The child care workforce is in crisis because of dismal and stagnant wages. The Children First Collective understands that low child care wages are rooted in racism and sexism. We also understand that the current child care system is putting the onus of a broken market on parents and child care providers; the cost of care is far higher than parents can afford or providers can subsidize, leaving a public good not publicly funded. Despite Early Childhood Education and Training being the third most common Bachelor Degree in San Diego County, educators are choosing to leave the field for more financially sustainable jobs. We know that the child care system will not truly be reformed until there is a reconciliation between the value of this work for our common good and the rate at which it is compensated. Here are a few ways the Collective is addressing this issue:

adult and child

CARES and ARPA Funding Advocacy

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, San Diego school districts suspended in-person classes and moved to distance learning. In addition, the statewide stay-at-home order limited recreation and travel to essential work. These decisions had a devastating impact on the child care sector, as families stayed home and child care providers had to take on increased sanitization, distancing,  and hygiene protocols. Despite the challenges, San Diego child care providers remained open to provide essential care for families. To keep their businesses open, providers needed personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and immediate financial support. Paired with hub distributions of PPE, cleaning supplies, and diapers totaling over $950,000, the Collective used clear and strategic advocacy to help secure over $51 million in child care relief funds and wrap-around services since March 16.

Summary of COVID Federal Relief Advocacy

"From 2019-2022, we've lost 299 home-based child care providers who were forced to close their doors. Their care was critical to under resourced communities. Our region can and must do better to support family child care providers, working parents, and their children." - Johanna Hester, Asst. Executive Director UDW/AFSCME, Local 3930
one adult with two children

San Diego County Child Care Blueprint

Coming soon!

Universal Pre-Kindergarten / Transitional Kindergarten

California has taken a historic step in investing in Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK). Based on the analysis of the UTK policy and extensive feedback from parents and providers, we know that its current implementation undermines a healthy mixed-delivery system. The following outlines the efforts of the Children First Collective to help ensure that UTK implementation works for San Diego’s children, working families, school districts, and its overall mixed-delivery system:

Letter to Districts & Principals

An Inclusive Framework – Designing & Implementing UPK

Watch the San Diego County Board of Supervisor’s Conference on Child Care below. 

So, what do you say?

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