Young children, their parents, and early educators face a crisis. Parents want a bright future for their children. They know that the very first years of children’s lives are critical to their success in school and life.
But many parents can’t find or afford good quality care and learning. Profitable companies like Walmart and McDonald’s pay low wages that force many parents of young children to quit work or rely on unpaid relatives. States underfund early learning and care, offering few pre-K classes and assistance to just one low-wage family in six. Even middle-class parents struggle—child care can cost as much as a year in college, a drag on the economy and on family well-being.
Child care teachers and providers themselves earn low wages and are unable to support their own families. Many occasionally forego payments when parents can’t afford care, making it a struggle to stay in the profession they love.
That’s why family child care providers and child care center teachers are uniting and bravely speaking out to demand a better, more accountable system that enables parents to work, prepares children to continue learning in Kindergarten, and raises wages for all so we can get our economy moving again.