Stand With Working Women

Several of the state’s largest newspapers have spoken, and their verdict is in: the hard-working women who care for California’s kids are no more than “babysitters.” At least that’s what a spate of editorials have claimed in recent days as they dismiss the idea that child care providers do difficult, important work.

These editorial writers have actually sat and listened to women explain how their day starts at 5:30 in the morning and lasts until 10:00 at night and heard them describe the thought, care, and hard work that goes into caring for and laying good educational and social foundations for up to 14 children a day.

They listened — and promptly dismissed the fact that they play a crucial role in our economy, making hundreds of thousands of jobs possible by giving parents the ability to be at work.

As infuriating as it can be to witness such disrespect, I’ve never been surprised when those in positions of power display their contempt for working people, especially working women of color.

AB 101, which passed at the end of session, is the fifth time that child care providers have hustled and organized and put a bill to organize before the Governor. In the past, we faced an immovable obstacle. A Governor who didn’t respect women and their work. A Governor who, let’s just say, had “issues” with women — and we'll leave it at that.

Today, we’re counting on the fact that Governor Brown “gets it.” We hope he believes that these hard-working people, mostly women of color, have an important contribution to make in improving child care.

AB 101 fixes a child care system so broken that it forced 5,700 providers to close their doors and put countless families out of work in 2010. It gives child care providers who are on the front lines of California’s mission to get families back to work a voice in the system we all count on.

AB 101 says California can do better by respecting the people who do this hard work, so important to our economy.

Fourteen other states have allowed child care providers this choice. Fourteen other Democratic governors have acknowledged the right of child care workers to organize.

We are counting on Governor Brown to value child care, respect child care providers, affirm his belief in workers’ right to a place at the table, and sign AB 101.