As the state Office of Early Learning starts to figure out how to spend some federal money for child care, parents and workers are saying “we can’t afford it,” and are asking for help. Matt Galka has the story.
Hillsborough County Mother of two Nadia Morley has Master’s degree…but barely makes above minimum wage.
“It’s hard at home when you don’t know where you can get your next meal from or when your next light will cut off,” she said.
She has to work and provide for her family and that includes paying for child care. She’s paying more than $100 bucks a week for daycare.
“I’m struggling weekly just to pay day care, and it’s depressing because I’m stressed at work, I’m stressed at home, I don’t feel like I’m fulfilling the needs of my children,” said Morley.
Morley was part of a group that travelled to Tallahassee Friday urging officials to think about child care affordability.
Child care worker LiAnne Flakes says it’s not just about the affordability, it’s about also paying child care workers a minimum wage. She’s pushing for $15 dollars an hour.
“We have one of the most important jobs, I believe, in the country, our job is important but we are the least paid. Even the person who walks dogs gets more than I do,” said Flakes.
A $15 dollar minimum wage bill has been filed in both the House and the Senate but there are no plans to hear either one.
State Representative Victor Torres has the bill in the House. He says it’s the least the state can do for child care workers who are molding the future generations.
“They’re 2, 3 years old, this is their development stages, this is when the child is learning their ABCs, when they learn their names,” said Rep. Torres.
About a dozen people from the rally testified before the Department of Education Office of Early Learning late Friday afternoon urging them to consider affordability of child care.
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