Jacqueline Jackson just doesn’t quit. Despite years of challenges and sacrifice, Jacqueline kept her dream alive when most of us would have given up. A single mom of three children, Jacqueline has been a childcare provider in Antioch for twenty years.
In 2005, Jacqueline decided to go back to school to upgrade her skills as a provider and earn a Bachelor’s Degree. A daunting task for anyone with kids and a business to run, it became an even bigger challenge when child care subsidies were cut and her enrollment dropped from twelve children to four. To make matters worse, the housing crisis hit and her mortgage payments went up.
“I was struggling to stay in school, keep my doors open for the parents who need child care, raise my own three children, and pay the bank note. I kept asking myself, ‘Why stay in school if I can’t even keep my house?'”
Still Jacqueline pressed on. As she was about to begin her last semester, the funding for her schooling was cut, and it was going her cost her $6,000 to finish the program she’d already sacrificed so much for. Jacqueline was in tears at the thought that her dream was going to die.
A relative stepped in and loaned her the money for her last semester, and Jacqueline vowed to pay him back. “I didn’t want the money. I’m an independent person but he told me I had to finish. Unfortunately, he passed away before I graduated.”
Jacqueline now has her Bachelor’s Degree and enrollment at her facility has doubled—but she had a huge scare over the summer when the Governor’s proposed rate cuts of 40% threatened to wipe out all of her progress to expand quality care for children in her neighborhood.
“I want to continue to provide quality care for school-age kids. They suffered some of the worst cuts in child care, and there are too many kids home alone because their parents can’t afford after-school care for them.”
Thousands of providers like Jacqueline—dedicated to quality early learning—are struggling to keep their doors open due to problems in the broken child care system. Show your support for their struggle to win collective bargaining rights!