Last Friday, Assemblymember Rob Bonta got the chance to see first-hand how child care services improve the lives of children in his community.
Oakland child care provider, Nancy Harvey, invited Assemblymember Bonta to visit her at “Lil Nancy’s Schoolhouse” – her home-based child care business, as part of an event called Walk A Day. Walk a Day invites working people to bring elected officials into their homes or work to let them experience what they do every day. Harvey was joined by various parent clients and neighborhood supporters including Kim Kruckel, Executive Director of the Child Care Law Center and founding member of Parents Voices, and Dr. Barbara Bowman, a school principal and local church leader.
Upon arrival, Bonta got right to work getting to know the kids. He shed his sportcoat and crawled around on the carpet with the kids for dance and circle time. After dance time, the children sat attentively as the Assemblymember read to them from Dr. Seuss. The event coincided with Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Week so the home had been carefully decorated with red, white and aqua-blue images of books, cats, and hats.
Afterward, two Lil Nancy’s staff members were ready with a surprise – lunch was green eggs and ham — the perfect conclusion to an inspiring morning for these young readers.
Before leaving, Mr. Bonta met with the parents and community members to discuss how quality and reliable child care affects their lives. A former client whose five year-old twins had attended Lil Nancy’s Schoolhouse vouched for the measurable difference that this high-quality early learning and care meant for her kindergartners. A current client whose husband was recently laid off from his job but able to pay for her infant’s child care out of her savings, expressed concern for the thousands of parents stuck on waiting lists who can’t afford child care services like they can. All the gathered agreed that all families regardless of income deserve access to affordable and high-quality child care services.
Assemblymember Bonta firmly pledged his support and vowed to advocate for solutions to child care problems in California.
It’s up to parents and providers to work together to make sure other elected officials and the public know the difference that child care makes in their lives. Why is child care important to you? Please share your story!
We are so blessed to have someone in our lives we can trust to educate and care for (our son) Frederick every step of the way. I think about all the moms who are stuck on waiting lists and contending with constant child care emergencies, or the parents who don’t have savings like we do to pay for it. Because of Nancy, I believe (my husband) Evan’s unemployment is just a temporary rough patch that we’ll be able to emerge from so we can keep our home and give our 5 month old everything he needs.
–Jenny Jackson, Oakland, CA