset of the pandemic, but before this summer’s budget deal, the fees had been set to return this year.
Read more at sandiegouniontribune.com.
After months of negotiations and a number of vigils, marches and rallies to spur public support, California’s unionized child care providers have reached a new labor deal with the state.
The new tentative contract agreement addresses provider demands for increased rates and guaranteed funding for health care and retirement funds.
“This is a welcome relief, because it relieves some stress,” said Charlotte Neal, who runs a 24-hour child care business out of her home in South Natomas. “It means providers can keep their doors open.”
The deal sets aside nearly $600 million for pay raises, in the form of increased subsidy rates, over the next two years. It earmarks $80 million each year for retirement, $100 million annually for health care and additional funds for training and continuing education. Providers also received a two-year extension on a policy that allowed them to be paid based on enrollment rather than attendance – a policy that provides a financial cushion in case of unexpected absences. The union Child Care Providers United first announced the agreement late last Friday, June 30 – just hours before the previous contract was set to expire. Members will vote to ratify the contract within the next few weeks.
Still, CCPU, which represents the more than 40,000 child care workers in California, had hoped for more. “It’s not all of what we wanted,” Neal said. “But this is a great start.”
Read more at: www.sacbee.com.
The child care, elected bargaining team is excited to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement on our new, 2-year contract with the State of California!
With over 3,000 child care and IHSS providers rallying at the state capitol and returning repeatedly to Sacramento over the past months, along with the thousands of phone calls and our overwhelming digital actions, such as sending thousands of emails and sharing social media posts, we made Governor Newsom aware that we would not back down. The result of our organizing and collective power is that he finally listened!
This HISTORIC tentative agreement includes:
Along with rates and benefits, we won a two-year extension of payment by enrollment, not attendance, and we renegotiated what qualifies as part-time hours, making it more sustainable to care for children.
This contract, not unlike our first, is historic in so many ways, but none of it would have been possible without both IHSS and child care providers coming together and fighting in unison until the end! Our tenacity and power are undeniable and have proven once again, that when we fight, WE WIN!
More details of the agreement will be available in the coming week. Members must vote to make this contract official, so make sure to look out for information on the ratification vote coming soon!
BY JEANNE KUANG
Gabriela Guerrero’s children are all grown and have moved out, but the former stay-at-home mom never stopped raising kids.
The children who attend her home daycare in El Centro, in Imperial County near the Mexico border, are as young as 3 months old. Some are the children of farmworkers who drop them off at Guerrero’s house before their shifts in the pre-dawn hours. Nearly all are from families poor enough to qualify for state subsidies.
Many of the families can’t afford basic needs, Guerrero said, so the 57-year-old makes sure to provide their children with milk, diapers and sometimes clothes.
“I want the families to go to work knowing that (their children are) well taken care of, and they’re being loved and fed correctly,” she said.
Guerrero’s labor of love barely earns her a living. After paying two assistants and other costs, she figures she takes home about $3 or $4 an hour. She takes on credit card debt to keep her business going.
For years family child care providers — the vast majority of them women of color — have said they don’t get paid enough by the state of California to cover the costs of their businesses. Their fight for better pay and benefits, a two-decades-old effort, is reaching a fever pitch in California’s capital this year.
They’re pressing Gov. Gavin Newsom to raise their pay, and they have the Legislature on their side. Lawmakers put $1 billion for raises in their version of a state budget that they passed last week. That funding remains one of the key differences between Newsom and the Legislature as they hammer out a budget deal before July 1 that accounts for an estimated $32 billion deficit.
Read more at calmatters.org.
BY JENNY GOLD
Behind the white iron gate of her Boyle Heights home, Adriana Lorenzo’s concrete courtyard is filled with half a dozen tricycles, a basketball hoop and the melodic cadences of classical music that resonate through the play area. “It keeps the kids happy and calm,” she says.
Lorenzo owns her own child-care program, taking care of 14 children. On a recent Wednesday, she holds baby Elijah, 13 months, close to her chest, swaying back and forth as she brushes the hair from his eyes. Lorenzo has been working since 5 a.m., when she got up to sanitize the bathrooms and cook pancakes and eggs for the children before they began arriving at 6:30 a.m. Her last charge won’t head home until after 5:30 p.m.
She works 13 hours a day, five days a week, wiping tears, kissing owies, teaching the ABCs, and bending over to pick up countless toys. Nearly all her children come from low-income families and qualify for statevouchers that pay for the care. The rate varies by the age of a child, but for a 2-year-old, California pays Lorenzo up to $1,006 per month. After covering all her business expenses, including electricity, supplies, rent, food and the salary of a full-time aide, she says her childcare operation brings in about $1,000 per month.
So at midnight several times a week, she and her husband, who helps with the business, head out in their truck for a second shift: delivering food and packages for Amazon Flex.
California’s voucher rates are at the heart of a battle brewing over how much the state pays home child-care providers like Lorenzo, who run day care programs out of their homes. Such programs are licensed by the state and operators can care for up to 14 children at a time, sometimes some as young as 2 weeks old. Often, they are the only care option for parents working nontraditional hours — the farmworkers who start before dawn, janitors on the graveyard shift, the warehouse workers stocking shelves overnight. Most in-home child-care providers are women of color, many of them immigrants.
Read more at latimes.com.
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As we head into the summer months with schools out, many parents sifting through child care options have found most out of their price range.
For Paulina Coronado, being a mom is about making sure her son is taken care of, which can be difficult, especially living off her own income working part-time while in school.
“Even if you make $30 an hour, that’s not enough to make towards your child care,” said Coronado.
Her son 3-year-old son Leo has been going to Little Blossoms Child Care in Chula Vista since he was a year old.
Even though Coronado gets some financial assistance from the state to cover child care costs, like most families, there’s still an out-of-pocket cost that can be pricey.
Coronado said, “If I didn’t have the help that I have, basically all my paycheck would go towards care. So I don’t think I’d be able to make ends.”
Little Blossoms Child Care Director Miren Algorri said that’s a situation many families must deal with.
“Now you’re putting these families to make a decision whether to have a roof above their heads, food on the table or pay for the family fees,” said Algorri.
Read more at 10news.com.
Pamela never quite imagined herself as a family child care provider. She had planned her life around her career as a military police officer, and served proudly for many years. While serving overseas, Pamela met her now husband of over 20 years. Today, the family of five lives in Siskiyou County, where Pamela has dedicated the past decade to providing affordable, quality care to the families in her community—even in spite of a recent cancer diagnosis.
It all started in 2007 when the couple returned to the United States after years of overseas deployments, and while stationed at Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County, they celebrated the birth of their first child. Like many working moms before her, Pamela made the difficult decision to leave her career to care for her son. But she still wanted to make a difference in her community, too, so she started taking classes and earned her associate’s degree in early childhood education.
The family grew from three to four and moved to Siskiyou County, where Pamela’s husband started a new job at the Forest Service and she worked at the local elementary school while pursuing her B.A. But it was difficult finding affordable child care in Siskiyou County—so Pamela vowed to do something about it.
Opening her own family child care gave Pamela the opportunity to have an active part in her young children’s educational development while also helping other families in her community. It was the best of both worlds, but it was not without its struggles. Like most family child care providers in California, low rates and lack of benefits can make doing this vital work that much harder.
Pamela’s passion for education can be seen in everything she does with the children in her care—from providing developmentally appropriate toys and integrating nature walks and other outdoor activities into her curriculum to promote health and balance.
And, since being diagnosed with cancer and multiple sclerosis, she has only closed her doors twice: once when she began multiple sclerosis treatment, and the other when her husband helped her shave her hair after starting chemotherapy. With the help of an assistant, she now serves six children between the ages of 14 months and 4 years old. Through it all, her passion for care has never wavered.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Pamela also puts her all into being an active member of her union. Even while battling two difficult diagnoses, Pamela is a member of our bargaining team and is helping in the fight for an improved rate structure that accurately reflects the true cost of care. She knows that our voices are what make us such a powerful union and will keep on fighting for herself and her fellow family child care providers.
She has gone above and beyond the status quo of any family child care provider, continuing to provide care for those in her community, and even using her diagnoses and life obstacles as teaching moments in her classroom. Her commitment to educating and caring for the children at her daycare is inspiring, and her story serves as a reminder of the challenges that family child care providers in California face and the dedication it takes to provide quality care despite those challenges.
To learn how you can join Pamela and others in our fight for better reimbursement rates, a path to retirement, and more, please call our Member Resource Center at 800-621-5016.
Author: Jesse Pagan
Members of the Child Care Providers United (CCPU) union say the childcare system in California is close to a “breaking point” but say they can’t stop.
SAN DIEGO — Childcare providers across California rallied Monday, asking state leaders to help them stay open.
Members of the Child Care Providers United (CCPU) union say the childcare system in California is close to a “breaking point” but say they can’t stop now.
As a working mom in the U.S. Navy, Salena Maxwell knows how hard it can be to find someone trustworthy to care for kids. Lucky for her, she found Genny Leal.
As soon as I walked into her house, it felt like home,” Maxwell said.
Leal says she knows the struggle as a parent and a childcare provider.
“I would be terrified not knowing who am I going to leave my child with if my daycare provider is closed,” she said.
It’s why they joined members of the CCPU, rallying in several cities across California on what they’re calling a “Day Without Childcare.”
Read more at cbs8.com.
What would happen if there was no child care? It could cause an upheaval to our economy. That’s the point parents and child care providers wanted to make when they declared Monday a nationwide Day Without Child Care.
“How is it going to be for a parent that needs to go to work, and all of a sudden their day care is closed? Me — as a parent — I would be terrified not knowing who I’m going to leave my child with if my day care provider is closed,” said child care provider with the Child Care Providers Union in San Diego Genny Leal.
The group held a demonstration to highlight the need for affordable child care and better pay for child care staff.
“Even though we don’t get benefits like retirement … or vacation time … we’ve been there providing this service to help families,” said experienced child care provider Rosa Estrada.
She said their income is “ridiculous.”
Many facilities have gone out of business or face staffing shortages, limiting the amount of kids they can care for.
Read more at kpbs.org.
By ADAM BEAM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Every weekday, Patricia Moran has up to a dozen children in her San Jose home day care center, mostly from low-income families — and sometimes the kids are as young as 2 weeks old because their parents can’t afford to take more time off from work.
In between helping the children make bubbles, serving them meals at a big table with small chairs and teaching them “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in English and Spanish, Moran said she is fielding phone calls from other parents — sometimes up to four per day — who are desperate to find care for their young children.
That’s why Moran was surprised when Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is just starting his second term in office, proposed to delay funding for 20,000 additional slots for subsidized child care for low-income families in order to help balance the state budget.
Even more perplexing was Newsom’s reasoning for the delay: The child care spots that were already funded were not yet being used.
“They need (these vouchers) right away,” Moran said. “The parents, they have to go to work.”
It’s true that there’s plenty of demand for subsidized child care, and it’s also true that much of the funding California has already allocated has not been used — a paradox that reflects the state’s roller coaster revenues and the strange funding decisions that arise.
For the past four years, the state has had so much money that it couldn’t spend it fast enough. With record-breaking surpluses aided by billions of dollars in federal pandemic aid, Newsom and state lawmakers paid for 146,000 new child care slots for low-income families. That’s so many new slots — more than double what had been previously available — that state officials couldn’t fill them fast enough.
State-funded child care workers must be licensed by the state, a process that requires background checks and inspections to ensure that day care centers — some of which are in homes — are safe and secure. It can take up to a year to go through the whole process.
Once the administrative hurdles are out of the way, enrolling families can take more time. Farooq Azhar, executive director of BJ Jordan Child Care Programs in Sacramento, said there are 4,700 families on his waiting list. When it’s time for enrollment, some families don’t respond, some don’t follow through and others just “take a long time to complete the required paperwork,” he said.
Read the full article at apnews.com.
Even though the event was unfortunately delayed, the 26th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity March and Black History Month celebration, organized by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, was lively and full of spirited community members.
Hundreds of local residents gathered at the Amtrak Station in downtown Merced along with a wide variety of notable dignitaries, such as State Assemblywoman Esmerelda Soria, Merced Mayor Matthew Serratto, Merced NAACP Chapter President Allen Brooks, and more, to celebrate and support black history and the black community. Many of such community leaders took time to talk to and engage the public at the beginning of the event. The attendees then proceeded down Martin Luther King Jr. Way to the Merced Theatre, where food, music, shopping, as well as a lovely awards ceremony awaited them.
Joyce Dale, the parade coordinator, took the microphone and greeted the march participants. Merced City Councilwoman Bertha Perez was also there, and gave a short but fiery speech. “I want people to remember that we may not look like we are doing the right thing, but we are actually standing up for what’s right,” she said. “I am proudly a troublemaker.” Her counterpart, Councilman Jesse Ornelas then took the mic and spoke about the importance of activism and the best ways to go about it. Ornelas proceeded to speak about what he called “the prevalence and, unfortunate, protection of racism and racist groups in Merced,” and that all residents need to work together to fight racism.
The next speaker was Christian Santos, who was there as a representative of Congressman John Duarte. He thanked the community, with a special emphasis on organizers Tamara Cobb and Allen Brooks for their hard work on this event as well as their many other contributions to the community. Santos finished off with expressing his happiness seeing the work being done in our community and expressing his commitment to supporting it.
Following on microphone was NAACP President Allen Brooks. He gave a brief and heartwarming speech thanking the community for their attendance of the event and reflecting on the reasons that such events are so important. “We are paying homage to all of our ancestors that walked these streets,” he said passionately.
Read more at mercedcountytimes.com.
By Annette Nicholson
It’s 5 a.m. and the stars are still bright in the sky. I’ve already been awake for an hour, preparing to welcome the first family dropping their child off. Over the course of the day, I’ll read books, lead educational activities, watch over nap time and cook three hot meals before the last child gets picked up at 8 p.m.
Then I’ll wake up and do it all over again – seven days a week.
This work isn’t for everyone but I love it. Working communities like mine cannot thrive without child care providers.
Many of us are Black and brown women who exist near poverty, despite the long hours we keep. But this cannot remain the norm. California’s leaders need to eliminate the enduring relics of slavery built into this work which intentionally leaves us behind.
I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a masters in public health but left a well-paying medical administration job because it wasn’t fulfilling. I turned back to my roots caring for neighborhood kids when I was growing up in Missouri, and I opened up a home-based child care.
I now welcome seven kids into my home every day – the youngest is 14 months old and the oldest is 12 years old. Some kids are the fourth in their family to spend their vital early learning years with me. And I love and cherish each of them and their families.
But love doesn’t pay my bills. And I barely get by on the $10,000 in annual take home pay (after expenses).
When my fence went down in one of the horrible storms we experienced last year, I knew I needed to get it fixed immediately for the safety of the children I serve. I also knew that would require tapping into my savings. At 61 years old, the savings I had intended for retirement have mostly gone into emergencies like this so I’m not sure when or if I’ll be able to retire.
Many are shocked to learn California’s child care providers take home so little and wonder how that can be legal. The ugly truth is majority Black workforces – like in-home care workers and child care providers – were intentionally excluded from federal labor protections after the Emancipation Proclamation and continued to be left out of the protections we’re most familiar with today, many provided through the New Deal.
Read more at calmatters.org.
Jean Elle, NBC Bay Area, May 4, 2017
Taking time off work and spending the night out in the cold. That’s how far some parents in South San Francisco were willing to go Thursday to secure affordable child care.
Parents starting pitching tents at 3:30 Thursday morning, forming a line of around the city building. They were braving the elements in the name of affordable child care.
“A lot of parents like me work until 5 or 6, so it’s imperative after-school care is provided,” parent Espie Santiago said.
South San Francisco Parks and Recreation offers that care for $399 a month. The line that formed early Thursday and grew throughout the day is for 40 remaining spots at six locatons for next school year.
“They only have 10 spots for the facility we want to get into,” Santiago said. “We got here at 7, and we have to stay through the night to get on the list.”
The director of parks and recreation said the line is longer than last year’s. She’s concerned demand is on the rise at a time when federal grants that help fund the programs are in jeopardy.
“We need more quality care for children, not just school-age kids but preschool,” Director Sharon Ranals said. “We’re concerned about the current budget trend.”
The department’s doors open at 7 a.m. Friday.
Center for American Progress, April 6, 2017
Access to affordable, high-quality child care is essential for children and families. On average, 65 percent of children in the United States have all available parents in the workforce, making child care a necessity for parents to maintain employment. In fact, it can cost families hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages, wage growth, and retirement assets to leave the workforce to care for their children.
Learning begins at birth, making it critical that all children, including infants, have the opportunity to access high-quality care. In the first five years of life, children gain skills such as language and socio-emotional regulation that provide the foundation for learning before they enter kindergarten. Disparities in cognitive ability between lower- and higher-income children are evident at just 9 months of age, growing even wider by the time children reach age 2. Parents understand the importance of early development and want their children in an environment that is not only safe but that also provides positive teacher-child interactions and developmentally appropriate activities.
Families have long faced the burden of finding and paying for child care alone, but child care should not solely be a private responsibility. Access to affordable, high-quality care serves a public good: It benefits the economy by ensuring that parents can continue to work, and it fosters the health and development of the United States’ future workforce and innovators. By investing in its youngest citizens, the country would be investing in its current and future economy.
State lawmakers are in a prime position to have a direct impact on the lives of families by making high-quality child care more affordable and accessible. While there are federal programs that work to ease the financial burden on parents—namely the Child Care and Development Block Grant and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit—these programs do not do enough to support children and families. Even if parents receive assistance or tax credits from these programs, the amount does not fully cover the cost of high-quality care.
It is an important time for states to lead on this issue. In recent years, strong state and local leaders have turned their focus to early childhood issues. When the federal government stalled on creating a universal preschool program, states took up the cause and began creating and implementing their own programs. This led to an increase in the number of 4-year-olds attending preschool but also to a greater call to action to federal legislators and policymakers. It’s time to do the same for children from birth to age 3.
CAP has developed a toolkit for policymakers championing early childhood issues in their states and local communities. The toolkit provides resources to help advocate for expanded access to affordable, high-quality child care, complementing CAP’s state-by-state factsheets on early learning. Specifically, the toolkit provides:
CAP experts are available to support state and local policymakers and advocates who want to lead the charge on early childhood issues. By combining CAP’s policy expertise and communications capacity, the Early Childhood Policy team can provide the resources and messaging tools needed to create momentum for comprehensive child care policies that ease the financial burden for parents, ensure children’s healthy development, and support the early childhood workforce.
With a new president in office and a new administration at work, changes are coming that will affect IHSS providers, our clients, our families, and our communities.
This year, UDW caregivers face challenges in Sacramento and Washington D.C. Protecting health care and home care, our children, our paychecks, and keeping people with disabilities safe are all top priorities for our union.
Here’s a closer look at our legislative priorities in 2017:
Protecting—not repealing—our health care
Tens of thousands of IHSS providers get our health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (also called ACA or Obamacare). As Congress works to roll back and dismantle the ACA, UDW stands firm in our commitment that the access, affordability, and quality of our health care should be improved, not cut.
Protecting the IHSS program
Like Obamcare, Medicaid is also on the chopping block. Not only does 60% of Medicaid spending go to seniors and people with disabilities, it also provides an estimated 54% of the funding for the IHSS program. The administration’s plan to change Medicaid from a federal entitlement to a block grant program will have a negative impact on our home care clients because it will mean less federal funding for IHSS. UDW is committed to protecting home care by working to protect Medicaid.
Keeping our clients safe
In the past few years, we’ve sponsored legislation with the goal of keeping people with developmental and intellectual disabilities safer in our communities. This year, we will build upon that work by sponsoring a bill that seeks to improve the state’s emergency response systems by giving first responders – law enforcement, firefighters, and EMTs – information that will help prevent negative interactions with people in their communities with mental impairments and developmental disabilities.
Improving the IHSS payroll system
Last year, we urged the Legislature to address problems with the IHSS payroll system that cause all too frequent paycheck delays. We succeeded in winning a statewide audit of the current system. The results of the audit are expected in March, and UDW will use the audit’s findings to sponsor legislation to finally fix the payroll system, and ensure providers are paid in a timely manner.
Improving California’s child care system
Family child care providers run daycares in their home where they provide care and early education for many of our children while we work. Unfortunately, like IHSS providers, family child care providers often experience paycheck issues and delays. UDW is working with family child care providers to urge the state to make changes that will ensure providers are paid faster and are notified when there are changes in family eligibility.
Want to help? Click here to call your local office to see how you can get involved in these fights and more!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2016
Sacramento – The 2016 UDW/AFSCME Local 3930 (UDW) Legislative Scorecard is now available. This year, state legislators and Governor Brown were scored on their support for policies that impact the nearly 98,000 In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers represented by UDW and the estimated 118,000 home care recipients who receive their care. This year’s scorecard also includes the overall career scores of the legislature and the governor dating back to 2009, when UDW began publishing legislative scorecards.
“This year, your votes supported policies that will keep people with disabilities safer in our communities, provide a path to retirement security for working families, increase the state’s minimum wage, and shed light on the inequality faced by more than 90,000 family caregivers who are not eligible for Social Security and other basic safety net benefits,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore.
This year, legislators and the governor were scored on home care related bills, including:
UDW thanks the dozens of Assemblymembers and Senators who voted with UDW 100 percent of the time this year, and looks forward to building on those victories and protecting home care together in the coming year.
Read the full UDW 2016 Legislative Scorecard here: http://www.udwa.org/2016/12/2016-legislative-scorecard.
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a home care union made up of over 97,800 in-home caregivers across the state of California. UDW caregivers provide care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which allows over half a million California seniors and people with disabilities to stay safe and healthy at home.
My name is Helen Torrez, and I am a family child care provider in Merced County. I’m not sure if you all have heard but because of new legislation that was passed last year (Senate Bill 792), there are some new immunizations required for family child care providers this year. I wanted to make sure that other providers were aware of this but also remind you to get your immunizations and your files with proof of immunizations for your daycare up to date.
The new rule requires that as of September 1, 2016, all family child care providers, as well as our daycare assistants and volunteers, must be immunized against influenza (flu), pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. You may be up-to-date on your pertussis and measles vaccinations since they are fairly common but you can check with your doctor to obtain your vaccination records and make sure you ask your staff to do the same.
Be sure to ask any new daycare assistants you may hire for their records that show they’ve been immunized as well. It’s ok if they need time to get their records from their doctor. They just have to sign a statement for you that says they have been immunized. Then the new assistant is able to work for you up to 30 days while they’re getting their vaccination records in order.
If you or your staff do not want the influenza vaccine, you need to sign a declaration stating you have declined it. However, if you, as a provider, or your staff do not opt out, it’s recommended that we get the influenza vaccine between August 1st and December 1st every year.
Be sure to keep your vaccination records or proof from a licensed physician that the vaccinations would be harmful to you or your staff, OR evidence of disease immunity from a licensed physician for yourself and your assistants or volunteers in your daycare’s personnel records. Licensing Program Analysts will be making sure that these documents are available in your personnel files and can review them when requested. The Licensing Program Analysts are able to cite us if a daycare is found in violation.
Keep in mind, these new rules regarding influenza, pertussis, and measles are in addition to the current requirement that we all obtain a written tuberculosis clearance.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Child Care Providers United of California (CCPU/UDW) at [email protected] or by phone at 1-888-226-7510.
Helen Torrez is a family child care provider in Merced County.
My name is Ana Fierro, and I’m a family child care provider in Modesto. My mother-in-law’s influence iswhat convinced me to open my own daycare, and 12 years later I’m still going strong. I love caring for children, and I love my work.
by Zak Mustapha, The Huffington Post, September 6, 2016
Taking care of children during their early years is simply one of the most fulfilling phases and foundations of being a parent. On the other hand, it can be rewarding as a career more so if one considers cases where both of the parents in the family are working. These kind of parents do not only need good care, security and safety to be given to their children, but also proper education to be provided to their growing children.
Also, the need for childcare professionals is greater today than in the past times. As teachers continue to retire, the rate of enrolment has tremendously increased hence there is a continuous need for quality childcare providers. Parents consequently have recognized that a solid foundation is directly connected to their children future educational growth and success. This, therefore, makes highly trained child care providers the need of the hour.
The following are some reasons anybody should consider taking a course in childcare for a successful career as childcare worker:
1. The joy and fun experienced
Hearing the voices of the children and seeing their faces lighting up with fervour each time they learn something new undoubtedly brings boundless joy. Remember childcare professional make the children’s day worthwhile. Also the time spent with the children allows a person to experience a first-hand child’s transformation. As a childcare worker children can be helped to develop into healthy and happy little people.
2. Increases employments prospects
As one advance in the childcare industry, there are diverse opportunities in the industry. After working in the childcare career one can be taken on as a childcare centre manager. It also makes it easy for a person to set their own day-care business. There are many childcare courses that are now available in various higher institution of learning. If one receives a nationwide renowned qualification from college, their chances of being considered for greater tasks in the industry increase. This
3. It’s a reliable source of steady income
For people looking to secure a stable source of income, studying to qualify in childcare is helpful in obtaining the requisite knowledge and skills required to work as a childcare professional.
4. Flexible working hours
This could be one of the major reason why many people may end up choosing a career in childcare. This career allows one to choose when to work according to their chosen programme and availability. Essentially, a profession in childcare is the furthermost appropriate job for people with children and may want to pursue another career to earn extra income for the upkeep their families.
5. It is a well sought after career
With the notable increase in demand for qualified childcare workers, taking a course in childcare becomes a competitive edge in the industry. While taking the course, a person gains the necessary skills and knowledge required in the industry, hence becoming an appropriate candidate for the employers. The qualification becomes a substantial proof of proficiency in the industry. Remember childcare workers are requisite instruments to a child’s growth.
6. Sharing knowledge and experience
It also brings an indescribable joy to support new parents. Just figure out a parent calling and expressing how happy they are for what their children have learnt from. It really would melt one’s heart with gladness. Having such impact and outcomes in the learning process of kids are rare privilege.
Still thinking whether to take a course as a childcare worker? Well, there are some of the reason why one should now take it.
By Clyde Weiss, AFSCME, August 19, 2016
The need to make child care more affordable for families has been an issue in the Presidential race. But not enough attention has been given to the people – mostly women – who provide that care. That’s too bad, because nearly half of the nation’s child care workers are in families that receive food stamps, welfare or other federal support, according to a new report.
Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley found that, last year, 46 percent of child care providers lived in families enrolled in at least one of the social safety net programs: SNAP (food stamps), TANF (welfare), Medicaid or the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). That compares with slightly over a quarter of the total U.S. workforce that is enrolled in such programs.
These providers – an “almost exclusively female workforce,” according to the researchers – earn a median hourly wage of just $9.77. That’s less than a janitor is paid, on average. “Nationally, child care workers are nearly in the bottom percentile (second) when all occupations are ranked by annual earnings,” the report said.
“Our nation relies on their knowledge and skills to provide high-quality early care and education to our increasingly diverse population of children and families,” the authors wrote. “Yet our system of preparing, supporting, and rewarding early educators in the United States remains largely ineffective, inefficient, and inequitable.”
Without a change in state and federal policies that address this issue, they added, “our nation will remain unable to deliver on the promise of developmental and learning opportunities for all children.”
The authors – led by Marcy Whitebook, director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California-Berkeley – recommended several strategies to improve child care worker compensation, including identifying ongoing sources of funding “to ensure sustainable raises in base pay, in order to substantially improve the economic circumstances of early educators and to ensure the ability to attract and retain a skilled workforce.”
It will take political willpower to increase the wages of child care providers, but the consequences of not doing so may be felt by the next generation.
“We’re entrusting children to people who are really struggling to feed their own families,” said Whitebook in an interview about the report in the Washington Post. “They’re managing all this stress, which is distracting to all the important work they have to do.”
It’s at the state level where the changes must be made. “State policies play a powerful role in shaping early childhood jobs and, in turn, the quality of early learning experiences available to young children,” the report notes.
AFSCME, which represents thousands of child care workers nationwide, supports state initiatives to raise child care compensation. In California, UDW Homecare Providers Union/AFSCME Local 3930 is working with state lawmakers to raise subsidy rates for family child care providers who earn, on average, just $4.98 per hour after accounting for expenses, according to the coalition, “Raising California Together,” of which UDW is a member. Higher rates will make it “easier for them to afford their work-related expenses and keep their day cares open for business,” wrote UDW Exec. Dir. Doug Moore in a recent column on our blog.
“These problems add up to decreased access to quality, affordable child care and early learning opportunities for our children,” wrote Moore, also an AFSCME International vice president. “But there is a solution: Make an investment in family child care providers to increase families’ access to child care.”
Hillary Clinton, AFSCME’s endorsed candidate for President, is committed to raising wages for America’s child care workforce. “Hillary will create the Respect and Increased Salaries for Early Childhood Educators (RAISE) initiative,” her campaign website says. “In line with Clinton’s Care Workers Initiative, RAISE will fund and support states and local communities that work to increase the compensation of child care providers and early educators and provide equity with kindergarten teachers by investing in educational opportunities, career ladders, and professional salaries.”
AFSCME will work to elect Secretary Clinton so she can carry out her pledge to the nation’s child care workers. They – and the next generation – depend on her.
Last night, UDW child care providers across the state and at our offices in Orange and Sacramento counties attended our monthly meeting to get the latest updates on child care.
The biggest issue on everyone’s mind was the state budget, and how it will affect family child care providers and our daycares. Together, we’ve worked for months to urge our elected leaders to make a significant investment in child care and early education.
Last night, we learned that our efforts were successful! The state legislature passed a budget this week that will invest an estimated $528 million into child care and early education programs. Of the $528 million, a majority of the funds will be used to increase subsidy reimbursement rates over the next two years. Rate increases will help providers afford the extra expense we will have when we have to pay our providers the new, higher state minimum wage.
The budget is now on Governor Brown’s desk, and he has until June 30th to sign it into law. That means we still have work to do.
We need to double our efforts to make sure the governor knows how important investing in child care is to providers and working families.
Call Governor Brown today at 1-916-445-2481. Make sure to tell him that you’re a child care provider, and that we must make an investment in care for children. Tell him to sign the budget to put much needed funds into California’s child care and early education system.
And be sure to ask other providers, your family, and your friends to make the call, too!
Click here to read more about the rate increases included in the state budget.
By Doug Moore, UDW Executive Director
Gloria Carter has run a home-based daycare in Sacramento County for over 20 years. She provides child care and educational opportunities for the 12 kids in her care with the help of one daycare assistant. And she’s seen first-hand the child care crisis both California and the nation are experiencing.
“It’s terrible,” said Gloria. “Many of the parents of the kids in my care struggle to pay for child care while trying to make ends meet, and when I lose kids in my daycare, my family struggles too.”
Far too many working families can’t afford care, and family child care providers are dealing with wages so low that they can’t afford to keep their home-based daycares open. These problems add up to decreased access to quality, affordable child care and early learning opportunities for our children. But there is a solution: Make an investment in family child care providers to increase families’ access to child care.
And with numbers like these, it’s clear we need to invest in child care now more than ever.
In 2014, the cost of child care for a preschooler in California was approximately $9,100 in a child care center, and $7,850 in a home-based daycare. And this year, an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute found that it may be cheaper for a California family to send their child to college than to pay for child care for an infant. In fact, California is home to the 11th highest child care costs in the country. Families are struggling to provide for other basic needs like rent and food, because the cost of child care is, on average, a third of their income.
Families, especially low-income parents, rely on family child care providers to care for and teach their children while they work. And when parents can’t work because they can’t afford care for their children, they struggle to provide for their families.
“A mom of one of my kids couldn’t afford child care any longer, so she took her daughter out of my daycare,” Gloria recalled. “She reduced her hours at work, which meant reducing her income, so that she only worked when her daughter was in school.”
In California, low-income families can apply for child care subsidies to help them afford care for their children. However, many families in need don’t have access to the care because there aren’t enough slots, and others are just barely over the income threshold to qualify. All too often, families are forced to make tough decisions between paying for care and going to work.
This year, UDW is supporting a major investment in California’s child care system via the state budget. A quality investment in child care, including family child care providers, will help ease the financial worries of parents throughout the state. And right now, the best way to do this is to stabilize the child care system.
UDW supports an increase in subsidy rates, which will give family child care providers like Gloria a much needed and deserved increase in their pay – making it easier for them to afford their work-related expenses and keep their daycares open for business.
Investing in family child care providers and increasing access to care is a wise investment to make here in California, and throughout the country.
By the Editorial Board, The Sacramento Bee, May 23, 2016
No state was sorrier than California during the recession, when cash-strapped state lawmakers had to slash more than $1 billion in child care services. We’re a compassionate state, and it hurt, seeing families suffer. So you’d think that now that the economy has rebounded, that billion would be restored.
Though state lawmakers still talk a great game when it comes to caring about families, child care funding lags prerecession levels by more than $800 million. And though the legislative women’s caucus has asked for that money to be put back, the response so far has been pathetic.
This month, Gov. Jerry Brown suggested that the subsidized child care system be rethought and reconstituted with vouchers and block grants. Then last week, a Senate budget subcommittee offered a grudging bump of just $99 million.
We get the need to be fiscally prudent, but really? Maybe these people haven’t spent time around children lately. Otherwise they’d know that, just as one diaper won’t do when a baby uses eight daily, $80 worth of babysitting isn’t gettable for ten bucks.
Brown has a point about the complexity and expense of the existing system. And he is right to want to keep spending from running amok.
But as Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has pointed out, children aren’t just any line item. They’re the single most important priority for millions of households. The days when one parent can afford not to work outside the home are over, and quality child care can mean the difference between a kid who flourishes in school or flunks out as an adolescent, between an employee who is fully present in the workplace and one wracked for eight hours a day with worry.
That worry is bipartisan. Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen and Assemblywomen Marie Waldron, Kristin Olsen, Catharine Baker, and Ling-Ling Chang have joined 19 Democratic female legislators (and at least two men – Assemblymen Mike Gatto and Marc Levine) in asking Brown to restore that $800 million.
State lawmakers should take another look at this funding. Nothing – no pothole, no pay raise, no prison – is more important than the first years of a child’s lifee.
Last week, we held our second monthly UDW family child care meeting. Local family child care providers attended the meeting in person at UDW’s Sacramento office, and providers from around the state called into the meeting. Providers shared the issues that are most important to them and discussed ways we can improve California’s child care system.
We also heard the latest on Governor Brown’s state budget proposal. In January, the governor proposed small changes to the state’s child care and early education system, but his proposal did not make a large enough investment in providers, children, and working parents. That’s why UDW family child care providers have been supporting the Legislative Women’s Caucus proposal, which dedicates $800 million of the budget to stabilizing and improving the child care system.
Although this proposal would have a positive impact on thousands of family child care providers and our home-based daycares, Governor Brown chose to invest even less in child care when he released the May revision of his January budget proposal a few weeks ago.
After the governor released his budget proposal, the responsibility to pass a budget fell to the state legislature. Last week, the Senate voted to approve just one-eighth of the $800 million needed to really take a step toward child care improvements. But this week, the Assembly voted for a much larger investment by passing a budget proposal that invests $618.6 million in child care improvement.
Since the two houses of the legislature – the Assembly and the Senate – approved two different proposals, the budget will now head to conference committee where the two houses must agree upon and return a budget proposal to Governor Brown by June 15th.
UDW family child care providers will continue to urge lawmakers to do what’s right and make a significant investment in stabilizing and improving the child care system for providers, children, and families.
Look out for an email detailing how you can take action and tell your lawmaker to support family child care providers!
And don’t forget, our next UDW family child care meeting is Thursday, June 16th – in person at the UDW office in Sacramento or by phone. We will send additional details in a future email.
If you have any questions or comments, please call Yvonne Griffin at 1-888-226-7510 or email her at [email protected]
By Mike Luery, KCRA, May 12, 2016
A recent slump in the stock market is causing a major cash crunch for California.
“We projected that we were going to take in about $14.9 billion from personal income taxes in the month of April — the most important revenue month for the state,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesperson for Gov. Jerry Brown’s Department of Finance. “We took in about a billion dollars less than that.”
The billion dollar hit comes primarily from capital gains — the taxes that people pay after selling a stock at a profit.
“Capital gains is one of the most important sources of revenue for personal income tax,” Palmer explained. “(Capital gains taxes are) two-thirds of the state budget. So when the markets sneeze, the budget can catch a cold.”
That “cold” could affect kids, especially those needing child care while their parents work.
Nancy Gray is a child care provider in Citrus Heights. She takes care of 14 children with an assistant.
She said that many of her clients are working families that are struggling to make ends meet.
“One of them for a while there was paying me her entire paycheck just to get child care started for her child,” Gray said.
Child care is a high priority for the Legislative Women’s Caucus.
“We have put in (the request) to the governor. We’ve asked for $800 million dollars,” said Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara.
She added that the extra money would “provide an increase in rates,” for child care providers.
But child care is not the only demand at the Capitol. There’s also pressure to spend more money to improve California’s crumbling roads.
There are also demands for more dollars for Denti-Cal, where Republicans are asking for an additional $200 million in extra funding for the program that assists low-income Californians.
But Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, a former certified public accountant, said that higher taxes are not the answer.
He added, ” We cannot be the band on the deck of the Titanic. We’ve got to start addressing tomorrow today.”
And the message from Gov. Brown on Friday is likely to be about belt tightening.
“The worst thing we could do now is commit the state to higher ongoing levels of spending, only to have to cut back when, not if, but when we get to the next economic downturn,” Palmer said.
The latest figures from the Franchise Tax Board show that California’s top earners, the 1 percent, pay 48 percent, or nearly half of all the personal income taxes in California .
So when they have a bad day on Wall Street — the Golden State suffers.
Brown is scheduled to provide details of his revised May budget plan on Friday at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol.