This year, Mothers Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, and Provider Appreciation Day all fell in the same week. To me, the confluence of special calendar events designed to help us recognize the importance of caregivers in our lives highlights how broken our childcare system remains. Childcare is expensive, hard to secure, and for many low and middle-income women, completely out of reach. Yet most childcare centers barely make a profit or don’t make a profit at all.
We can do something about these problems. I ask you to join me in taking action today to help fix our broken childcare system.
As a full-time working mom with a full-time working partner, I know personally and professionally that access to quality, affordable child care is critical. I rely on the wonderful support, care, and attention the teachers at the YWCA’s Early Learning Program provide me and my little one. But I also know these teachers are not paid what they are really worth to our families, communities, and the overall economy of our nation. My economic security depends on the low-paid labor of another woman.
Child care providers have been on the frontlines of the pandemic since day one because they are the workforce behind the workforce. In the face of huge challenges, they stepped up to make sure our children were cared for and learning, risking their own health and lives to allow other essential workers to do their jobs. Our early education system is the infrastructure that keeps our economy going. Early educators have always been essential – before, during, and after COVID-19 – and they deserve to be valued, compensated, and appreciated every day, not just today.
You can honor these heroes by taking action today! There is state and federal legislation that proposes to strengthen and invest in the childcare workforce, increase reimbursement rates for providers, and provide greater assistance with the costs of childcare.
- Tell NC Legislators to Invest in the Early Childhood Workforce. Contact your legislators to call and email your representatives in the NC House and Senate.
- Tell Your Member of Congress: Pass the Child Care for Working Families Act (S. 1360/H.R. 2817) today!
Thank you for joining us and for advocating for the individuals and the industry that we depend on daily to uphold our economy and our very own families.
Coryn Harris, MOM, MPA