Since 1996, Parent Voices has worked hard to expand opportunities for parent-led, parent-organized action. We have successfully engaged thousands of parents in advocacy aimed at the local, state, and federal levels. The accomplishments below are proof that when parents come together they are able to take action and make significant social change.
1996: Parent Voices is founded. Start-up funding led to the creation of 5 local chapters. Parents testified at hearings across the state to include access to child care in welfare reform. A group of parents went to Washington D.C to participate in the first ever Stand For Children Day.
1997: On June 1 and 2, 1997, over 50 parents from the various Parent Voices sites attended our first annual gathering and Legislative Day in Sacramento, eventually titled Stand for Children Day in the Capitol.
1998: Began a legislative campaign to create a private-public fund for child care. This became SB 967 (Perata) to help families on the waiting list.
1999: Advocated for and received an additional 50 million for Stage 3 CalWORKs child care subsidies. (Parent Voices organized former CalWorks parents who were losing child care subsidies at the end of the year because of lack of funding. Five parents testified at a special legislative hearing to advocate for the reinstatement of CalWorks child care subsidies.)
2001: On September 29, 2001, more than 240 parents came together for the Parent Summit in Oakland, California to receive the support of key Bay area law-makers for our child care platform. On December 5, 2001 Parent Voices saved $24 million in child care subsidies that would have impacted 14,000 families. Parent Voices brought two hundred parents to the State Capitol on December 16th for the Assembly Budget Committee hearing and then one hundred parents to San Jose on December 18th for the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance hearing.
2002: Saved $100 million in child care funding that would have impacted 59,000 children. 100 Parent Voices members marched and attended a hearing in Sacramento to save the proposed cuts!
2003: Advocated successfully to save 59,000 child care spaces supporting 31,000 low-income working families who were at risk of losing their child care in the Governor’s mid-year budget reduction plan. Expanded Parent Voices from 6 to 17 chapters. The News Hour with Jim Lehrer featured the California budget crisis through the lens of working families needing child care that was in danger of being cut. The reporters followed one parent through a typical workday, visiting and filming at her child care center, her home and her work.
2004: Worked successfully to eliminate $120 million in proposed budget cuts to child care services for children and families. On June 3rd, over 100 parents from Parent Voices chapters in the Bay Area and Sacramento rallied and delivered “pink slips” to the Governor’s regional offices, symbolizing the potential jobs lost if the Governor’s proposed child care cuts were to come into effect.
2005: Worked successfully to save $172 million in proposed budget cuts which would have limited eligibility for low-income parents and reduced reimbursement rates for child care providers. Parent Voices expanded to the Central Valley-welcome Fresno!
2006: Advocated successfully to Defrost the SMI. Parent Voices launched a proactive campaign to update five year old income eligibility criteria for subsidized child care. The Governor signed his budget bill on June 30, 2006 which defrosted the SMI and included $67 million in new funds to cover the additional costs associated with updating the eligibility criteria. Solano County joins Parent Voices! The Children’s Advocate has a Parent Voices page in every issue.
2007: Successfully stopped Governor’s proposal to freeze income guidelines-we Defrosted the SMI (again)! Parents and Providers rally together in Oakland to call attention to the budget stalemate and its impact on child care. Expanded Knowledge is Power budget advocacy training to Los Angeles.
2008: Worked successfully to save $198 million in proposed budget cuts to child care services. This saved 18,000 child care spaces from being eliminated. Parent Voices plays an active role in the Equal Voice for America’s Families Campaign ensuring that child care was reflected in the Working Families’ Platform. San Joaquin County joins Parent Voices!
2009: Held a press event with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Met with the Dept of Education, Dept. of Finance, and nearly every state legislator to advocate and WIN $15 million in new federal stimulus dollars to serve families on the child care waiting list. We also successfully stopped the Governor’s budget proposal to raise parent fees and to permanently eliminate the CalWORKs program.
2010: Worked successfully to prevent the complete elimination of child care in CA budget. In October 2010 Parent Voices led a campaign to restore Stage 3 funding that was eliminated by Governor Schwarzenegger. PV Oakland was the main plaintiff in a successful lawsuit against CDE/DSS and extends Stage 3 until December 31st. Judge agreed termination did not follow due process and continuity of care. Parent Voices personally handed Governor Jerry Brown a petition with 5,000 signatures to reinstate Stage 3 child care funding.
2011: Successfully convinced the Legislature and Governor Brown to fully restore the Stage 3 child care programs effective April 2011! Advocated against proposed cuts to child care and worked with advocates to restore $200 million in cuts from the final budget, including restoring services to 11-12yr olds and eliminating increases to parent fees. Sent a delegation of parent leaders to participate in a meeting with the White House Domestic Policy Council. PV expands to Humboldt County!
2012: Successfully prevented the elimination of 32,500 child care slots and $577 million in funding cuts! Worked with advocates to prevent the removal of child care administration from the Department of Education to the Department of Social Services.
2013: Led a proactive campaign to win nearly $100 million in child care funding to fully fund Stage 3 child care and to expand access to child care services for families.
2014: Led a proactive campaign to win $256 million to expand access to child care and preschool services and reimbursement rate increases for centers and family child care providers. Parent Voices members also attended the first ever White House Summit for Working Families! As part of the CA Work and Family Coalition we supported efforts to win Paid Sick Days for CA\’s workers and win the first ever Fair Scheduling ordinance in San Francisco.
2015: Successfully advocated for $265 million to expand access to child care vouchers and preschool slots and reimbursement rates for all child care providers. The previous year only saw an expansion of 1,000 vouchers and this year, there were 6,800 new vouchers allowing parents who need flexibility to choose the child care setting that best fits their needs!
2016: Parent Voices joined other child care advocates to win $145 million to expand access to full day preschool slots and increases to reimbursement rates. Parent Voices co-sponsors AB 2150 to implement 12 month authorization periods and update the income guidelines to qualify. The bill earned bipartisan unanimous support in the Assembly but the bill died in the Senate Appropriations committee.
2017: After a 4 year effort, Parent Voices won the most progressive child care eligibility policies in the nation with updated income guidelines to qualify for child care and ensuring families have stable child care for a minimum of 12 months. Parent Voices created their first policy team with the prestigious Women’s Foundation of CA-Women’s Policy Institute and we had our first bill signed by the Governor! AB 273 (Aguiar-Curry) ensures that families who want to take an ESL/GED class are eligible for child care assistance.
2018: Parent Voices joined child care advocates in the ECE Coalition to win nearly $1 billion in investments into the child care system, including 11,000+ child care subsidies for families on the child care waiting list. We co-sponsored AB 60 (Santiago) with the Child Care Law Center and although it was veteod by the Governor despite unanimous, bipartisan support and no opposition, we educated many Legislators about the importance of creating a seamless CalWORKs child care system. We also actively participated in the effort won by Senator Mitchell to increase CalWORKs cash grants to rise above what is considered “deep poverty.”