California teachers’ latest demand: Free child care

Source: Politico | April 4, 2021 | Mackenzie Mays

Teachers unions across California say the need for educator child care was a problem before the pandemic.

SACRAMENTO — California teachers are ready to go back to the classroom. But the state’s largest union has a new ask: free child care for their own kids.

The demand is salt in the wound for parents who struggled with distance learning at home amid intense reopening negotiations that have dragged on for a year.

As part of school reopening agreements in San Diego, Sacramento and San Jose, unions successfully fought for policies that allow employees to bring their children to the classroom as in-person instruction resumes.

Now, the United Teachers of Los Angeles is asking for more than that. The union is calling on Los Angeles Unified to allow educators with young children to continue working from home until the district can provide them subsidized child care and a proper child care program for teachers by the fall.

Parent groups worry the child care ask could bubble up in other districts, complicating hard-fought reopening plans and limiting how much in-person instruction schools can offer.

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