Soon after achieving her dream of owning a hair salon, Jacquelyne Gettone encountered a problem familiar to many parents: She couldn’t find affordable child care that she trusted close to home.
“I had to close my business because I couldn’t afford child care,” she says.
Jacquelyne has now been on California’s subsidized child care waiting list for over a year — and she’s still waiting. “For many families, the waiting list is really the No Hope List,” she says. “It leaves me heartbroken. Eighty-five percent of [children on the waiting list] are children of color. My son Matthew is one of them. The odds are stacking up against him as an African-American boy.”
|“Being on the waitlist means spending three to four hours per day commuting, not being able to afford a reliable car, loss of time to spend with my children, having to miss out on my kids’ school and sports activities…It means living paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s made me feel hopeless, frustrated, and stressed.”|
– Jacquelyne Gettone, Parent Voices
Jacquelyne is fighting to create more opportunities for families like hers. She’s a member of Parent Voices, one of our End Child Poverty California partners, and traveled from Contra Costa to Sacramento this spring to share her story with state legislators.
Parent Voices is a parent-led organization dedicated to making quality child care accessible and affordable to all families. They work hard to put the experiences of parents at the center of policy decisions, and provide powerful reminders of what’s at stake in our state: Parents are losing jobs and quitting school because of a lack of child care.
When the voices of parents unite with those of policy makers, partners, and allies like you, big things happen. Together, just this year, we got $5 billion of the End Child Poverty Plan into the state budget, including 12,500 new childcare slots, 10,000 full-day preschool slots, and childcare guarantees without interruption!
Jacquelyne (left) and other Parent Voices parent leaders attending a budget hearing at the Capitol.
I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together with partners like Parent Voices. There’s more work to do to #EndChildPovertyCA, and I look forward to showing up with you — and all our amazing partners — to get even more done in 2020.
Jackie Thu-Huong Wong
Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
End Child Poverty CA