Webinar and brochure help Washington workers, particularly those in the trades, navigate the childcare system
TUMWATER, Wash. (April 8, 2022) — Finding reliable, affordable child care is a significant challenge for all workers, but particularly those in the building, construction and manufacturing trades who can have frequent schedule changes and overtime work with little notice. This problem affects people’s career trajectories, job satisfaction, home lives, overall wellbeing, and willingness to enter or remain in the trades.
The Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council convened a Child Care in the Trades Taskforce to bring together stakeholders from the trades to create a more equitable and effective childcare system for the state’s skilled trades workers.
The taskforce is hosting “Overcoming Child Care Challenges in the Trades,” a webinar offered on both June 15 and June 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. Get details here, including how to register.
“Child care is a struggle most working families are facing,” said Kairie Pierce, Lead Workforce Development Director for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “This webinar will provide strategies for finding quality child care and tips for discussing your family-specific needs with providers.”
The taskforce, which includes the Machinists Institute, SEIU 925 and the WSLC, also has developed Navigating the Child Care System in Washington State. This brochure is helpful for all workers in Washington. It explains the two types of child care, answers frequently asked questions, and describes how to find child care providers near you, including unionized providers.
The brochure is being mailed to all apprentices in the State is Washington and apprenticeship programs will be posting them their training facilities. You can also download a printable PDF the brochure or read a web-based version at the Machinists Institute website.
One common question: why is child care so expensive while care workers are paid so little?
Childcare facilities are required to follow hundreds of regulations established to reduce unsafe situations and to support the best practices for children in care. That includes limiting the number of children in a licensed facility and requiring a small child-to-adult ratio. Staff are the biggest expense, so providers must charge enough to pay staff wages and benefits and to maintain a safe care environment.
Together, the labor movement and childcare advocates are fighting for financial help for families, so that no family pays more than 7 percent of their income on child care. Contact your local union to find out how you can help.
Among the many resources described in the taskforce’s brochure is Carina, a free online matching service of union family home providers across Washington and in several other states. Its mission is to build online tools to bring good jobs to care workers, so care workers can provide the best possible care for those who need it. Check it out at Carina.org.