CCPU-UDW providers have been hard at work to improve California’s Child Care System

California’s family child care system needs a lot of improvement—any provider can tell you that. Rates are too low to cover expenses, Alternative Payment (AP) programs sometimes pay late and have confusing eligibility rules, and the state keeps changing the rules for how we keep our licenses.

That’s why California Childcare Providers United (CCPU-UDW) came together: to push for changes to make California’s childcare system work better for providers and the children and families they serve. In just a couple of years, we’ve been able to make a real difference for family child care providers in the 39 counties we represent.

By meeting regularly with the Department of Social Services (DSS), CCPU-UDW providers have been able to bring our stories and our concerns into the state’s decision-making process. We’ve helped providers all over the state prepare for new mandatory trainings. And by getting involved in the legislative process, we’ve been able to make significant improvements to the way AP programs work.

This summer we’ve been busy getting members together—and getting our voices heard by the state officials who make decisions about childcare.

Here are some of CCPU-UDW’s recent activities:

  • Blue Ribbon Commission – Five CCPU-UDW members from Merced County participated in the California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education held in Fresno. Sharon Salinas, Sylvia Carrasco, Frances Arevalo, Marie Valenzuela, and Helen Torrez shared their experiences with California’s child care system and were empowered to hear commission members agreeing that improvements need to be made.
  • Budget advocacy – If you want California to invest in our child care system, you need to get them to set aside money in the state budget. That’s why CCPU-UDW takes an active role in the state budget process. This year we’ve been able to use the budget process to increase the number of AP slots and update the Regional Market Rate—changes that mean more money for family child care providers.
  • Opportunity for more frequent rate adjustments – Current law only lets providers go to AP programs for rate adjustments once a year. CCPU-UDW is supporting a bill, AB 1883, that would allow child care providers who work with AP programs to adjust their rates whenever they feel it’s necessary to keep up with minimum wage increases or other increased operating costs. Stay tuned to the CCPU-UDW website to track progress on this important bill.
  • CDE Meetings — We meet quarterly with the California Department of Education (CDE). Our last few meetings have focused on ongoing problems with AP program payments. We are using those discussions to build a legislative strategy to fix the problems once and for all.
  • Provider appreciation events – If ever anyone needed a relaxing day in the park, it’s a family child care provider! At events across the state, we have been getting together for a few hours of fun, fellowship, and facts about childcare. Make sure to stay connected to CCPU-UDW for future events!

There’s so much we can do when we come together. Contact CCPU-UDW at familyCCP@udwa.org, or 1-888-226-7510 to find out more and get involved!

 

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