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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Labor as the Bridge: Bringing Together Low-Wage Workers and Family Child Care Providers to Meet Care Needs


Today’s child care system is a patchwork of various public and private local, state and federally-funded programs – one that ultimately leaves low-wage parents and their children with the illusion of choice. California’s more than 33,000 family child care providers have been essential to helping low-wage parents navigate the child care system – and more recently, have come together with these families under the banner of Raising California Together to wake policymakers and the public to the need for new solutions to this crisis of care.1 Bridging the experiences of low-wage parents with those of family child care providers that offer round-the-clock care to working families, often for below minimum wages, we can better understand the role child care and labor policy plays in closing the educational and economic achievement gaps plaguing California’s current and future workforce.

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