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PICTURES: “Families’ Needs Over Corporate Greed” 1300+ Child Care Providers and Parents Across the Country Closed Doors and Called Out for Community Change Action’s National Day Without Child Care

PICTURES: “Families’ Needs Over Corporate Greed” 1300+ Child Care Providers and Parents Across the Country Closed Doors and Called Out for Community Change Action’s National Day Without Child Care

Thousands more providers, parents, organizer, and allies participated in at least 86 events across 26 states + D.C. to spotlight the true cost of care and demand a fully-funded childcare system that gives all children the opportunity to thrive

Day Without Child Care participants in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Community Change Action.

Nationwide – Yesterday, on May 13, at least 1,300 childcare providers and parents closed their doors or called out of work for Community Change Action’s 3rd Annual National Day Without Child Care. Thousands more providers, parents, elected officials, and allies took part in at least 86 actions across 26 states and D.C. The day was organized to shine a spotlight on the true cost of our ongoing childcare crisis and our country’s need for a 21st century childcare system that allows providers, parents, and children to thrive.

Our childcare crisis is worsening, and we’re approaching another childcare cliff this fall. But yesterday proved that our movement is stronger than ever as providers and parents stood in solidarity to demand thriving wages for providers, affordable care for every family, a childcare system based on racial and gender equity, and an expanded, inclusive tax credit.

Until these demands are met, the livelihoods of parents and childcare providers hang in the balance. The early education workforce – led by women, disproportionately Black and brown women, are the economy behind the economy that ensures parents can go to work. Too many are underpaid, receiving no retirement benefits or health care, and have little to show for doing some of the most important work in our country.

Parents, mostly women, are being squeezed out of the workforce because they can’t afford or access care. Families are already struggling to keep up with inflation, but also have to find a way to pay child care – their first or second highest bill – on top of keeping the lights on and food on the table. It’s almost impossible to keep a household running on one income alone, and families are running out of options.

In Washington, D.C. and New York City, actions were centered around broken promises to childcare workers – and early childhood educators made a promise of their own to hold their leaders accountable.

Despite a lack of federal investment in our nation’s childcare system, many grassroots organizers in states have stepped up with innovative solutions to fill the gaps. In Texas, a ballot measure called Proposition 2 passed to give early childhood educators tax relief. In California, our leaders won a legal battle to approve Measure C to generate revenue that will be used to fund child care for lower-income families.

We need all of our elected officials to prioritize our families and care workers because child care impacts everyone. We will keep showing up until we win funds for a 21st century childcare system.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY

 

At least 26 states across the country participated in our National Day Without Child Care, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Below are some snapshots of events.

Washington, DC – SPACEs in Action hosted a rally with bounce houses, face painting, and more for children in Freedom Plaza, coinciding with lobby visits to council members. They’re demanding $70 million to restore the Pay Equity Fund, which Mayor Bowser recently proposed cutting, while finding funding for a billionaire’s sports stadium.

“Hundreds of us are out here today, and we are shutting it down!” said Dorian Warren, Co-President of Community Change Action and parent supporter of SPACEs. “Because if our Pay Equity Fund is not restored and early education professionals are forced to leave the jobs they love, parents’ lives will be turned upside down. If child care centers have to shutter their doors permanently, our entire economy will feel it. Mayor Bowser: You don’t need a bunch of educators to tell you that restoring this fund is a no-brainer!”

Photo of Dorian Warren speaking at SPACEs rally by Community Change Action

Minneapolis, MN –  Five out of six childcare centers in the Iron Range region of Minnesota, a childcare desert, closed their doors for Day Without Child Care and joined a group of 50 providers and Kids Count on Us to rally at the state Capitol.

Photo of providers with Gov. Walz by ISAIAH

Austin, TX – Childcare providers closed their doors for the day to participate in the March for Tiny Texans at the state Capitol. Dozens of people of all ages attended, including early educators who provide culturally competent Spanish-language care.

Photo by Community Change Action

Montgomery, Alabama – Thanks to the The Alabama Movement for Child Care (TAMCC), six childcare providers closed or partially closed their doors for the day in the Montgomery area.

“Home-based childcare kept Alabama working during the pandemic. We remain the most essential of the essential workers,” said Ms. Cynthia Edwards, a 5-star rated Alabama home-based provider. “I am the cook, counselor, janitor, teacher. I minister to the soul, heart, and head of the children I am blessed to serve. I don’t get paid enough and I cannot pay my staff enough for what they really do!”

A photo of Ms. Edwards speaking by Community Change Action

Oakland, CA – Parent Voices Oakland, Community Change Childcare Changemakers, and California Child Care Providers United hosted a press conference and rally in Oakland, California to celebrate their recent Measure C win and to call for more improvements to the childcare system.

Photo by Community Change Action

New York, NY – ECE On The Move led a group of childcare providers, parents, and kids in a march from Bryant Park to Governor Kathy Hochul’s office to protest the omission of promised funds for childcare providers in the state budget.

Photo by Community Change Action

Detroit, MI – Mothering Justice hosted a stroller march and press conference with around 30 participants.

“Nothing about us, without us,” said Toyja Bridges with Mothering Justice. “You cannot make life decisions and changes and try to rule out a whole industry – the industry that gave you the ability to be able to go in and create those laws. You want to alienate them and cut them out and that’s just not gonna happen in Michigan, not on our watch.”

Photo by Community Change Action

Columbus, Ohio  – Ohio Organizing Collaborative and their CEO Project organized 258 providers to call out for Day Without Child Care and brought hundreds of people to rally at the state Capitol.

Photo by Ohio Organizing Collaborative

Wisconsin – Wisconsin (WECAN) set a Day Without Child Care record with 18 local events in communities large and small, including Madison, Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, LaCrosse, New Glarus, Waunakee, and Beaver Dam. The action will continue this Saturday with a rally and march around the state capitol.

Photo by Main Street Alliance

National Virtual Event

At the end of the day, more than 300 movement leaders and allies came together for a virtual celebration. Emceeing the call were Danielle Caldwell of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Candice Vickers from Family Forward Action. Participants were joined by House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark, who congratulated organizers on successfully illustrating the fact that child care is essential economic infrastructure. Senator Elizabeth Warren also sent over a special message for the group, emphasizing how necessary fixing our childcare crisis is. Partners from across the country reported out on their actions, including the Childcare For Every Family Network, who commented on how strong the childcare movement ecosystem is when parents, providers, state groups, and national organizations all come together.

A screenshot of the Virtual Celebration

For more on the actions from May 13, 2024, check out our #DayWithoutChildCare hashtag on social media.

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Press Release

“Families’ Needs Over Corporate Greed:” 1,065+ Childcare Providers and Parents to Close Their Doors, Call Out for Community Change Action National Day Without Child Care

“Families’ Needs Over Corporate Greed:” 1,065+ Childcare Providers and Parents to Close Their Doors, Call...