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Childcare Workers Aren't Paid Much At All, So They're Mobilizing To Unionize

An analysis of more than 100 L.A. County childcare providers found on average there’s a $4,000 to $8,000 gap per child per year between the actual cost of care and the public funding available. (Mariana Dale/ LAist)
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Remember this the next time you drop off your most precious assets -- your kids -- with a childcare worker: many of them often take home less than minimum wage for the hours they work.

It should come as no surprise then, that they want to unionize. In fact, they’ve been trying to for more than a decade.

Today, some of those childcare workers towed a red wagon filled with an estimated 10,000 signed cards in support of a union election through the streets of Sacramento.

Their destination? The Public Employment Relations Board offices.

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Dozens chanted slogans like "It’s our choice, give providers a voice!"

The proposed Child Care Providers United California could give an estimated 40,000 providers the ability to bargain with the state for higher wages and more professional development.

"My dream is for every family to have access to quality care," said Bellflower provider Catalina Johnson at a rally before the signatures were submitted. "When 40,000 providers come together in one voice as Child Care Providers United, we will have the strongest advocate for our communities, families and children."

Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 378 which gave home child care providers the right to collectively bargain.

Once the signatures filed Wednesday are verified, the election will likely be held early in the summer.