children playing

Labor's role in addressing the child care crisis

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Working paper series
Grundy, Lea; Bell, Lissa & Firestein, Netsy
Publication Date: 
1 Dec 1999

Excerpt from abstract:

Millions of working families must choose between their jobs and quality care for their children. If it is available at all, good child care is expensive. Many child care workers are poorly trained and poorly paid.

Who speaks for the children of America's working families? The stability and healthy development of families requires better private and public policies ­ better child care benefits and subsidies, flexible work schedules, parental leave, leave to care for a sick child, and more. Achieving these policies will take the voices of parents and grandparents, churches, community organizations, dedicated public officials at all levels, business, professionals in the education, health, and social service fields, research centers, and foundations and other funding agencies.

The bulk of this report consists of detailed appendices which provide examples of successful union achievements in the child care field, collective bargaining strategies for child care, action plans for pursuing them, illustrations of their implementation in many parts of the country, and recommendations for increasing union activism on child care issues. Implicit in this material is the benefit to society-at-large from the past contributions of the labor movement to this vital element on the social agenda, and the potential for greater advances.