Maricarmen Macias, home child care provider, Chicago, IL

We are responsible for children’s development. It’s time to invest in our profession.

maricarmen maciasI’m a licensed child care professional in Chicago. I have been a child care provider for six years. I love caring for our future. I treasure the relationship I am able to build with their families. That’s what makes my work so rewarding and it’s why I started my child care practice at home.

Most of the time, families see child care providers as a resource for everything. You become a guiding hand for parents—helping as a translator for their doctor or teacher; suggesting resources to improve their children’s lives. When you open a day care, you are allowing these parents to go to work so they can provide a good living for their families.

I love my profession, but I also have to support my own family. None of us can function without good pay. I have to pay my mortgage. If I don’t pay gas, lights and water, I can’t open my child care.

Our work is so important. We are nurturing newborns. We need to prepare them. We are going to suffer as a society if they aren’t prepared. Studies show that 0-3 are the most important years—these are the kids we take care of.  It’s time for our politicians to listen to us and invest in our profession. It’s time to get together in our unions and make sure we are heard. Our kids can’t afford for us to wait on a solution. The time is now.