My name is Maria Cisneros, and I’ve been a child care provider in Bakersfield for 17 years. While I love my job, the pandemic has shown how broken California’s child care system is for working families.

I live in a "child care desert," meaning many more parents need child care than can find it. This was the case for 6 in 10 Californians before the pandemic and it’s only gotten worse. Child care is critical infrastructure and change is needed.

My union, Child Care Providers United, is fighting to build a high-quality, affordable child care system that is available to all families, treats providers with respect, and addresses the systemic sexism and racism often embedded in decisions made about child care. But change is only possible if we’re able to negotiate a strong contract with the state, ensuring that no parent has to choose between their job and their child.

We’ve launched ChildCareForAll.org to help you learn more about our movement to overhaul California’s child care system. We believe every child is entitled to high-quality care. If you agree, visit ChildCareForAll.org today to learn how your involvement can help make this a reality.

— Maria Cisneros, Bakersfield