With California's unemployment rate at 11 percent, elected leaders should do everything they can to keep parents working and able to support their families. Instead, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed cuts that would devastate child care, leaving tens of thousands of children without a place to go, and forcing parents out of their jobs.
Communities across the state are speaking out against the cuts and arguing for a smart, fair state budget that protects child care. In San Diego, Oxnard, and Santa Maria, Calif., children, parents and child care providers rallied in recent days.
I’m one of them. I stand up and speak out because I’m a child care provider in Oxnard, Calif., and a leader of Child Care Providers United/AFSCME.
I stood with fellow concerned citizens and activists Saturday at the Parquedel Sol in Oxnard to protest the outrageous cuts that would hurt the most vulnerable in our community. We came together to send a message to Governor Brown and state lawmakers: Stop the cuts to child care. Child care providers keep California learning and earning.
Since 2008, California has dropped more than 100,000 children from child care services. This year the governor proposed the worst cuts yet: a drop of 30,000 more spaces. That’s in addition to reimbursement rate cuts that will force a large percentage of providers out of business, permanently affecting parent’s ability to access affordable childcare.
At the rallies across the state this past week, we chanted and waved signs. We educated the public. We wrote messages on artwork, which we’ll deliver to leaders in Sacramento.
At South San Diego’s rally, Pati Miranda, a San Isidro child care provider, spoke for all when she said:
Governor Brown and Sacramento politicians shouldn’t shortchange children's safety, learning and well-being by destroying child care.
Beatriz Pulido, a mother of three in San Diego, spoke about how important quality child care is to her family:
Without help from child care providers, I will be forced to quit my job and not be able to continue my education. As a single mother, I want to succeed in life and not depend on welfare.
Tell California state legislators that our kids, our communities and our economy can't take any more cuts to child care. California families need your support to ensure our children receive quality child care and parents are able to keep working. Sign our petition today.