Last December, providers gathered at the Universal Studios Sheraton to gain leadership tools to usher in 2019 with excitement and hope at the prospect of working with a staunch early care advocate — Governor Newsom. We discussed the importance of a leadership committee to build union power, to have a voice in our plan to win, to educate ourselves, organize ourselves, and to build new leaders for our growth. Most importantly, our leadership committee is our model for a member-led union structure.
As leaders, our responsibilities include encouraging, empowering, motivating, and inspiring others to participate. We are knowledgeable that as providers we have rights so we must connect other providers to resources. We are also delegates and representatives of our industry. We devote our time and resiliency because we care for the families we support and the children we raise.
As leaders, we struggle with broken systems and stress. But we have our union to lean on. As leaders, we partner up to carpool, learn, and support each other. As leaders, we remind each other of our self-care plan (30-60 minutes of exercise and/or tending to our spiritual rebirth). Our union organizes trainings to inform us around the politics and chain of command for payments and questions around licensing.
More importantly, the more leaders we have the lighter the workload becomes for all of us. We know we see providers while doing school transportation, at agency meetings, workshops, food program annual trainings, licensing orientations, and in our neighborhoods. Therefore, we agreed to invite providers to union events or to host a house meeting. We know we are stronger together, so we are on the lookout for providers with leadership potential, this means someone who:
- Has followers & respect from other providers
- Is knowledgeable about the childcare industry and speaks up
- Advocates for others
- Desires to be more involved & is proactive (takes action independently)
- Has a leadership role in other organizations
- Committed & dedicated to building our union (is reliable)
If you know a provider who meets some of these characteristics please contact your organizer as soon as possible.