Child Care Stories

From IHSS provider to child care provider, Terry Walker-Dampier says “it’s about respect”

Ms. Terry Walker-Dampier lives her life based on a simple mantra passed down to her from her mother: “You are not responsible for how people treat you; you are responsible for how you treat other people.” Terry’s decades as a caregiver and strong champion of our union are a testament to how seriously she takes that responsibility. Currently, Terry acts as UDW’s District 4 (Stanislaus County) representative, advocating for both IHSS workers and child care providers. She cares for five children in her family child care, having worked with children for over 15 years. But before Terry was a child […]

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Pat Alexander: We’ve been fighting for this for 15 years and we can’t wait any longer

Pat Alexander: We’ve been fighting for this for 15 years and we can’t wait any longer

If anyone can call themselves an expert in Early Childhood Education, it’s CCPU-UDW member Pat Alexander. She’s been a childcare provider for 49 years, has multiple accreditations and has served on many child care boards. She’s also been active since 2002 organizing and advocating for her union of family child care providers. Pat’s expertise has shown her that their years spent in childcare will affect kids in profound ways. “Children’s brains are developing at an amazing rate during the first five years of their lives,” Pat says. “The experiences they have during those crucial years will shape their lives and […]

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Charlotte Neal: “I come up short every single month”

Charlotte Neal: “I come up short every single month”

Charlotte Neal runs a near 24-hour child care in Sacramento. She has kids being dropped off and picked up in the wee hours of the morning. In an economy where not everyone works nine-to-five–where people work as delivery drivers, restaurant workers and nursing assistants–Charlotte provides an essential service. “They need child care just as much as people who work during the day. I am there for them,” Charlotte says of the hardworking parents who trust her with their children. But, she says, there’s more to her near-total availability than just being helpful. “Honestly, I do 24 hours just to make […]

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Sylvia Carrasco: “Together, we are one voice”

Sylvia Carrasco: “Together, we are one voice”

Sylvia Carrasco, who grew up on the Central Coast and now lives in Los Banos, comes from a family that is steeped in Early Childhood Education. Her mother and her sisters are all child care providers. And Sylvia’s mother, like Sylvia herself, started out as a preschool teacher before moving to home-based care. For Sylvia, being a family child care provider is all about making a difference in her community. “I always knew I wanted to work with women and children,” Sylvia says. “It’s a very rewarding job.” Now Sylvia runs a 24-hour child care with nine total children in […]

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Good child care: Listen to parents, kids, providers

Good child care: Listen to parents, kids, providers

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that may be true. But this much we know for certain: for working families in today’s economy, it takes, if not a village, at least a solid team. The backbone of that team is parents, children and caregivers. Parents must work to afford housing, food and other necessities. Children require a safe, nurturing place to be when mom and dad are at their jobs. In order to thrive, families need to team up with affordable, high-quality child care providers. Working parents plus great child care providers equals success. In […]

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