What a week for child care campaign!
On Tuesday, August 18, more than 50 people gathered at the Sleeping Giant Day Care in Hamden, CT to hear stories about the child care crisis in America and what we can do about it. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Senator Marilyn Moore, Helen Figueroa from CSEA/SEIU 2001, a dozen child care center directors, workers, and parents participated in the event.
Getting things started, Rep. DeLauro read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?” to the children, who peppered her with questions. She then took part in the roundtable discussion. Congresswoman DeLauro said “We need to ensure universal access to child care and we need to improve the quality of the services by guaranteeing workers at least $15 an hour.” She also mentioned that the biggest “issue we face in our economy is stagnant wages.”
Denise Doheny, a preschool teacher, told the New Haven Register, “I love being with children; I love being the one to teach them to write their name and learn their colors,” she said. “I thought I could do this — I thought I could rub two pennies together and make a $100 bill.”
Carla Horwitz, director of Yale University’s Calvin Hill Day Care Center, told the Hartford Courant that things have only gotten worse in the last 25 years. “It’s completely shameful,” she said. “There is a tremendous need for subsidies from the government for this field. We cannot get any more from the parents.”
On the same day, Rep. Barbara Lee visited Pam Sharp, a family child care provider with SEIU 521, in Oakland, CA, and spoke with parents, a Head Start advocate and others. When asked by the Contra Costa Times how her family makes it work, Tiara Wright, a parent at Pam’s child care said, “We don’t. Not really. We have two incomes … but it’s not enough. My husband works on his off days.”
The group called for at least $15 an hour for child care workers and urged Governor Brown to sign SB 548, which includes collective bargaining rights for child care providers.
Listen to audio clips:
August, 18, 2015
August, 18, 2015