Union Member Parent Profile
Ashanna is ten years old. She likes mystery books and places “archeologist” at the top of her list of dream jobs. Her biggest dream, it ends up, is actually a longish string of dreams: “…to get a job and have my own house and be a good person and share and be kind.”
Ashanna’s mom, Antoinette, is a custodian at Los Angeles City College and a member of SEIU Local 721. Her shift begins at 4:30 p.m. and ends at 1:00 a.m. Every morning, she takes Ashanna, and her little sister Honey, age five, to school. But another “mom” picks them up every day: Their family home child care provider, Paris Thrash, who offers 24-hour care for working parents with non-traditional work schedules.
“Paris picks them up from school after their after-school program. Then she helps them with their homework, feeds them dinner, makes sure they take a bath, and puts them to bed,” explains Antoinette.
In 2010, when then-Governor Schwarzenegger proposed eliminating the child care program, Antoinette panicked.
“I can’t leave them home alone. Ashanna’s simply not old enough. Maybe if I worked during the day while they were in school, she could be the ‘latchkey’ supervisor for an hour or so. But not with my hours. I live on an alley. It wouldn’t be safe and I just wouldn’t do it.”
Antoinette notes the positive influence that Paris has on her girls. She’s taken them to museums, brings them to the bank with her where they see how to be responsible money, and they look forward to going to Bible study on Wednesday nights.
Thousands of union members like Antoinette rely on quality, affordable child care so they can stay in their jobs and work hard to make a better life for their families.
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