In Southeast Los Angeles, many providers work with Plaza Community Services, a network that provides early care and education in the area. In April, we met with Plaza and were informed the network would be transitioning to an Early Head Start program. Shortly after many of us received termination letters from the network. The letters indicated effective May 16, 2018, the children in our care would be removed from the program! Providers who have worked with Plaza for years were greatly affected by this sudden termination.
But, as union providers, we decided to do what we do best — organize! “Providers like myself stood tall to fight for our jobs and child care services for our community. We contacted state representatives about the termination notices and were able to gain one more year with Plaza before it’s transition. Together, we won!,” said Verlinda Walker, Provider from Los Angeles. This was an incredible victory. We can continue to provide care for the children in the Plaza program. We learned that by coming together in our union we can challenge decisions made by R&R agencies, like Plaza, that affect our livelihoods and the children we care for.