The DC Council is scheduled to begin voting on the budget today at noon, and unless they change course, they are on track to leave early educators--thousands of Black and brown women-- out of the recovery. These essential workers stepped up even more than they already do to serve children and working families during the pandemic. But early educators earn just above minimum wage, hardly a liveable wage in a place as expensive as the District.
As DCFPI’s Executive Director, Erica Williams, and I wrote in the DC Line yesterday, “the high cost of care is the direct result of a broken financing model for child care and early education, as are the low wages early educators are paid.” Fixing this is not complicated, it requires investing more in child care so we can raise wages for educators and bring down the cost of care for working families. It’s good for educators, families and businesses, whose employees depend on affordable, quality and reliable care to work.
Despite years of promises from policy makers to do better, the current budget proposal maintains the status quo. This is unacceptable. We can do better.
The DC Council will begin taking their first vote on the budget today at noon. We need you to contact them right now, and tell them to raise revenue so we can invest at least $60 million in child care to help raise wages for early educators, and begin bringing down the cost of care. Without their support, the early education sector will be pushed further into crisis.
Kimberly Perry, Executive Director