Guest Blog by Dani Stamm-Thomas, Early Learning Hub Director
Clackamas County Children, Family, and Community Connections
In the system of Early Learning our work is all tied to women. The workforce for early learning and child care is 95% women overall, many of whom are struggling financially in a an unstable profession without benefits like healthcare or retirement. Every year about 24% of these women leave the field of care because it is unsustainable and stressful. When looking at our smallest child care businesses, 99% are women small business owners and about 20% of those are women of color.
At the same time, when families cannot find or access child care the work of caregiving often falls on women. Across Clackamas County we hear stories of mothers who would prefer to work who have to stay home because of lack of space or affordability. There are those who have given up promotions or extra hours, or even lost their jobs when child care was not available. When mamas have to work it if often grandmas, aunties, and older sisters who jump in to support.
Early learning is largely by women, for women, with women. This Women’s History Month I am excited to share that our community is coming together to address Child Care for All. This task force is working on multiple solutions that make sure all families of children six weeks to 12 years have access to child care. Those solutions will include making sure there is more space, that programs are quality, that our workforce is paid sustainable wages, and that families will be able to afford care. If you would like more information on the task force or want to join in the effort please visit our website www.cc4a.cc or email firstname.lastname@example.org