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‘I Want To See Something Better’: Child Care Union Election Ends This Week

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A home day care in South L.A. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Child care providers are hopeful a successful drive to unionize could bolster their struggle for better pay and conditions as they care for kids in a system that’s underfunded and further crippled by the coronavirus.

Voting wraps up Wednesday to determine whether the state’s 43,000 child care providers can join Child Care Providers United, which is part of SEIU Local 99.

Sue Carrera, a family child care provider in Inglewood and Local 99 executive board member, said the effort is needed to ensure a better life for her grandchildren and “even my grandchildren’s children,” adding, "I want to see something better for them."

One goal is raising the rate of reimbursements providers receive for caring for children from low-income families through the state’s subsidy programs.

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Many providers report they make less than the California minimum wage of $12 an hour (the minimum wage in the city of L.A. is $15 an hour). Carrera said after she pays her bills there’s rarely any money left over.

Nationwide, child care workers make a little over $10 an hour on average.

Willian Alfaro, who’s studying child development at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, told us:

“I've looked and researched how much money and it's … extremely sad and depressing. It needs to be heard again and again and again.”

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