Childcare For All Campaign

Childcare is an essential pillar of a healthy, just, and democratic society

It is the work which makes all other work possible–work for which all of us are responsible, because when children and parents are able to enjoy high quality child care, we all benefit.

Yet for too long, Virginia’s politicians and corporate elites have failed to invest in high-quality, accessible, and affordable childcare for all Virginians. The pandemic has worsened childcare availability for parents and other caregivers, with women and caregivers of color bearing the brunt of this impact. Today, we live with the results of this failure: an expensive and understaffed system of private care providers. Thousands of overworked and underpaid care workers and educators. Thousands more parents and caregivers with unaffordable options for childcare, competing for increasingly fewer slots on long waiting lists. Meanwhile, Virginia’s nine billionaires increased their wealth by $19 billion over the first two years of the pandemic–wealth accumulated through the labor of many of those same parents, caregivers, and childcare workers. 

An alternative is possible. At United Campus Workers of Virginia, a union by and for public higher ed workers, our members believe all education–including pre-K–is a right and a public good. With the launch of our Childcare for All campaign, UCWVA won’t stop until we ensure all Virginia’s campus workers have free, high-quality, universal pre-K childcare, funded through taxes on the wealthy, staffed by workers making a livable wage. This last point is especially important because we know that care providers’ working conditions affect all of us. The first step towards ensuring Virginia’s children have skilled care workers who are here for the long haul is paying them living wages with benefits, so they too can afford to live and thrive in the communities they serve. 

It is possible to have free, accessible childcare. From Oregon to West Virginia, working people have made universal pre-K a reality through organizing. Virginia needs to catch up. Our hard-earned money is disappearing into a failed private-care provider system, and we’re taking steps to send it back to Virginia families. We will make universal pre-K a reality by coming together as educators, university staff, care workers, and parents to center care as a community-wide responsibility.   

Universal pre-K means more student parents get to stay in school. It means closing the gender gap in campus workers’ pay, promotion, and retention. It means building workplaces that value caring for everyone. It means creating the necessary foundation for all campus workers to not just survive but thrive.  

We will win Childcare for All by...

  1. organizing in our workplaces to demand that all workers and students can access free or affordable high-quality childcare that provides care workers with good jobs with living wages and benefits; and
  2. organizing with our coalition partners to pass state policy to fairly tax the rich and guarantee free early childhood education for all.

We’re asking you to join us today.

Contact us to get involved

Katie Logan
(Co-chair, Political Coalition and Policy Committee)

Cecelia Parks
(Co-chair, Political Coalition and Policy Committee) 

Zarah Quinn
(Childcare campaign at William & Mary) 

Brionna Nomi
(Childcare campaign at Virginia Commonwealth University)