Women leaders urge Governor to support child care reform

Bay Area women leaders highlighted the value of family child care and its impact on education and the state economy during an Oakland press conference Sept. 20.

Senator Loni Hancock (D–Oakland) and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D–Berkeley) stood alongside child care providers, parents and children to ask Governor Jerry Brown to sign AB 101, a bill that will fix the state’s broken child care system.

“Good, stable childcare prepares our children for school,” said Senator Hancock. “If providers can’t keep their doors open, it hurts everyone in our communities, especially parents who rely on child care so they can go to work. Now we’re asking Governor Brown to value the work that these providers do and sign AB 101.”

Speakers called on the Governor to recommit his pledge to early childhood programs, like family child care, that many working Californians rely on.

Fittingly, the press conference was held in front of the Oakland School for the Arts, which Governor Brown opened when he was mayor of Oakland.

“We’re here today because we want to remind Governor Brown of his commitment and promise to always put our children first,” said Beverly Reliford, a childcare provider. “When he was Mayor of Oakland, he pledged his commitment to quality education by building this school for the children of Oakland. Now, women across the state want to know: what’s changed, Governor Brown?”

During this down economy, thousands of child care providers are closing their doors every year at a time when 200,000 families struggling to get back to work are on child care waiting lists. Providers are leaving the child care business in large part due to serious problems that must be addressed and the fact that providers currently do not have a voice in their industry to help fix those problems.

Problems include inconsistent licensing requirements, the absence of payday policies which result in months-late reimbursements to providers, lack of standardized training opportunities, and poor communication of program changes. Across the state, child care providers have gone months without pay.

“Child care is vital to California’s economy, helping struggling parents keep their jobs,” said Assemblywoman Skinner. “But the childcare system is broken. And providers have to have a seat at the table if it’s going to get fixed.”

Scores of women leaders statewide signed onto a letter that appeared as a full-page ad in the Sacramento Bee Sept. 20. The letter calls on Governor Brown to do the right thing and support jobs, by supporting the women that enable California’s to go to work and prepare children for school: child care providers.

As AB 101 moves to his desk, all the speakers at our events called on Gov. Brown to show his commitment to children and early childhood programs, and support family child care providers. Add your voice: Send a letter to Gov. Brown urging him to sign AB 101.

WRITE THE GOVERNOR
Keep those letters coming. Take 10 minutes to send a handwritten letter to the governor asking him to sign the bill now. If you’ve already sent one, write another. We’ve come too far and worked for too long to let this opportunity pass us by.

Send your letters to:

Gov. Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

News article: Childcare advocates call on Gov. Brown to sign controversial bill

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