Family child care providers took a historic step this month – we voted in the largest union election in over 20 years. We voted to be a part of Child Care Providers United which is made up of three local unions in California, including SEIU Local 99.
We’re thrilled! We will add an estimated 15,000 child care providers in Los Angeles County alone to SEIU Local 99’s ranks. Together, we’ll have an even stronger voice to fight for the safe reopening of schools, quality public education and good jobs for all of us who contribute to student learning.
A resounding 97% of ballots received voted in favor of CCPU!
It’s been a long road since family child care providers first started organizing our union, CCPU, in 2003. In 17 years, we have shared our stories with hundreds of legislators, journalists, parents, our fellow education workers and community members.
We’ve changed perceptions about what it means to be an in-home child care provider – no we’re not babysitters. We’ve helped state leaders recognize the importance of the quality, accessible early care and education we offer to families in our state. We’ve always known we were essential and now California knows it too!
Our next step is to negotiate our very first contract. And you can bet we’ll carry-on our fighting spirit to make sure frontline workers have access to essential child care, to secure funding for early education, and to help child care providers win the basic benefits and protections already enjoyed by many union members.
This means increasing rates, so providers can stay in business. It means offering its mostly Black and brown providers the opportunity to live with dignity. It means we will finally sit at the table with the state of California and negotiate a contract to secure wins for early educators everywhere!
In fact, the need for child care has increased exponentially as California sits in the middle of a second surge of COVID-19 infections. Meanwhile, over 150 billionaires call our state home and their wealth continues to increase while many of us face layoffs, furloughs and threats to cuts in our pay. It is time California finds the true solution to this economic dilemma where it belongs – ensuring corporations pay their fair share like Prop 15, the Schools and Communities First Funding Act, on the ballot in November.
Together, we will stand united for quality education and better lives.
Together, we are stronger.
Sue Carrera and Deanna Robles
SEIU Local 99 Executive Board – Child Care Delegates
Family Child Care Providers