SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Over a hundred people gathered in front of the California State Capitol in support of Assembly Bill 378 or The Building a Better Early Care and Education System Act.

This act was introduced by Assemblymember Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara) Tuesday and said that this new act will hopefully be a catalyst to more change towards childcare.

"Child care comes up a lot," Limon said. "Sometimes people end up paying the same amount of money in rent for child care."

Limon said that with this current bill it will probably not change childcare costs for families. The bill allows for state-subsidized providers to collectively bargain for better wages and training from the state with the hope to provide better care to the children that they serve.

There are around 40,000 child care workers that run their business out of their home and are state-subsidized, Limon said. 

These care providers usually work long hours and for little pay. 

Amasha Griffin, a care provider from Apple Valley California, came to Sacramento for the rally in support of AB 378.

Griffin has an early education degree and has been in the child care field for 16 years, typically working 60 to 70 hours a week and making, on average, makes $4 an hour.

"I am a professional; I am not a babysitter," Griffin said. "I am for this bill so that everyone can have a seat at the table."

Griffin explained that most of the parents she serves in her business receive some form of government assistance and work a job. She also said that they cannot afford to pay more money, or more out-of-pocket, than they already do. 

In order to be an in-home, child-care provider Griffin had to apply, go through an orientation, receive training in CPR and reporting abuse, obtain a food handler's license, have a licensing visit, pay an annual fee and keep her facilities up to regulations that can change month-to-month or year-to-year. 

Limon added that around 60 percent of child care providers are reliant on government assistance themselves.

Griffin began her business because she was unable to find child care for her own children. She said that she sees early childhood development as a critical time for children to learn and grow.

"I am raising leaders," Griffin said. "I have a student that went through my program [and] became a dentist, one that is now a pediatrician, and one that is in the military."

Griffin said that, much like those three examples, all children should be able to excel.

"It's a big job, but someone has got to do it," Griffin said.

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