CHAIR FLETCHER, LABOR COUNCIL AND CHAMBER HOSTING CHILDCARE CONFERENCE AT BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ON OCTOBER 12 AT 2 PM
Submit a Childcare Difficulty To be Addressed at the Conference
SAN DIEGO (OCTOBER 7, 2022) – Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, is following-through on his State of the County Address commitment to tackle the challenges of childcare for parents, workers and providers. Chair Fletcher has already been leading the charge for the County to improve childcare and on Wednesday, October 12 at 2 p.m. he will host the San Diego County Childcare Board Conference with the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. On Friday, this announcement was made from an at-home childcare location in the Golden Hill neighborhood of San Diego.
The organizers of the Childcare Board Conference are looking for public submissions of stories and videos from parents, workers, and providers about the difficulties they face with childcare so they can be shared during the Conference. To submit your story visit www.SupervisorNathanFletcher.com/Childcare.
“As a parent, I personally have experienced the juggling act that is required to ensure your kids are cared for while you have a work obligation; and I know that with the high cost of childcare, it can be especially difficult for families,” said Chair Fletcher. “We have taken several actions at the County to help both parents and providers, but this Childcare Board Conference is the first step in a new comprehensive approach to childcare in San Diego County. I am excited the Labor Council and Chamber are in our corner on this issue.”
According to data compiled by San Diego Foundation, the annual cost of care for one infant in a licensed childcare center in San Diego costs over $19,000. One in four childcare workers in California lives in poverty; the median hourly wage in California for these employees is $12.29 per hour. Childcare has become a defining challenge for San Diegans, and Chair Fletcher is committed to lifting up working families.
“Even before the pandemic, we knew childcare was an obstacle to attracting and retaining parents in the workforce. Our members, our workers, and even the Chamber team itself can attest to the challenges in locating childcare that enables them to pursue a career and build a life in San Diego,” said Stefanie Benvenuto, Vice President of Public Affairs, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “It is absolutely imperative that we establish a regional strategy to address the shortage of this critical component of our economy so that we don’t lose valuable talent and future generations. The Chamber thanks the leadership of Chair Fletcher in convening this group next week and is an enthusiastic participant.”
During the Childcare Conference being held at the County Administration Center, experts will be on hand to provide testimony to discuss the challenges as well as potential solutions to bring more affordable high-quality childcare spots online as well as ensure that childcare workers can make a career in this field.
The participants will be:
- Kelly Jenkins-Pultz, U.S. Department of Labor
Panel 1: Exploring Childcare Problems
- Pamela Payton, San Diego Foundation
- Stefanie Benvenuto, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Johanna Hester, United Domestic Workers
Panel 2: Finding Childcare Solutions
- Liz Ramirez, Chicano Federation
- Lilia Vergara, Dr. Bronner’s
- Erin Hogeboom, San Diego for Every Child
“Pay for most childcare workers is not even enough for them to afford to support their own children,” said Brigette Browning, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of San Diego Labor Council. “We want this discussion to drive toward solutions that help working families afford childcare, and how to provide appropriate training, education and wages for the workers in the childcare industry.”
Chair Fletcher’s push to get the County more involved in the childcare sector has already resulted in:
- Securing $25 million for Frontline Worker Childcare Vouchers during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Securing $1 million to support YMCA Summer Camp operations and scholarships for children from low-income homes;
- Partnering with Congresswoman Sarah Jacobs to secure $1 million dollars in federal funding to help smaller childcare facilities expand.
- Allocation of $12 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for childcare; and
- A commitment to build a childcare facility on County property for County workers.
Read more about the policy here.