In September, the Child Poverty Task Force was in Oakland and then Sacramento talking to communities and collaborating on California’s first-ever comprehensive, statewide plan to eliminate deep child poverty and dramatically reduce overall child poverty.
In Oakland we heard from a parent that “Children deserve to be safe, healthy, loved, and protected.” Isn’t that what we all want for our kids?
But in California, nearly half of our kids live at or near the poverty line.
As parents, community members, educators, legislators, and advocates, we can do better.
One thing we keep hearing over and over is that the system is broken. When resources are available, parents don’t know about them or how to access them. Services don’t coordinate together, and families become overwhelmed by bureaucracy.
A group of single moms in Oakland told us how hard they’re working to stay afloat, and that it’s often too hard to figure out how to get support. One parent is going to college and scholarships are hard to find. One parent wants to work, but childcare for her youngest is unaffordable. Meanwhile, daycares are turning away subsidized child care slots because the state doesn’t pay enough to cover the cost of minimum wage care workers. Things are broken.
Making an impact in the real lives of families day-to-day is going to take a coordinated effort, and a data-driven, comprehensive plan. That’s why the work of the Child Poverty Task Force is so critical.
The Task Force recommendations come out in November. They will tackle things like housing, childcare, early childhood education, job training, and making sure the system works to make families’ lives easier–not harder.
We’re going to need your help. The power to impact child poverty in California will come from these solutions working all together. We have to make sure legislators get the message.
Make sure you’re signed up to get updates and be part of the push to get California to commit to dramatically reducing child poverty. This is on us.