Since 1996, Parent Voices has worked hard to expand opportunities for parent-led, parent-organized action. We have successfully engaged thousands of parents in advocacy aimed at the local, state, and federal levels. The accomplishments below are proof that when parents come together they are able to take action and make significant social change.
1996: Parent Voices is founded. Start-up funding led to the creation of 5 local chapters. Parents testified at hearings across the state to include access to child care in welfare reform. A group of parents went to Washington D.C to participate in the first ever Stand For Children Day.
1997: On June 1 and 2, 1997, over 50 parents from the various Parent Voices sites attended our first annual gathering and Legislative Day in Sacramento, eventually titled Stand for Children Day in the Capitol.
1998: Began a legislative campaign to create a private-public fund for child care. This became SB 967 (Perata) to help families on the waiting list.
1999: Advocated for and received an additional 50 million for Stage 3 CalWORKs child care subsidies. (Parent Voices organized former CalWorks parents who were losing child care subsidies at the end of the year because of lack of funding. Five parents testified at a special legislative hearing to advocate for the reinstatement of CalWorks child care subsidies.)
2001: On September 29, 2001, more than 240 parents came together for the Parent Summit in Oakland, California to receive the support of key Bay area law-makers for our child care platform. On December 5, 2001 Parent Voices saved $24 million in child care subsidies that would have impacted 14,000 families. Parent Voices brought two hundred parents to the State Capitol on December 16th for the Assembly Budget Committee hearing and then one hundred parents to San Jose on December 18th for the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance hearing.
2002: Saved $100 million in child care funding that would have impacted 59,000 children. 100 Parent Voices members marched and attended a hearing in Sacramento to save the proposed cuts!
2003: Advocated successfully to save 59,000 child care spaces supporting 31,000 low-income working families who were at risk of losing their child care in the Governor’s mid-year budget reduction plan. Expanded Parent Voices from 6 to 17 chapters. The News Hour with Jim Lehrer featured the California budget crisis through the lens of working families needing child care that was in danger of being cut. The reporters followed one parent through a typical workday, visiting and filming at her child care center, her home and her work.
2004: Worked successfully to eliminate $120 million in proposed budget cuts to child care services for children and families. On June 3rd, over 100 parents from Parent Voices chapters in the Bay Area and Sacramento rallied and delivered “pink slips” to the Governor’s regional offices, symbolizing the potential jobs lost if the Governor’s proposed child care cuts were to come into effect.
2005: Worked successfully to save $172 million in proposed budget cuts which would have limited eligibility for low-income parents and reduced reimbursement rates for child care providers. Parent Voices expanded to the Central Valley-welcome Fresno!
2006: Advocated successfully to Defrost the SMI. Parent Voices launched a proactive campaign to update five year old income eligibility criteria for subsidized child care. The Governor signed his budget bill on June 30, 2006 which defrosted the SMI and included $67 million in new funds to cover the additional costs associated with updating the eligibility criteria. Solano County joins Parent Voices! The Children’s Advocate has a Parent Voices page in every issue.
2007: Successfully stopped Governor’s proposal to freeze income guidelines-we Defrosted the SMI (again)! Parents and Providers rally together in Oakland to call attention to the budget stalemate and its impact on child care. Expanded Knowledge is Power budget advocacy training to Los Angeles.
2008: Worked successfully to save $198 million in proposed budget cuts to child care services. This saved 18,000 child care spaces from being eliminated. Parent Voices plays an active role in the Equal Voice for America’s Families Campaign ensuring that child care was reflected in the Working Families’ Platform. San Joaquin County joins Parent Voices!
2009: Held a press event with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Met with the Dept of Education, Dept. of Finance, and nearly every state legislator to advocate and WIN $15 million in new federal stimulus dollars to serve families on the child care waiting list. We also successfully stopped the Governor’s budget proposal to raise parent fees and to permanently eliminate the CalWORKs program.
2010: Worked successfully to prevent the complete elimination of child care in CA budget. In October 2010 Parent Voices led a campaign to restore Stage 3 funding that was eliminated by Governor Schwarzenegger. PV Oakland was the main plaintiff in a successful lawsuit against CDE/DSS and extends Stage 3 until December 31st. Judge agreed termination did not follow due process and continuity of care. Parent Voices personally handed Governor Jerry Brown a petition with 5,000 signatures to reinstate Stage 3 child care funding.
2011: Successfully convinced the Legislature and Governor Brown to fully restore the Stage 3 child care programs effective April 2011! Advocated against proposed cuts to child care and worked with advocates to restore $200 million in cuts from the final budget, including restoring services to 11-12yr olds and eliminating increases to parent fees. Sent a delegation of parent leaders to participate in a meeting with the White House Domestic Policy Council. PV expands to Humboldt County!
2012: Successfully prevented the elimination of 32,500 child care slots and $577 million in funding cuts! Worked with advocates to prevent the removal of child care administration from the Department of Education to the Department of Social Services.