On Monday, May 9th, child care providers, parents and families across the country are hosting A Day Without Child Care: A National Day of Action. For generations, we have been fighting for equitable access to affordable child care and better pay and working conditions for providers but our needs are still not being met. That’s why we’re taking action for:

1) Living wages for child care providers
2) An equitable child care system built on racial justice
3) Affordable child care for all families


Join us! Sign our pledge, join an event near you or volunteer to host an event!

The work of caring for our children is some of the most important work in our lives. Affordable, quality child care makes it possible for parents to go out and do what we do every day, knowing that the most precious people in our lives are in good hands. Yet, it’s some of the most invisible and undervalued work. Child care providers have been hit hard by COVID, following decades of underinvestment and disregard for their essential role in nurturing our youngest children and fueling our economy. And parents with young kids are struggling. The costs of essentials like rent and child care have skyrocketed over the last decades. We have reached our tipping point.

We are calling for a caring economy that values early education and care providers. We believe child care providers should have a powerful voice in the system that impacts them, that includes granting rights to providers to choose to have a union.  And we need a child care infrastructure that makes child care affordable and accessible for all families. .

We demand public investments for:


1) Living wages for child care providers
2) An equitable child care system built on racial justice 
3) Affordable child care for all families


This requires: 


  • Transformational federal investments in early care and education in an economic package passed through reconciliation that (1) guarantees child care for every family who needs it, whether black, white, or brown, and helps families pay for it; (2) pays a living wage and compensation on par with K-12 teachers to early care and education workers, who are disproportionately black and brown women; and (3) invests in a high quality and equitable system that supports child care in schools, centers, and home-based family child care. 


  • Spending down of state CCDBG Expansion funds and Child Care Stabilization Grant funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to improve access and affordability for parents and at the same time to raise compensation and benefits for the ECE workforce. 


  • Creating a local vehicle for sustained investments in early care and education from city and county ARP funds to make early care more accessible and affordable for parents, support ECE workers, and expand the supply of child care in underserved communities. 
 

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What and Why

Child care providers and families from across the country have been fighting for generations for equitable access to affordable child care and better pay and working conditions for providers.

That’s why on Monday May 9th some providers are going on strike by shutting their doors for the day, others are calling out, some are working with families to join rallies, send letters, and make phone calls, and some are shutting down their centers just for an hour or two with support from the families they serve to send a message to our elected leaders that our country does not work even one “day without child care.”

The COVID pandemic has reinforced the importance of child care for our families and economy, but it has also exacerbated a child care crisis that has existed for decades. And we’re facing the brunt of that crisis right now.

What’s more, our child care system is predominantly led by women of color who have one of the most important responsibilities: providing the foundation for all of our childrens’ futures. And yet, providers are among the lowest paid workers in the nation and are going hungry, struggling to pay for housing and our families’ other basic needs.

Parents, and especially women of color, are being forced out of the workforce as expenses like rent have skyrocketed with child care being one of the most expensive costs for families across the nation. We have reached our tipping point.

We are calling for a caring economy that values early education and care providers. We believe child care providers should have a powerful voice in the system that impacts them, that includes granting rights to providers to choose to have a union. And we need a child care infrastructure that makes child care affordable and accessible for all families.

For generations, our government has historically underfunded our child care system. This country has not recognized or valued child care providers’ labor, especially those providing care in low-income communities of color. And we have failed to address how vital child care is to parents’ ability to work and provide for their families. Unaffordable child care also impacts the small business community, in particular, Black and Brown small business owners, who are more often women and are already primary caregivers. Without a meaningful investment in child care, we are putting children, families, and the economic health of our communities at risk.

But now, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acknowledge the incredible value that caregivers add to our economy, help create jobs that provide a living wage, and support families.

It is well past time that Congress makes meaningful public investments to raise wages for educators and guarantee child care with lower costs for parents. It is time to value people who provide the care that keeps our country running. And every child and family deserves access to high-quality, affordable child care, to be able to put food on the table, and to save for their futures. That’s why, on May 9th, the day after Mother’s Day, parents and providers are coming together across the country in solidarity to show our elected leaders that our country cannot function without child care. We’re taking action to say our economy does not work even one “day without child care.”

Join us to take action now!

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Our movement is fighting for affordability for parents, stability for providers, and living wages for the Early education and care workforce. This fight, and this movement, is for the long haul.

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Childcare Changemakers is a project of Community Change Action.

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