Donning sailor hats and anchor shirts, moms and kids were on deck in Olympia on Jan. 16 to make waves and ask lawmakers to support the “Mamagenda,” setting the course for policies that support family caregivers in the workplace, invest in high-quality early learning, make childcare affordable, close the wage gap, and clean up the state’s tax code.
Rep. Kristine Reeves, D-Federal Way, also announced the details of a historic childcare package, the Washington CAN (Childcare Access Now) Act, broadly addressing access to affordable, high-quality childcare for Washington families.
The sweeping legislation will:
Commit the Legislature to providing all children and families in Washington with access to high-quality, affordable childcare by 2025;
Cap child care expenses at 7 percent of a family’s income;
Immediately increase the Working Connections Child Care reimbursement rate to 75 percent of market rate to stabilize the childcare market and build a foundation to increase access to high-quality childcare;
Immediately invest in the Career & Wage Ladder to raise the wages of the childcare workforce, and in the long-term invest in a compensation pay scale to raise the wages of childcare providers.
“I hear from parents and caregivers every single day about how real the childcare struggle is,” Reeves said in a press release. “Children need to be safe and to have enriching places to learn and grow, and access to high-quality childcare is a real lifesaver for working families.”
During the event, moms and kids from MomsRising unveiled the 2019 Mamagenda, a comprehensive set of family-friendly policies that would help keep moms and our economy afloat. MomsRising members shared messages from moms in Washington state about access to workplace policies that work for them and their families, policies that help them weather storms and thrive.
“Moms, dads, and kiddos are using their outside voices this legislative session to fight for policies that lift our families and our economy,” said Maggie Humphreys of MomsRising in the press release. “With a historic number of women and moms in the Legislature this year, we have the opportunity to set a new course for our state and bring the experiences of moms and caregiving into the heart of policy making.”
Rep. Mia Gregerson, D-SeaTac, spoke about workplace policies and Washington mom Jamie Knoblauch, who encountered some rough waters including a child with illness. With the support of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Working Connections childcare, Knoblauch was able to chart the course for stable finances and a positive career path that she’s on today.
MomsRising, a million-member grassroots organization championing policies that strengthen women and families, brought together parents, advocates and lawmakers for a day of training, direct action and a round table discussion with female legislators of the policies that are real lifesavers for moms.