Community Change is building a national movement that’s fighting to make child care a public good — a service to which every family is entitled and from which nearly every facet of American life benefits.
Early learning and care is an issue of gender, racial, and economic justice. It is far more than a personal problem for parents of young children. It raises fundamental questions about unequal investment in early childhood development, the devaluation of the people who care for our children — the majority of whom are women of color — and the growing economic stress on the care workforce and our families the longer we fail to address the crisis.
For the last few years, Community Change has convened a cohort of 22 partner organizations to anchor a grassroots movement for child care and early learning justice. We create space for organizational and grassroots leaders to strategize together, learn from each other’s experiences in the field, and build a shared agenda to make child care a universal benefit and ensure a living wage for care workers and early childhood educators. Because women of color are disproportionately impacted as both mothers and care providers, they are at the forefront of this growing and vibrant movement.
photo credit: Pexels by Edward Eyer
Ultimately, the issue of early learning and care calls for a reexamination of the relationship between private and public goods. Our aim to ensure quality jobs, as well as quality care, will require significant public investments at the local, state and federal levels. The movement will need to reshape the understanding and collective responsibility of early learning and care as a public good.
To advance that goal, Community Change is:
- Supporting local and state campaigns for policy changes that can immediately improve lives while also altering perceptions of what is possible. In 2019 alone, campaigns in California, Michigan, and Ohio have committed more than $100 million to child care programs in these states.
- Strengthening the capacity of field organizations so that grassroots, women-of-color-led organizing groups lead and sustain a movement that shapes this policy landscape from the ground up.
- Building the political will to prioritize early learning and care and to deliver a major investment of federal resources as a down-payment on a system of universal care.
- Supporting base-building efforts that blend old-school organizing tactics with new technology, such as connecting with people on social media platforms and engaging them to participate in offline actions, with the aim to grow the number of directly impacted people that are engaging in the political process.
- Partnering with other national groups to anchor the national conversation about child care in the lived experience of our grassroots partners and give visibility to the national movement.