Childcare is of serious socialist concern, most immediately for (1) the working Angelenos who depend on it; (2) the childcare workers who provide it; and (3) the children who must receive it.
(1) Our current childcare system is a grossly unaffordable market-based one, under which working families can expect to pay a third of their annual household paycheck on childcare alone. The subsidies and assistance programs that do exist are highly means-tested, mediated by a variety of decentralized bodies at the municipal, state, and federal levels, and fall short of covering the demand for affordable childcare by a large margin.¹
(2) The inadequacy of our current childcare system is also demonstrated by the conditions of childcare workers and providers. In California, unorganized childcare workers are paid a median wage of $23,760 annually and offered little to no benefits. Many childcare centers are understaffed, due in part to the material undesirability of childcare jobs. As a result, the childcare educators that do staff these centers tend to be overworked, stuck in substandard working conditions, and left without the time or energy to tend to children to the extent that they would like to.
(3) This leaves us with the third group of members of our society who have a stake in this matter, which is children. Children deserve better. Children deserve adequate care, dependable meals, undistracted teachers, abundant opportunities for play-based learning, and a system that ultimately operates to fulfill their needs.
All of this can be readily facilitated by the removal of the profit motive from our childcare infrastructure. This is our vision for universal childcare.
Universal childcare does not currently exist in Los Angeles, or anywhere in the country. Our society must intentionally decide to put the needs of children, their families, and their teachers before the needs of capital, and universal childcare exemplifies the heart of this urgent task.
We will only be able to build this future for our kids with an organized body of Angelenos committed to achieving it. Whether you are a parent, a childcare worker, an aspiring parent, or a concerned neighbor who has had enough of the boss’s interests being prioritized over human needs, this campaign needs you, because it can only be won by organizing the working class in Los Angeles. Without organized power, we achieve nothing – and to organize power, we must intentionally come together around our shared interests.
🌹Contact Carley T. and Farzana W. at firstname.lastname@example.org to join this fight.
¹ More than 650,000 children under the age of five reside in Los Angeles County. Only 14% of infants are covered under current subsidies for childcare, and 41% of all preschoolers.
This campaign was proposed via chapter priority resolution at the 2021 convention. It was then given a renewed mandate by our membership at the 2022 convention.