The money is available to make child care affordable and accessible. The solutions are in front of us. It’s the political will that’s missing.
July 1, 2022: Joint Statement on the 2022 – 2023 California Budget from Parent Voices CA & Child Care Law Center
The 2022-2023 state budget process was important and exhausting. Our families and providers showed up at the Capitol, at legislative hearings, on Zoom, and in the streets to share their lived experiences.
Child care wait lists are crushingly long. Subsidized child care is difficult to access and pays child care providers pennies. Family fees destroy a parent’s ability to pay rent or save for the future.
California is a sanctuary state for reproductive freedoms. We desire that California become a nourishing sanctuary for early childhood.
People must be able to choose when to become parents. And when they do, the Golden State should have systems in place ready and waiting for them. Instead, our early care systems for babies and toddlers are some of the most underserved and underfunded.
We’re grateful for the one-year waiver of family fees in the final California State Budget. And our parents are already anxious about what happens when the waiver runs out.
In the next budget action, whether in August or January, we have to put money behind our values. We can’t expand child care without holding sacred the child care workforce.
We can’t be a beacon if providers are being paid poverty wages and the fragile system is held together on the backs of women of color and low-income families.
As parents who have been fighting for decades, providers who have been holding up our economy without living pay and with no benefits, as advocates offering clear solutions to this dire problem, we assert that we have a right to parent with dignity, knowing our children are safe and thriving.
We are disappointed, yet unwavering in our commitment to action.