If you know anyone with a child in child care you know that the system is broken. Families can't afford care or find any openings in their area. Parents, especially moms, are being pushed out of the workforce. All this while child care providers are earning poverty-level wages and struggling to make ends meet.
SB 5225 would expand access to affordable child care in three ways:
- Provides free or $15/month child care for child care providers (with a household income up to 85% of the state median income) to ensure teachers can afford to stay in the classrooms families depend on for care
- Expands access to Working Connections Child Care for undocumented student parents enrolled in vocational, associate, or apprentice programs
- Grants access to subsidized child care for parents who have participated in specialty or therapeutic courts in the last six months
MomsRising supports every aspect of this legislation, but we want to draw your attention to the *huge* impact SB 5225 would have on early childhood educators.
At the heart of the child care crisis are child care providers - without whom child care cannot exist. But for years the early learning educator workforce has been shrinking. Why? These educators who care for our children are among the lowest paid workers in Washington. Pet groomers earn more than early learning educators. This is unacceptable and shameful.
That's why MomsRising is championing Senate Bill 5225 ! This bill will ensure early childhood educators can stay in the workforce and afford care for their own families.
When child care educators leave the workforce, it puts the whole system in crisis. We need to compensate child care educators for their invaluable work as educators. That's why I'm part of a statewide team of child care providers that's designing a compensation package to attract and retain talented early learning educators. This work will take time, but families need care now. That's why we need SB 5225 and continued state investments in the Fair Start for Kids Act - these investments will keep dollars flowing to child care providers while we work on a comprehensive, longterm solution for families and child care educators.
We need a bold, visionary approach to making early childhood education a profession where teachers thrive, where educators can afford to support their own families, and where talented staff stay and grow. I know we'll get there, and until we do, policies like SB 5225 will keep teachers in the classrooms that our children (and our jobs) depend on.