In October, hundreds of parents, providers, community members, and many of our fellow SEIU brothers and sisters, came together to rally for accessible child care and collective bargaining rights for child care providers. In California, we rallied in Los Angeles, Fresno, Watsonville, and San Jose! These rallies were part of SEIU’s National Day of Action bringing together workers from many different industries calling for living wages, a stronger voice in our work, and a union.
In Los Angeles, we joined our voices to ask California’s next elected leaders to fully fund child care for all families. We know our child care system is broken. One million kids are left out of early education because of a lack of funding and the high cost of early care and learning.
“California is one of the richest states in the country and can afford to fund child care,” Tonia McMillian, a Child Care Provider in Bellflower and SEIU Local 99 Treasurer, told the crowd rallying in Los Angeles. “A parent should not feel grief because they cannot give their children all the things they would want them to have.”
Among those attending our rally was California State Senator Kevin de Leon who said, “All of our children deserve quality affordable child care now. It is so critical for our overall economy because when we have quality affordable child care our working families, but especially women, especially single mothers, can enter the workforce. They have the peace of mind and tranquility that their child is in safe hands.”
It’s clear that our movement is growing and leaders are listening. Our 15-year struggle is yielding results and we’re committed to keep fighting for as long as it takes to win.
This November, we have an opportunity to make big strides in our fight. We’ve committed to electing early childcare and education champions like Gavin Newsom for Governor and Tony Thurmond for Superintendent of Public Instruction. As part of our “Child Care Voter” campaign, we’re going to engage more parents to help them get the accessible child care every working family desperately needs. We’re going to encourage parents to vote and sign our petition to the next governor. We’re going to talk to our churches, community organizations, and families so they can sign onto our petition to support collective bargaining rights for providers and accessible child care for working parents. We’re going to win quality child care for all!