More than 40,000 child care providers across California can now bargain with the state for better pay and benefits after voting overwhelmingly to unionize on Monday.
The victory comes after years of fighting to win the right to bargain in an industry that is notorious for low pay and long hours.
"We want and deserve a seat at the table and the state will now recognize us," said Nancy Harvey, who runs a child care facility in West Oakland.
Ninety-seven percent of those babysitters, early childhood educators and home day care providers — mostly women of color — who voted by mail-in ballot, voted to become Child Care Providers United.
"As a child I witnessed first-hand seeing the Black Panther Party marching for justice and equality a block away from my home. And here I am today, 58 years young, fighting for some of the same issues that folks were fighting for in the '60s," Harvey said.