The Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality released a new study Wednesday, May 31, 2017: “Building the Caring Economy: Workforce Investments to Expand Access to Affordable, High-Quality and Long-Term Care.” The paper makes several policy recommendations to create jobs, including raising pay for child care and home care workers; increased public investment; increased training and apprenticeships; and promoting recruitment and professional development.
The report’s recommendations resonate with home care and child care workers who understand how important this type of investment can be.
“Child care providers are underpaid and undervalued. By investing in early learning, providers like me will be able to take care of our own families and stay in the profession we love,” said Tonia McMillian, a Bellflower, Calif., child care provider, SEIU Local 99 treasurer and Raising California Together co-chair. “Parents and providers understand that quality child care starts with raising pay. Parents and providers also understand that we need meaningful investments to make quality care more affordable for families.”
“Home care workers are the backbone of America’s healthcare system; helping seniors and people with disabilities live in their homes for as long as possible. Yet at $9 an hour, I can barely afford to care for my own family or go to the doctor when I get sick,” said Sepia Coleman, a Memphis, Tenn., home care worker and Fight for $15 activist. “As America ages, home care work is more in-demand than ever—yet we’re still some of the lowest paid workers in our country. If policy-makers are serious about strengthening the caregiving workforce, they should respect our right to a living wage and a voice on the job.”