Forbes: Child Care Providers Demand $15-An-Hour Pay



From Forbes:

by Anna Bahney

As the Fight for $15, the movement to secure a $15-dollar an hour wage for employees, gains momentum, child care providers are becoming more vocal about working toward the goal.

Calling our child care system broken — because it leaves families unable to afford care and providers unable to support their families — child care providers, parents, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and other Members of Congress announced a plan that aims to secure affordable and accessible child care for every American family and to strengthen the child care workforce.

In front of the Capitol building, the group announced plans to take their proposals, including calls for $15 and a union for child care workers, to families in cities in red and blue states nationwide.

The demands follow a week of wins for underpaid workers fighting for $15 an hour pay nationwide. Last Wednesday, a Wage Board empaneled by Gov. Cuomo recommended a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers throughout New York, which would boost pay for 200,000 women and men throughout the state. In California, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and the University of California system announced it would raise pay to $15 an hour for its direct and subcontracted workers. And a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the District of Columbia was certified for the 2016 ballot. and although it was dead on arrival, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus introduced a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“Families need a reliable and affordable child care system that’s available when they need it,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR). “And importantly, the care should be provided by skilled child care workers who are paid enough to support their families. Providing affordable, quality child care reduces worker turnover and strengthens our economy,” Bonamici added.

Along with Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), Bonamici is introducing a House resolution recognizing the critical need for a stable and reliable child care system and a full-time living wage for all child care workers. “No one who is caring for and educating our children should have to live in poverty, and no one should be pushed into poverty because of the cost of child care for their kids,” Bonamici said.

“The cost of caring for a child in America keeps rising, while our biggest corporations book bigger and bigger profits,” Rep. Ellison said. “It’s time we pledge no family in the United States faces a future without affordable childcare.”

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