Child care providers who care for some of California's neediest families have been warning for months that the system is going to collapse if they don’t get help soon. In-home providers already operated on razor-thin margins. Now, those who take care of kids receiving state subsidies for care say their costs and responsibilities are skyrocketing, and support from the state has not kept pace.
The newly formed union representing those providers, Child Care Providers United (CCPU), filed on Tuesday an unfair labor practice complaint against the state, accusing officials of failing to collaborate with providers on solutions to pandemic-related issues.
The complaint states, in part, "the Governor, through CalHR, has denied CCPU rights guaranteed it by the Childcare Provider Act and refused or failed to meet and confer in good faith."
The union says nearly 6,000 child care centers have closed since the pandemic started, leaving more than 60,000 kids without access to care — and many child care workers without a job. CCPU Chairman Max Arias said the state needs to pay attention.
“With thousands of child care centers already closed and more closing every week, we are at the breaking point," Arias said. "The state can no longer ignore the child care crisis. We demand the state leaders protect the children and families who are counting on child care before the system collapses.”