- April 3, 2023
- California Budget & Policy Center
- Erik Saucedo
California’s subsidized child care providers offer vital early learning and care options for families struggling to make ends meet. These early educators — who are primarily women and disproportionately women of color — deserve fair and just wages for essential work that helps children learn and grow while parents are working or going to school to support their families.
Despite providers’ critical role in nurturing children and assisting families, state leaders have failed to consistently and adequately increase provider payment rates in recent years. Without sufficient payments, child care providers are unable to offer early educators fair wages, struggle to keep pace with the rising statewide minimum wage, and can’t afford the increasing price of food and supplies. Ultimately, California providers and families suffer when affordable child care is limited in their communities because of policymakers’ lack of investment.